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Passport Looking Thru album cover
3.38 | 78 ratings | 14 reviews | 19% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1973

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Eternal Spiral (3:59)
2. Looking Thru (7:58)
3. Zwischenspiel (1:31)
4. Rockport (3:31)
5. Tarantula (3:48)
6. Ready for Take Off (4:47)
7. Eloquence (5:12)
8. Things to Come (2:45)

Total Time 33:31

Line-up / Musicians

- Curt Cress / drums, electronic percussion
- Klaus Doldinger / soprano & tenor saxophones, Moog, electric piano, Mellotron
- Wolfgang Schmid / bass
- Kristian Schulze / electric piano, organ

Releases information

LP Atlantic ATL 50024 / LP Atco SD 7042 / CD Atlantic 244 144 (1988)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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Buy PASSPORT Looking Thru Music

PASSPORT Looking Thru ratings distribution

(78 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(19%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(45%)
Good, but non-essential (32%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

PASSPORT Looking Thru reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Bj-1
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Well, Passport is not really prog, but it's still a excellent fusion/jazz-rock band with some progressive elements on some songs (like the title track on this album). I like the playing from the band, especially Curt Cress's (later Triumvirat) fantastic drumming and Klaus Doldinger's great saxophone playing. The songs, with "Eternal Spiral" beign a personal favorite are all very good and accessible, and this one should do the trick for fans of this genre. The overall result is a tight, fast and impressive Jazz-Rock album by this great german band. I'll with pleasure recommend this one!

Check it out. 4 stars.

Review by Sean Trane
3 stars 3.5 stars at most!!

Passport's fourth album is yet another good album well in the line of their previous and following ones. Good jazz rock - fusion but nothing exceptional or even essential, but very enjoyable if you are a fan of such styles (I am one ).

The title track is clearly the highlight of side 1 which I find rather tedious especially if you own more Passport albums! The second side is slightly more adventurous with small hints at harder edged jazz/free jazz embellishments but nothing to scare you away sin ce it stays short and subdued. Tarantula and Ready For Take-Off are clearly my choice one this album while I found Eloquence rather misnamed as it is rather bland.

Lookin' Thru is not their best or their worst from that first era , just another good album but compared to their second more latino era , this album is much worth a spin!

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "Looking Thru" is a good though not essential fusion album from the 70s featuring the songs of Klaus Doldinger who plays sax and keys. He is joined by keyboardist Kristian Schultze, guitarist Wolfgang Schmid, and drummer Curt Cress. I'm no jazz expert but the sound here seems to be more playful and light, and sometimes spacier, than some of the heavier fusion stalwarts. "Eternal Spiral" features some insanely good drum fills and solid basslines along with what I believe is the moog and e-piano. Very good and hard hitting opener. Good warm 70s dynamic. The title track is second and seems to be the most determined and accomplished, very elegant and nimble. The sax and keys have a conversation that flows well with softer moments and occasional crescendo. "Zwischenspiel" is a delightful but short piano piece with classical guitar, very nice. "Rockport" picks up again with a hard driving bass and a playful funky sound. "Tarantula" is another funky raving swirl of sax, keys and bass. Sax is the dominating lead instrument in most places, definitely not an electric guitar lovers album. Drumming by Cress is excellent throughout. "Eloquence" has a very eclectic vibe and is a favorite of mine with much space as the players take turns with punchy bursts. Jamming bass, sax, keys and drums throughout. "Things to Come" is a very spacey freakout ending the album on a manic note.

Looking Thru is not going to top many lists as the best fusion album but it is easily recommended to fans of the genre, and in fact is an easy to like and accessible choice for people who may not be jazz nuts. It has a consistently upbeat, approachable sound. Very enjoyable album and a safe bet for most proggers. 3 stars.

Review by clarke2001
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "Looking Thru" is a jazz-rock routine. There's absolutely nothing groundbreaking, or original with this album, but it won't offend fans of jazz-rock and fusion.

The only track that stands out, in my opinion, is opening track "Eternal Spiral": not only for metallic synth noodlings (or that's electronic percussion perhaps), but for the overall structure and dynamics. It's enjoyable, and it's certainly closest to prog rock. However, the entire albums is not really prog rock, more a mellow fusion. The tracks are forgettable, I won't say boring (unless you dislike jazz-rock/fusion), but they're all somehow "melted" into an unique, long track which is passing by yourself, not drawing your attention, but not being bad neither. There are some absolutely awful brass moments at the end of the "A" side (try to imagine a bad brass section in pop) but on the other hand, there are nice and spacey strings often utilised through the album's length.

