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HANNIBAL

Jazz Rock/Fusion • United Kingdom


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Hannibal biography
Founded in Birmingham, UK in 1969 - Disbanded in 1971

HANNIBAL was a jazz rock group from Birmingham active during the early 70's. The group was formed from a blues group called BAKERLOO that featured guitarist Clem CLEMSON and under that format and name toured Germany and released one album. After a couple of line-up changes like Bill HUNT (THE MOVE, ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA)and the addition of the new main composer Adrian INGRAM, the group changed to HANNIBAL and released one album of progressive brass rock in style like COLOSSEUM, early CHICAGO or BLOOD, SWEAT & TEARS.

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4.00 | 14 ratings
Hannibal
1970

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Showing last 10 reviews only
 Hannibal by HANNIBAL album cover Studio Album, 1970
4.00 | 14 ratings

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Hannibal
Hannibal Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars A jazz-rock one off from Birmingham. The musicians were obviously inspired by COLOSSEUM, CHICAGO, and BLOOD SWEAT AND TEARS as well as PROCOL HARUM, The SPENCER DAVIS GROUP and even Andrew LLOYD-WEBER.

1. "Look Upon Me" (6:13) Oh! The bluesy kind of jazz-rock, not really what I'd call fusion. The music shifts to BLOOD SWEAT & TEARS territory for the second motif and chorus (part of which sounds as if it is intentionally lifted from Andrew LLOYD WEBER's Jesus Christ Superstar: Jesus' emotional performance in the "Garden of Gethsemane" scene (and song). There's quite a little of The Animals' "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" in there, too. Nice musicianship and pretty good sound reproduction throughout. (8.75/10)

2. "Winds of Change" (7:26) more music that feels as if it's on the verge of going PROCOL HARUM or ANIMALS with some nice (and original) melodic singing over the top of interesting, subtly shifting and changing instrumental performances beneath. The slower middle section sounds a lot like The SPENCER DAVIS GROUP, even when it picks up. The sound of the Hammond organ is so domineering despite the wonderfully performed and mixed bass and drums. The guitar and horn accents are pretty cool, too. The final sections up the tempo while letting the instrumentalists go unrestricted for a bit. Great blues-feeling song. (13.5/15)

3. "Bend for a Friend" (10:27) opens with a guitar and bass riff that sounds like a Sergio Leone film score. The rest of the band joins in and proceed to set up a motif that is quite stereotypic for what we consider "Indian music"--that is, the music of Native Americans (as depicted, of course, in the soundtracks of film and the occasional Indian-themed hit song). At the three-minute mark the motif switches to a different, more strident and jazzy interpretation of yet another fairly familiar N.A. melodic theme. Guitarist Adrian Ingram goes a bit crazy on his electric guitar, again bridging the jazz and blues-rock worlds throughout his solo: part Hendrix, part Johnny Mac (or Randy California). At the 5:30 mark there is another, rather radical thematic change--this one feeling as if we've started a completely different song. It's cinematic like something befitting a B-movie horror flick. At 6:30 we again stop to listen to a solo saxophone solo: that's right: a solo with absolutely no accompaniment. Finally, 45-seconds in drummer John Parker joins saxophonist Cliff Williams' chorused woodwind. Then in the tenth minute the rest of the band throbs their way back in before lining up to finish the song with original pseudo-Native American motif. Interesting song. (17.5/20)

4. "1066" (6:28) (a reference, I take it, to either the Norman Invasion or the Battle of Hastings.) opens with a bluesy motif beneath Alex's recitation of words and terms tied into the year 1066. But then the music turns anachronistic-- almost "mediŠval"--with flutes, bass, organ, and harpsichord and a Michael Giles-like drumming touch. I find this anachronistic motif the most interesting and favorite of the album. Next is a rather spacious percussion-dominated passage that is quite reminiscent of King Crimson's quiet passage in The Court of the Crimson King's "Moonchild." Bass and drums get their time in the spotlight here. Hearing this makes me wonder if Carl Palmer and Greg Lake heard this song before (finally) rendering Greg's 10-year old song "Lucky Man" to tape. A very interesting song that never really seems to gel into something consistent or cohesive. (8.875/10)

5. "Wet Legs" (4:44) a kind of jazzy intro morphs into another Blues-Rock riff-based alternating four-chord progression. In the second minute of this completely-instrumental song there is a temporary detour down a jazzy sidestreet, but then we return fairly quickly to the original motif for some funky organ play and slow ROBIN TROWER-like guitar soloing (ending in "The Note": a single guitar note that is held for 45 seconds of slow decay while the organ continues to bounce around rather excitedly). The two motifs cycle around a couple more times before the song cashes out. (8.875/10)

