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Riff Raff - Original Man CD (album) cover

ORIGINAL MAN

Riff Raff

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.94 | 17 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
4 stars 4.5 stars really!!!!

Second (and last) official album, from this highly gifted group who would've probably deserved much more attention from the public. Still the "classic prog quartet", this time augmented not by one but two guest wind players and an all-around finer album. In this album Kirtley is asserting his songwriting role to the equal to Sutton, while Eyre gets only one credit.

The opening title track is right away giving you the ambiance that will pervade throughout the album, with a slightly jazzy Santana-like rock, enthralling you slowly but surely to ecstasy. A real feast, Yummmmmmyyyyyyyy!!!!!!!!!!! This small tour-de-force is followed by another full-out fusion, this time red-hot crater-flowing fusion-lava, Havakak, which apparently guitarist Kirtley wrote with a previous group. In a relatively calmer mood is the funky-jazz rocker Goddamm The Man track, yet another superb track with a great call and response between horns section and the guitar. Still softer, Kirtley's third track on this side of the album is a more jazzy-soulish fusion, which pales a bit in comparison with previous tracks, but is still of a high calibre, just a little slow at times.

Sutton's The Waster is a slightly jazzy-bluesy-soulish mid-tempo track with big horn arrangements, and De Souza's drums tazke on conga flavours: just lovely. In a very different style, Eyre's lone composition contrasts heavily, but is nothing shocking either, especially when hearing its high quality keyboard fest. The last track is another fusion masterpiece, even if you have to wonder the track has its name for the first few minutes, but if the track does pick up at times, it remains to a superb mid-tempo with Eyre's electric piano particularly haunting, the whole album throughout.

Unfortunately, the group will have to fold (or chose to) when British musician-union forced Brazilian drummer de Souza out of the country by pushing for the non-renewal of his working visa. But this collapse was also due to US deals not falling though also. But this bunch of riff-raffers did go out in a very stylish manner pulling in a very strong British fusion masterpiece, just missing by a tad the fifth star. Definitely their crowning achievement and a must discover for fusion lovers and progheads alike.

Sean Trane | 4/5 |

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