This one is certainly non-essential, but it's a pleasant routine if you are fusion fan. Nothing more to add.

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars Much like their previous album "Hand Made" this is a good, light Jazz record but not much more then that. I much prefer their debut "Doldinger".

"Eternal Spiral" has a spacey intro as the sound builds, it turns jazzy a minute in. The drums are relentless in this uptempo number. Keys then moog late. "Looking Thru" is the longest track at 8 minutes in length. A sax intro, but we don't get a melody until just before a minute. We get more of a beat before 4 minutes as drums become prominant with keys also joining in. This is better. "Zwischenspiel" is a short piano / acoustic guitar track.

"Rockport" has a good beat to it with sax and drums leading the way. "Tarantula" opens with dissonant sax until it changes to a melody after a minute. This is a catchy tune. "Ready For Take Off" features some smooth sax melodies that sound really good. This song and the previous one are my favourites. "Eloquence" opens with moog as drums and bass follow, then sax. Keys come in sounding great especially before 4 minutes. This my other top three song. "Things To Come" has a spacey intro before drums come pounding in. A full sound follows. The sax is dissonant late.

Good record but nothing more then that.

Review by Seyo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The 4th Passport album is a "lite" fusion music dominated by keyboards. It is not much progressive or essential in any way but jazz-rock fans should not mind having this title in their collection. Agressive keyboards work in "Eternal Spiral", nice jazz tune "Eloquence" and some excellent synth and electric piano parts of the title track are worthy checking out. On the other hand there are many dull and inoffensive "Muzak" moments along with a catchy but too simple R'n'B dance rhythm in "Rockport".

"Looking Thru" was released by Suzy label in Yugoslavia as a commercial and popular item licenced from Atlantic Records. Therefore, "Rockport" was a staple dancefloor track across many discotheques in the former Yugoslavia in late 1970s, while "Eternal Spiral" was frequently radio-aired as a background music/jingle.

Doldinger's sax is somehow subdued on this album while keyboards are dominant. That alone should not be a problem, but arrangements are too pedestrian without enough harder edge or courage in playing.


P.A. RATING: 3/5

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Fourth Passport album and again Doldinger assembled an entirely new line-up around him. But this time he gathered some musicians around him that would stick around for not less then 3 albums. During this period, the dominance of the sax is matched by various keyboards, marking a definite change in sound that was certainly welcome.

The basis of the songwriting is still the same, namely easy going mid-paced dub and funk rhythms with bouncy bass loops, and saxophone and synths providing the occasional catchy melody. Due to the prominent synths, the sound got bigger and brighter, a bit spacier even, much like instrumental Gong from around the same period and the later Ozric Tentacles.

While the above hints at an improved listening experience, the actual songs are generally too tame and predictable to make much impact. The previous Passport albums always made for good background music, but most songs of this album are too fluffy for comfort. Especially Rockport, Tarantula and Ready for Take Off are frustratingly poppy and mark an unwelcome change from nice background fusion to disturbing elevator jazz. Well at least for my taste.

With Looking Thru', Passport forged an interesting new sound for themselves but the songwriting simply doesn't measure up for me. 2.5 stars, the next one would tie everything nicely together.

Review by Warthur
3 stars Of the tracks on Looking Thru, the most intriguing one is probably the opening Eternal Spiral, which sees bandleader Klaus Doldinger incorporate synthesisers into the group's music to a greater extent than seen previously. Whilst much of the rest of the material on here is competently performed middle-of-the-road fusion, the synthesisers come back here and there, adding a texture to the group's music not to be found in the likes of, say, Weather Report - who appear to be their primary fusion inspiration this time around. This results in an interesting album which should provide an entertaining listen to fusion fans, but at the same time it doesn't quite manage to be memorable enough to be widely recommended.
Review by Neu!mann
3 stars The fourth album from Germany's premier Fusion ensemble saw Klaus Doldinger and company finally hitting their stride: the band had settled into a stable line-up, and the music was fast approaching its cosmic jazz-funk zenith. That opening burst of synths and mellotron at the top of "Eternal Spiral" signaled a further shift in style toward the rockier end of the Jazz Rock spectrum, emphasized by a dramatic volley of drumming by the peerless Curt Cress, always a great way to kick-start an album.

