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Cozy Powell - Tilt CD (album) cover


Cozy Powell

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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3 stars Tilt is his second effort from 1981 of this famous drummer. Beside the musicians who colaborate on his first work, on his second album he invited even a saxophone player Mel Collins among other well known and respectd musicins like Neil Murray from Colosseum fame and later in Black Sabbath, David Sancious a famous jazz player, etc. As you might guest this second album is a little diffrent over the first. In places is more light, more polished but keeping that atmosphere from the first one.Again we have everything here from intristing pieces like Cat moves, slow one Sunset and fast to midtempo pieces. The contribution of these invited guests is again very good, each musician from here has is own individual skills, each one plays in a diffrent manner - the resoult is another good album with great pieces. Nevertheless the Cozy Powell's contribution on this second effort is really something maybe he is not so bombastic like other jazz rock drumers, but he knows to use the instrument in a such way that after you finished the album to listen you will not be deseppointing at all. Pleasent all the way Tilt desearve 3 stars, not as good as the first one, but good for sure.
Report this review (#201432)
Posted Monday, February 2, 2009 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars Safe and Cozy

Cozy Powell released his second solo album in 1981 following his departure from Rainbow and a brief stint working with ex-Rainbow man Graham Bonnet. Although many of the star guests who graced "Over the top" return to help out once more, others are brought in both to help with the song writing and the performances. As a result, "Tilt" has a somewhat different feel when compared to its predecessor. The most obvious difference is the addition of vocals to all of the tracks on the first side (but not the second) of the LP.

The tracks are effectively batched together according to who plays on them. The first three all feature the same basic line up, with vocals by Elmer Gantry (of Stretch), keyboards by John Cook, bass by Chris Glen and lead guitar on tracks two and three by Kirby (Gregory).

The opening "The right side" provides immediate evidence that this album will be by no means "Over the top". A quick burst of drums and a ubiquitous sax sound introduce a rather anonymous blues rock song written by Cook and Kirby. It is an enjoyable enough number, but perversely the tight arrangement is something of a disappointment when compared to what went before. "Jekyll and Hyde" is equally ordinary, Cook's keyboards supporting a nondescript funk rock song.

The third and last track here to feature the voice of the improbably named Elmer Gantry is "Sooner or later". This time, the song feels like a Rainbow reject, Gantry doing a passable impression of Graham Bonnet. The side closes with "Living a lie", where the line up is rather different to the first three songs. Here, Frank Aiello takes over on lead vocals, while Bernie Marsden supplies lead guitar and Neil Murray bass. John Cook remains on keyboards. The song is a slow blues number written by Cozy with Marsden and Don Airey. It is by far the best track on the side, Marsden's guitar solo being particularly memorable.

Side two sees Powell reverting to instrumentals, with two pieces written by Jan Hammer and two by Gary Moore (one with Don Airey). The first of the Jan Hammer numbers, "Cat moves" is a funky jazz rock number featuring the synth playing of David Sancious (of Jack Bruce band). Jack Bruce plays bass while Jeff Beck pops by to add some fine lead guitar to the latter part of the track. The other Hammer composition is "Hot rock", another jazz rock piece featuring the guitar of Jeff Beck, which closes the album.

The first of the Gary Moore numbers, "Sunset", sees the line up reduced to a trio of Moore, Powell and Airey. The piece is one of Moore's fine slow lead guitar soliloquies, full of emotion and passion. Unfortunately, in my view the production does not capture the finesse of the guitar work fully, but this remains the highlight of the album. "The blister" retains the trio from "Sunset" but this time they opt for a "Race with the devil" type, heads down, all out burst of guitar rock. It may be unoriginal, but it is fun.

Perhaps the wonderfully pompous nature of "Over the top" led to us having too high expectations for Cozy's second album. For whatever reason, it seems he decided to play far safer this time and go for a more commercial solution. With the common denominator being the drummer though, this simply results in a rather eclectic mix of average rock numbers which have little to say collectively. Admittedly, the totally instrumental side two is noticeably better than the generally uninspired side one, but the mediocre production fails to ignite the album throughout.

