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Kazumi Watanabe - The Spice Of Life CD (album) cover


Kazumi Watanabe


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.96 | 5 ratings

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Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars I had heard Kazumi Watanabe before this album. One of my co-workers in the record store had introduced me to the "Mobo" albums before this one. But at the time I was a prog snob, and didn't really notice his talent until this album, which featured some guy named Bill Bruford, and a bassist that had played in Bruford's bands, Jeff Berlin.

The album begins with Melancho, an imitation of "Discipline" era King Crimson, where Watanabe overlays guitar parts and string bending solos, impersonating both Fripp and Belew at once. Berlin alternates between his usual flying fingers basslines and Levin-like growls.

The rest of the album is more original, with Bruford being Bruford, with his adept technique making difficult patterns sound smooth and easy. Watanabe and Berlin sound like they were born to play together, pushing each other to more and more challenging lines.

While I wouldn't quite call this a masterpiece, it is a standout work of fusion, which was unusual in the depressing eighties.

Evolver | 4/5 |


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