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Back Door - The Human Bed CD (album) cover


Back Door

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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4 stars For any connoisseur of quality Jazz-Rock/Blues.

Normally, I don't go anywhere near compilations, but this one is a rare exception. Partly because no-one bothered with even a barefoot rating. To date, the entire Back Door discography attracted two (2!) reviews, which is quite disappointing.

Another reason is that their music is not easy to get into and a compilation may assist in raising more interest. The song selection is quite good, although my preference remains for the original works.

I declare severe bias for this band and especially for Colin Hodgkinson, who remains one of the finest bass players UK has ever produced. All musicians here are excellent and the addition of Dave MacRae of IAN CARR'S NUCLEUS fame is a pleasant surprise.

This album was originally issued in 1974, containing short pieces - which is typical for the band, anyway. Admittedly, the style varies between Jazz-Rock, Blues, R&B, Avant-Prog and even some Free-Jazz. It doesn't imply a lack of direction, rather the opposite as it showcases the degree of comfort with many styles, instead.

Hodgkinson's approach to his Fender bass is an absolute highlight for me. He plays (and sings) with great confidence, often doing chord sequences with ease. That alone is worthy of attention. Frankly, Back Door is his vehicle, after all. The quirky saxes are not so easy to absorb at first and often represent the Avant-Jazz component. Nevertheless, the musicianship is great, but more of an acquired taste - even for Yours Truly.

The Human Bed is perhaps my least favourite of the band's discography, but it still commands due attention.

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Posted Thursday, April 4, 2013 | Review Permalink

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