Report this review (#202892)
Posted Monday, February 16, 2009 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Unlike the majestic, completely instrumental Over the Top, Cozy Powell's second solo album, Tilt (released in 1981, when Powell was a member of The Michael Schenker Group) features no less than four songs, all strategically placed in the first half of the record. Unfortunately, though the musicianship is excellent throughout, it is those songs that let the album down, making it sound far tamer and more commercial than its predecessor. Even though many of the guest musicians on Over the Top appear here as well, the listener hardly gets the same cohesive feel, so that the album comes across as somehow thrown together without a lot of forethought.

The exhilaratingly grandiose quality of the previous recording is mostly absent here, watered down by the presence of those four songs, mostly rather nondescript blues-rock offerings that sound like outtakes from the likes of Down to Earth era Rainbow, rather than scintillating hard-fusion workouts in the style of Colosseum II. Actually, to be perfectly honest, one of the songs, the slow, bluesy Living a Lie, is lifted up from mediocrity by Frank Aiello's impassioned vocals and Bernie Marsden's guitar solo. The other three, performed by former Stretch singer Elmer Gantry (also of Elmer Gantry's Velvet Opera fame), are instead quite forgettable, and smack somewhat of filler.

The four instrumentals featured on the former B-side see a definite improvement, though they are nowhere as brilliant as their counterparts on Over the Top - the exception being what, in my opinion, is one of the most beautiful guitar performances ever, Gary Moore tour-de-force Sunset. It is one of those pieces in which (as I like to say) the electric guitar ceases to be a mere musical instrument, and finds an almost human 'voice' of its own. The shredders of this world should take a listen to this track, and learn how to convey emotion as effectively as Gary does, instead of going for that tired, 3000-notes-a-second routine. The fact that Moore, in the following years, often dedicated Sunset to Randy Rhoads when performing live adds to the piece's poignancy and beauty.

Of the remaining three tracks, two (Cat Moves and Hot Rock), penned by legendary keyboardist Jan Hammer, both feature Jeff Beck on guitar, and are reminiscent of the exciting jazz-rock of the previous album. The third track, The Blister, veers more towards standard, guitar-based instrumental rock, underpinned by Powell's explosive drumming. Jack Bruce, on of the stars of OTT, guests on Cat Moves, adding a funky touch to the proceedings.

On the whole, though it is a fun album to listen to, Tilt is ultimately disappointing - especially for those who were expecting a repeat of the brilliant Over the Top. However, in my view, Sunset alone is worth the price of admission, and its mere presence is enough to earn the album three stars.

Report this review (#206978)
Posted Friday, March 13, 2009 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The second album of Cozy Powell brought together various music styles into the album. This time Cozy brought in talented musicians like Jeff Beck, Gary Moore, Neil Murray, Jack Bruce, Mel Collins, David Sancious and others. The music is actually not complex and I enjoy with almost all tracks in this album. 'The Right Side' is of course an interesting opening in blues rock fashion with some flavor of jazz especially through the sax work by Mel Collins. The vocal part is also very nice. 'Living a Lie' is basically a nice blues track with good guitar work by Bernie Marsden. Even though this album was released in 1981, there is a strong nuance of 70s music as shown by this song.

The 'Sooner or Later' is basically a straight pop rock song. 'Cat Moves' featured Jeff Beck as guitarist and the song is really nice. 'Sunset' was performed by trio Gary Moore (guitar), and Don AIrey (synth solo) and it moves excellently with some blues and jazz elements on it. The trio also perform excellent track 'The Buster' which runs in relatively fast tempo with stunning guitar solo and powerful drumming. Cozy's drumming is really excellent!

Even though this album is actually not really a prog album but there certainly elements with prog style. It's an interesting album. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Report this review (#810586)
Posted Sunday, August 26, 2012 | Review Permalink

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