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COMEUPPANCE

Sphere 3

Jazz Rock/Fusion


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3 stars The British band "SPHERE 3" in their only studio album "Comeupance" presents a jazz prog full of technical resources and unexpected melodic and rhythmic changes and this is the main predicate in most of 10 tracks. However, such predicates in my point of view don't make their work an essential item in a prog collection, once the disk suffers in certain moments from a "sameness" (like in track 4 "Natural Light" a type of "happy hour" melody) or some latin music approaches like in track 3 "Sidewalking" full of swing but empty of creativity and the track 5 " First Kiss" a mix of ballad and new age music without convince in both cases) . Even so, remains some good moments like in track 1 "A Good Example Of Arbitrary Presumption" a full of energy track with various melodic themes very carefully combined, or track 2 "Shrimp.SNG" with the same characteristic of previous track, the " hightech rock'n'roll" from the track 6 "Eat First, Ask Questions Later" (although I think which the title are of doubtful taste) and finally the last track "Paralysis" with some "atmospheric suspense" . Due this my ratge is 3 stars !!!

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Send comments to maryes (BETA) | Report this review (#1019885)
Posted Saturday, August 17, 2013 | Review Permalink
kev rowland
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Crossover Team
4 stars I have been racking my brain and have had to give up. I honestly can't think of a CD I have been waiting for longer than the debut by Sphereł. Back when the guys were singular as opposed to a power I used to be in regular contact, especially with keyboard player Neil Durant. I started reviewing the band as long ago as #17 (March 1993) and every time I saw Neil at a gig, giving out one of their numerous flyers I would ask when the new album was coming out. When Malcolm told me that the album had actually been released I told him that I wouldn't believe it until I actually saw a copy as I have been waiting for this even longer than the second Credo album!

The band is Neil (keys), Steve Anderson (guitars, who also played for a while with GLD), William Burnett (bass) and Jamie Fisher (drums). While Jamie only joined in 1996 the others have been playing with each other since 1991 or thereabouts so it is no surprise that by now they know what they are doing. Yes, I am treating this review quite light heartedly but that fits in with the whole feel of a band that has always been self-deprecating and full of humour. Is it because the album isn't much cop and I'm being kind? No, the reverse is definitely the case. It may have been an inordinate time in the making, but this has to be one of the finest jazz-oriented albums that it has ever been my pleasure to hear.

Each of the four are master musicians, and they all have huge parts to play within each song so that if the listener concentrates on just one player then he will be surprised at just how much is going on. There aren't any egos on show, each provides as little or as much as is required, so during the same song William can provide some stunning finger popping bass or just play a few delicate notes here and there while Neil plays gentle keys or lovingly strokes the ivories and tinkles with his piano.

The biggest problem that Cyclops is going to have is how to get this out of the prog market and into jazz, as any fan of Weather Report, Return To Forever or Brand X will take this fusion album warmly into their bosom. I have seen one article where the reviewer says how much he is looking forward to the follow up. All I can say to that is don't hold your breath and maybe, just maybe, within the next ten years we may get another album. I certainly hope so, as this is superb! Visit the superb site at www.sphere3.co.uk.

Originally appeared in Feedback #73, 2002

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Send comments to kev rowland (BETA) | Report this review (#1027026)
Posted Monday, September 02, 2013 | Review Permalink

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