6. "Winter" (8:06) a song that sits on the fence from its very opening notes as to whether it's prog or J-R Fusion, soon reveals its (surprise!) blues-rock nature. Syncopated drumming is the only truly jazzy element over the first few minutes as a descending four-chord motif beneath vocalist Alex Boyce's R&B voice drives the song until the instrumental vamp of the fourth and fifth minutes. Here a different rock rhythm motif is played beneath Alex Ingram's guitar soloing. The dude has obviously had some training in both blues and jazz guitar play (and may revere artists like Wes Montgomery and John Mayall) as he unleashes a truly nicely evolving solo over the course of its three minute length. Then the band suddenly stops and lays down a very spacious, mellow, and gorgeous gentle JIMMY WEBB-like motif to finish the song with. Great song though I wouldn't really call this Jazz-Rock Fusion--or even Jazz-Rock. (13.5/15)

Total Time 43:24

B+/four stars; an excellent album of well-crafted, superlatively-performed, and nicely-recorded Blues-Rock-moving- into-Jazz-Rock songs. Highly recommended to all lovers of progressive rock--especially if you're into the origins and development of Progressive Rock Music.

 Hannibal by HANNIBAL album cover Studio Album, 1970
4.00 | 14 ratings

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Hannibal
Hannibal Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 4.5 stars. Man this album just hits all the right notes for me I guess you could say. While the bio here says HANNIBAL formed from the ashes of BAKERLOO I'll not dispute that only saying that BAKERLOO's only album was done by a trio with one guest and none of those 4 musicians are on HANNIBAL's only album. They are a six piece with a vocalist, drummer, bassist, guitarist and horn player. The organ player Bill Hunt adds French horn and he will join ELO after this band disbanded in 1971. Yes this record was released in 1970 and it's a very consistent record, I mean I like every song here. The bio says this is horn rock? No is my opinion. There's no blasting horns here and when we get horns they are often dissonant and adventerous not just blasting away like CHICAGO and others. Adrian the guitarist is fantastic and he composed all the music except for the closer which was a group effort.

"Look Upon Me" the opener is my least favourite but it's still good. Inventive horns on this one after 3 minutes while the guitar takes the spotlight early on. "Winds Of Change" is about a breakup of sorts as he sings "Goodbye my friend..." on the chorus. Some emotional vocals here. The last four tracks are simply amazing beginning with "Bend For A Friend" with those steady beats and guitar to start as a horn and organ come and go. Some fuzz on that guitar before 3 minutes. He can play! A change at 5 minute as it gets jazzy. Slow paced organ a minute later then an adventerous horn solo.

"1066" is about being a servant and working really hard. A determined bluesy vibe to start with vocals. He has such character to his singing. Such a cool chorus too. Nice drum work around 4 minutes as the bass throbs. "Wet Legs" is such a good track with pulsating organ that is outstanding before 3 minutes. "Winter" is something I am thinking about right now in Canada even if I am about a five hour drive from Canada's southern most point. I love it here. But yeah like he sings, winter brings me down too and I'm not a fan of driving in the snow or dealing with the cold but I am so thankful to live here.

Some incredible Jazz Rock here from the UK that I will treasure. Again that singer really adds to the recording with his character filled voice.

 Hannibal by HANNIBAL album cover Studio Album, 1970
4.00 | 14 ratings

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Hannibal
Hannibal Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Igor91

4 stars Hannibal was a short-lived jazzrock band from England that morphed into existence from the band Bakerloo. Their sole, self-titled album featured jazzy rock with horns, similar to early Chicago and Blood Sweat and Tears. Hannibal, however, did have their own style within the genre. They leaned more heavily on the "rock" end of jazzrock. That's not to say that Hannibal did not have any jazz chops, they did, especially sax/clarinet player Cliff Williams and guitarist Adrian Ingram.

The album starts out with its weakest number, "Look Upon Me," which is a more straightforward brass rock attempt at a radio single. Not a bad song, but fairly generic. The remainder of the LP takes a rockier, and sometimes jazzier, direction. Williams lays down some excellent, jazzy soling at various junctures, and the band's playing is tight. Jack Griffits' bass and John Parkes' drums are high in the mix, providing a bottom-heavy groove for each track. Alex Boyce provides soulful, and sometimes animated, vocals which fits the music beautifully. Ingram's guitar work is very impressive on various tracks. His soloing jumps from jazzy to bluesy, often seamlessly within the same solo. At his jazziest, he reminds me at times of the late, great Alan Holdsworth. Yes, he is that good. Maybe not as good as Holdswoth, but Ingram had a similar soloing style, and was an astounding player in his own right.

The band would not last long after this release, their only album, but at least we have this gem from 1970 to listen back to. Not a very progressive effort, but a nice example of early jazz fusion from the UK. 4 stars.

Thanks to historian9 for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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