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Niacin - Niacin Live: Blood, Sweat & Beers CD (album) cover



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erik neuteboom
3 stars A few years ago I got a promo from NIACIN and was stunned by the wonderful Hammond B3 organ sound from John Novello. His play reminds me of Greg Rolie (SANTANA) and Vincent Crane (ATOMIC ROOSTER): lots of organ floods and short soli. The title of the CD was "Time Crunch" and most of the songs delivered a very dynamic rhythm-section and exciting organplay. But I was most delighted about the two covers "Red" from KING CRIMSON and "Blue Wind" from Jeff Beck's excellent solo album "Wired". The live DVD "Blood, Sweat & Beers" (recorded in Japan in 1997, running time 57 minutes) mostly contains songs from the eponymous debut-CD, all sound as a pleasant mix of blues, jazz, funk and rock with good interplay, some nice work from bass player Billy Sheehan and powerful support from drummer Dennis Chambers. But again my conclusion was that two covers were the best part, this time "Birdland" from Weather Report and "You Keep Me Hanging On" (great rendition) from VANILLA FUDGE were the most mature compositions. In my opinion NIACIN is a great band to witness during a concert but they have to work on their own compositions that sound more as a jam, this in order to keep my attention when listening to one of their studio albums.
Report this review (#35094)
Posted Tuesday, May 24, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is one of the most powerful live performances I have ever witnessed. Not only is the DVD video and audio quality top notch, but I have never witnessed such musicianship, power and energy all packaged in extremely well structured compositions. More often than not when incredible musicians get together it becomes a chopfest jam with no purpose other than self indulgence. These guys know how to blow and I mean blow but all in the confines of taste and musicality! Klaghorn is one of my favorite compositions as it lets Dennis Chambers loose. Dennis has more soul in one of his fingers than most drummers wished they had and talk about his chops and groove, he's ridiculous! Sheehan on the bass is like witnessing Jimmy Hendrix all over again only on a bass guitar! How he plays all of those notes and still keeps the pocket I 'll never know. As far as keyboadrtists, where has John Novello been all of my life. His organ tone scereams with fire and soul. He's Emerson reincarnated but with more jazz fusion head room and way more sophisticated harmonies. My only complaint is the DVD is too short as I defintiely did not gte enough. I would love for them to record another DVD because even though it has stood the test of time, this is an old recording and since then they have developed an even more unique impressive style with their last 2 CD's Time Crunch and now Organik. My favorite instrumental fusion band used ot be RTF but the way Niacin is smoking lately, I don't think there's a trio on really look like they're having a great time doing what they do effortlessly!
Report this review (#58969)
Posted Friday, December 2, 2005 | Review Permalink

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