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Jadis - Fanatic CD (album) cover





3.29 | 99 ratings

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kev rowland
Special Collaborator
Crossover Prog Team
4 stars So the classic line-up of Steve Christey (drums), John Jowitt (bass), Martin Orford (keys/vocals) and Gary Chandler (vocals/guitar) are back together. Martin and John had both departed for a while as they were too busy to commit (both being in some band called IQ, plus also John with Arena, and Martin with John Wetton), but now they are back and it is as if they have never been away. Look at my CD collection and the one that looks the most battered is probably their debut album, 'More Than Meets The Eye'. It is a classic, and one that still regularly gets played in my house, very loudly. Jadis are a prog band that simply do not sound like anybody else. While the music can be very complex, it is also often very simple, with the main components often being the two lead instruments of Gary's guitar and his voice. They are both instantly recognisable, solid yet fluid, gentle but hard when required. But while Jadis will only ever be recognised as such while Gary is in the band, the others are key. Martin and Gary have built up an understanding over the years that very few guitarists and keyboard players have, as anybody who has seen their sets as a duo will attest to. This means that either can provide lead knowing exactly what the other will be doing, and this interaction comes through also in their studio work.

The album starts with 'The Great Outside', and the cinematic view of a guitarist gently picking some strings while sat outside a house in the Deep South, late in the night. That gives way to Jadis opening proceedings with a crunching start. This is a prog band that has never been afraid to rock, but always within certain constraints. They are not a hard rock outfit, but one that brings melody and harmony together in a way envied by many but perfected by no others.

The title cut is the shortest number, at just over four minutes, but none of these are exceptionally long with 'What Kind Of Reason' being just over double that. What Jadis manage to do is to capture a place that is timeless, a world that the listener can just drop into and feel that it is a place of safety and tranquillity and one that can be enjoyed forever. Is this a better album than their debut? Pass, ask again in another ten years and I might be able to tell you ' but I do know that it is certainly one of the most enjoyable albums I have ever had the pleasure to listen to. For more information about this and their other albums visit the band site at

First appeared in Feedback #74, Jun 03

kev rowland | 4/5 |


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