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NIACIN

Jazz Rock/Fusion • United States


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NIACIN features John Novello on Hammond B3 organ & keyboards, Billy Sheehan on bass and Dennis Chambers on drums. All are seriously accomplished musicians and play everything from rock, funk, jazz, fusion, progressive and beyond. They are an instrumental group, so the focus is obviously on interesting composition and inspired improvisation. Yet the musical roots of the band's members go back to the late 60's and early 70's progressive rock giants with whom they are so often (and rightly) compared to, like:YES, GENESIS, EMERSON LAKE & PALMER, KING CRIMSON, TRAFFIC.

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Buy NIACIN Music


KrushKrush
Prosthetic Records 2013
Audio CD$7.16
$6.88 (used)
Niacin: Live In TokyoNiacin: Live In Tokyo
Multiple Formats · DTS Surround Sound
Eagle Rock Ent 2005
DVD$2.98
$1.97 (used)
Time CrunchTime Crunch
Magna Carta 2002
Audio CD$16.19
$7.50 (used)
High BiasHigh Bias
Stretch Records 1998
Audio CD$5.78
$2.39 (used)
Niacin Live: Blood, Sweat & BeersNiacin Live: Blood, Sweat & Beers
Image Entertainment 2000
DVD$24.95
$8.99 (used)
NiacinNiacin
Stretch Records 1997
Audio CD$16.70
$3.14 (used)
OrganikOrganik
Magna Carta 2005
Audio CD$7.68
$5.25 (used)
Live: Blood Sweat & BeersLive: Blood Sweat & Beers
Magna Carta 2003
Audio CD$8.52
$7.50 (used)
DeepDeep
Extra tracks
Magna Carta 2000
Audio CD$17.51
$5.94 (used)
LiveLive
Import [Generic] 1998
Audio CD$42.99
$17.84 (used)
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NIACIN shows & tickets


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NIACIN discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

NIACIN top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.24 | 22 ratings
Niacin
1996
3.26 | 26 ratings
High Bias
1998
3.38 | 21 ratings
Deep
2000
3.59 | 40 ratings
Time Crunch
2001
4.14 | 62 ratings
Organik
2005
3.55 | 22 ratings
Krush
2013

NIACIN Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.92 | 4 ratings
Live (Niacin)
1998
4.37 | 20 ratings
Niacin Live! Blood, Sweat and Beers
2003

NIACIN Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

3.41 | 4 ratings
Niacin Live: Blood, Sweat & Beers
2003

NIACIN Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

NIACIN Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

NIACIN Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 High Bias by NIACIN album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.26 | 26 ratings

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High Bias
Niacin Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars 1997 and the rising wave of Niacin shows a tremendous energy on the first live album of the trio ''Live!-Blood, Sweat & Beers'', released on Videoarts.The following year Sheehan, Novello and Chambers released the second studio album of the group, both on Videoarts and Chick Corea's Stretch label, entitled ''High bias''.

The album is moving again into organ-based Fusion realms, but surprisingly the trio shows again a huge amount of energy and passion, delivered in numerous compositions with strong nostalgic vibes, scanning the delicate, jazzier stuff of GREENSLADE and ending up in furious, jazzy interplays along the lines of WEATHER REPORT.And speaking of WEATHER REPORT, the second piece ''Birdland'' is actually a great cover on the Jazz/Fusion veterans' eponymous track from ''Heavy weather''.The music is again very technical with extreme care on the deep bass work of Sheehan and the drums of Chambers, producing pounding and dynamic grooves for Novello to unfold its undenied talent.From fast paces to more doomy passages, the man always fills the sound with amazing solos and lovely piano lines, scanning the territories from US Fusion to Latin Jazz.Really good stuff with very tight playing and some more ethereal parts added for good measure.The last track ''Hang me upside down'' was composed by CHICK COREA, who also performs on electric piano.This piece has very strong nods from the 70's-era of RETURN TO FOREVER and the combination with Novello's virtuosic organ washes is simply great.