What follows is often too straightforward for traditional Fusion. The title track showcases Doldinger's deft touch with a tenor sax throughout eight enjoyable minutes of carefree grooving. And the melodic 4/4 beat driving ersatz pop tunes like "Rockport" and "Tarantula" make both resemble theme songs to some long-forgotten '70s TV sit-com, although each has a toe-tapping catchiness that can't be denied.

The music stretches out more during the album's latter half, but not enough to seriously challenge the listener's enjoyment. "Eloquence" opens with a bit of primitive (hand-triggered) electronic percussion. And Doldinger's freeform playing on the closing "Things to Come" promises exactly that: a brief preview of the band's more adventurous "Cross-Collateral", released the following year.

It's not what anyone would call a groundbreaking effort, and was never intended as such. But "Looking Thru" remains one of the more pleasant collections of instrumental music listed on this site: the perfect headphone escape from the plummeting temperatures of mid-January (as I write this, in the American Northeast). The album has so far earned an almost unanimous good-but-not-essential rating, and I'm not prepared to buck that trend. But my own three stars are at least offered with a little more enthusiasm than some.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The relentless journey of the band named Passport continues at the fall of 1973.Doldinger would carry the band to Dieter Dierks's Studio in October to record ''Looking thru'', this time Frank Roberts was replaced by keyboardist Kristian Schultze, who was already an experienced performer, having played with his own band Kristian Schultze Set and the Ethno-Jazz combo Niagara, while he was a close friend of Curt Cress, playing later alongside the German veteran drummer in Curt Cress Clan and Snowball.

''Looking thru'' shows Passport returning to the sound of their inventive pair of first releases, without throwing away the new direction they had taken with ''Hand made''.In fact this one sounds the most Kraut Fusion album of the combo, regarding the displayed stylings, featuring spacious keyboards, light jazzy improvisations, funky rhythms, Fusion exercises and a nice dose of Kraut Rock freakness.Some superb jazzy grooves with nice work on clavinet and sax to go along with tremendous Fusion keyboard and piano fests, love the combination of jazzy electric piano with the sinister Mellotron strings in the background.The opening side relies much on the work of Doldinger and Schultze on keyboards and the tireless rhythm section with occasional sax bursts, it's one of the very fine examples of flexible German Fusion with charming keyboard soloing and balanced tempos.Second side sees Doldinger pickin' up his sax for some accomplished executions on funky lines, melodious themes and scratching jazzy workouts, always backed up by the omnipresent keyboards.It sounds a bit more ethereal and lightweight than the opening one, but still contains some pretty cool stuff with experimental synth lines and virtuosic piano solos.My main complaint comes from the album's length, this one is pretty short, barely exceeding the 30-min. mark.

Well-played German Fusion with a variety of rhythms and atmospheres.Better than ''Hand made'' and a major purchase for all fans of airy Kraut/Jazz Rock.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

Latest members reviews

4 stars When I first eard of Passport existence was when a friend of mine put Looking Thru on his CD player and said... Have a listen to this, you will be surprise. For a surprise it was a pretty strong surprise ;) From the first note to the last, I could't beleve what I was just earing. Being a big fa ... (read more)

Report this review (#165422) | Posted by Fido73 | Monday, March 31, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Ah Passport. Underrated and sadly overshadowed by bands like Mahavishnu, RtF and Weather Report. This has always been one of my favorite jazz fusion albums. Not having heard any of their other albums means I have a fresh take on this album and I won't be comparing it to other albums they have ... (read more)

Report this review (#36688) | Posted by dalt99 | Thursday, June 16, 2005 | Review Permanlink

3 stars I know other people who say Looking Thru is an excellent album, also but I cannot agree, and I adore Passport! As someone already stated, side two is the better side... much better. However, even tho I rarely spin this album anymore, the title track is Passport's best title track. That may ... (read more)

Report this review (#34655) | Posted by | Monday, May 23, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I'll go along with BJ on this too. PASSPORT is not completely prog, but then again neither was RETURN TO FOREVER, WEATHER REPORT or MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA for that matter. From here, PASSPORT went on to be known as fusion's best kept secret. Not very well known among the casual fusion listener i ... (read more)

Report this review (#34653) | Posted by marktheshark | Saturday, April 23, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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