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Jump - The Freedom Train CD (album) cover





4.02 | 4 ratings

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kev rowland
Special Collaborator
Crossover Prog Team
5 stars After nine years with the same line-up, and five studio albums behind them, the time was right to release a live album. What was also special about this night was that it was to be the last gig with Hugh Gascoyne on bass who had decided to leave. The booklet is a tribute to Hugh, which I have not seen from a band to a departing member before. The front cover shows the five remaining members of the band waiting at a train station, with a poster of Hugh on the station wall. The photo on the rear shows the five all staring at the photo with new bassist Andy Faulkner (Walking On Ice) just walking into shot. The photo on the rear of the tray card shows the six of them walking off to catch 'The Freedom Train'. The words in the booklet also show just how much Hugh was admired and respected by the rest of the band, but also how they knew that they would continue without him. Jump seem to virtually live on the road at times, I have lost count of how many times I have seen them (favourite gig was probably at The Marquee when they completely outshone GLD, although some of the gigs with Credo were also superb), and have met and talked with them many times. John Dexter Jones is renowned as being one of the finest frontmen in the business, as well as being a great singer; twin guitarist Pete Davies and Steve Hayes have an intimate understanding of each other, Mo fills in the missing pieces with gentle keyboards while Hugh and Andy Barker were totally solid.

Jump are one of the 'oddities' of the progressive scene, in that they have been embraced by that crowd but in reality they have little musical affinity with much of the prog crowd. Firstly they are very much guitar based, with keyboards just used for melodic effect as opposed to being a lead instrument, and they are also very much a songs outfit. They play English Rock, and while they have been likened to both Marillion and Fish at times, with whom they have both completed UK tours, they are very much their own band with their own sound. This album has provided the opportunity to have almost a 'Best Of' package, while at the same time the versions on offer are superior to those which were recorded in the studio as John reacts to the crowd and the passion is there for all to hear. Personal faves are probably "The Pressed Man" and "Shed No Tears" but there isn't a duff song to be heard.

Originally appeared in Feedback #59

kev rowland | 5/5 |


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