One of the best Fusion bands of the recent age.A couple of keyboards and a accomplished rhythm section manage to unleash an album full of pleasant, delightful and very energetic instrumental music.Strongly recommended.

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 Krush by NIACIN album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.55 | 22 ratings

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Krush
Niacin Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Oreste

3 stars This is a good album but nothing more. Billy, John and Dennis make their excellent job but not with the usual innovative and brilliant energy. Mixing the jazz, progressive rock and funk can be difficoult and exciting, giving to the players for first , and to listeners then, terrific, amazing results. Today this album, looks like to be a job, well done, but at the end only a job. All the tracks are without the primeval energy of creation, that these guys have shown in the past. The sound is always the same, the technicals are excellent, the a-solos are a bit repetetives and the tracks are built around poor ideas, poor contents. For me this album shows exactly what happens when the capabilities are counting more than the ideas: great job, no feelings. Said that, Krush is anyway a good album, but not in their best, deserves 3 stars for me.

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 High Bias by NIACIN album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.26 | 26 ratings

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High Bias
Niacin Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Oreste

4 stars This is a great album. In the earing of this album, beyond the capabilities of the players and theirs virtuosisms not in dicussion with these guys, you may ask yourself what kind of music is. This question looks to be useless, and maybe at the end it is, but is what we usually do trying to classify music: the answer slips away like sand through the fingers. That's why Niacin show us a mix of differents genres keeping the best from each one, achieving the goal to be always new track after track. Is that really important? Exploring the branches of differents genres, melting and rebulding them in a new flavour, means to dare himselves to give us a such terrific sound. I think that the real class for Niacin is "progressive fusion", one of the best results on this hard path ever heard, never boring: a real joy for ears. . For me deserves 4+

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 Live  (Niacin) by NIACIN album cover Live, 1998
3.92 | 4 ratings

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Live (Niacin)
Niacin Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Joćo Paulo

4 stars A great live performance of this American band. The original songs are very good in live context. A new version of Prince Purple Rain that is nothing special but in general this a very good album. The intrument that we listen in all this live context is keiboards (organ) that are great and give a seventies remember sound. A great drums solo a great bass work. First time I listen this album I like the ritm and first music is an example of that. If you like a sound like Gentle Giant in some organ parts and a positive music you like this album. I like and I give 4 stars

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 Organik by NIACIN album cover Studio Album, 2005
4.14 | 62 ratings

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Organik
Niacin Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Ovidiu

5 stars ORGANIK is another breathtaking demonstration of the outstanding qualities of the 3 musicicns which compose this fabulous trio of virtuosos-NOVELLO-CHAMBERS and SHEEHAN!This new album doesn't bring nothing special compared to the previous ones-all are stellar and amazingly impressive,so this album doesn't have any surprise-you get what you expect,that;s for sure!It's a tornado of rhythms in the most spectacular way possible!I can imagine that for guys which intent to start learning and practicing an instrument,when they make a first audition of no matter what NIACIN albums,they will cut their fingers off!Here comes the natural gift of NOVELLO,CHAMBERS and SHEEHAN,but also the prove that musicianship and technical skills atone atomic level is the fruit of hardworking musical practice developed in years!It's unbelieveble how only 3 musicians and without the help of any guitar can sound sometimes so aggressive and complete to admit that we don't even need the presence of a guitar!Some really crypted songs like KING KONG or HAIR OF THE DOG are pure demonstration of unbelieveble musicianship ,but the rest are more song orientated!In this genre,-BASS-DRUMS and KEYS we think ,of course to the giants EMERSON-LAKE AND PALMER and BARBARIANS @ THE GATE is a tribute to the legendary trio,and we can make also comparaisons with Johansson Brothers with Jonas Hellborg-the album E is fabulous,and NIACIN come with a more modern touch,including mostly funk elements but the basic is definitelly fusion music!It's difficult to say which musician is making the biggest impression,all are equals in their fantastic musical skills,so all I can say is that ,at a certain level NIACIN is music only for musicians!In fact,they don't have anything to prove anymore,NIACIN is only a bunch of good friends,which,from time to time,meet each other and play..play...play!The final result is each time impressive. 5 LOGICAL STARS for another killer instrumental fusion album made by 3 giants of today's music!

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 Time Crunch  by NIACIN album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.59 | 40 ratings

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Time Crunch
Niacin Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by horsewithteeth11
Prog Reviewer

4 stars If you're looking for crunchy, semi-psychedelic jazz fusion, you've come to the right place.

I say that because there's plenty of the stuff found in this album. I actually got it off of a recommendation from a friend of mine who is a big Niacin fan, and he told me to start here. After listening to it several times intently, I can see why he said so. This is quite an amazing album. With a trio consisting of Billy Sheenan, Dennis Chambers, and John Novello, you should already have a general idea of what the music is going to sound like. The Hammond Organ, bass, and drums are all very powerful. The soloing especially from Sheenan on his bass is pretty mind-blowing, and the organ has a noticeable similarity to ELP in it. A really good reason for a prog fan to be interested in starting here with Niacin would be the cover of King Crimson's Red, which I have to admit, is pretty interesting as far as cover songs go. That song, Stone Face, Daddy Long Leg, and Blue Wind are the tracks that stand out the most to me.

This album however does have a few weaknesses. Many of the songs start to sound fairly similar after a period of time and (this is something that I usually don't complain about) because of this, the album probably could have done well without being this long. Otherwise, if you enjoy instrumental music and want to hear psychedelic inspired jazz fusion that I can only describe with the word "crunchy", then this is a 4 star album you'll definitely want to check out.

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 Organik by NIACIN album cover Studio Album, 2005
4.14 | 62 ratings

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Organik
Niacin Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by MovingPictures07
Prog Reviewer

4 stars If you want funky instrumental jazz fusion, it's hard to find anything that is as solid as this release!

11 tracks make up this record (13 if you're lucky enough to have the bonus tracks), and every single track is well-composed and features the combination of Novello's groovy Hammond sounds, Chambers's impeccable jazzy drumming, and Sheehan's driving bass work. The trio manages to craft a very solid instrumental work, which each song working together as a whole album and also strongly on their own.

The album runs to about 62 minutes, so if you're not in a jazzy mood, they can grow monotonous towards in the end in one sitting; but that's based purely on how much you are into instrumental and jazz music. Also, because of the nature of the music, compositions, and length, this sometimes feels like a collection of really good songs, rather than one cohesive album that can be split up. Nonetheless, it is hard to find any other faults with this album, and that's just nitpicky.

It is unique, well-written, and definitely full of jazz and prog crunchiness. Check this out if you want to hear some fusion!

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 Niacin by NIACIN album cover Studio Album, 1996
3.24 | 22 ratings

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Niacin
Niacin Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Moatilliatta
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Niacin's debut is a bit shaky, but it isn't bad. The trademark Niacin sound is already apparent with Novello's groovy B3, Sheehan's running basslines and Chambers' skillful drumming. Unfortunately, the tunes are a bit more relaxed on this record, and the songs get boring as time passes, especially due to the monotony of the sound. Niacin's more recent works, Time Crunch and Organik, are much more energetic and interesting, though I would say that the album following this one, High Bias is a pretty solid release too. The performances are all good, but in the big picture, the album is rather dull and the compositions aren't as refined or diverse as their future ones are. To a listener new to Niacin, this will still sound like a very hard-rockin' jazz fusion group, but they should know that it gets better! The highlights would be the opener "No Man's Land," which includes an nod to Return to Forever's "Space Circus" and the aggressive "Bullet Train Blues."

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 Niacin by NIACIN album cover Studio Album, 1996
3.24 | 22 ratings

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Niacin
Niacin Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Atavachron
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Chambers, Novello and Sheehan's first is quite unlike the Niacin albums that came later, and has as much in common with the vintage rhythm 'n blues, soul-jazz and gospel rock of Jimmy Smith as the prog/fusion this trio is routinely lumped in with. A more immediate, emotional and warmer quality is achieved here, the three players sounding like they'd be right at home in church on Sunday morning as much as in a dimly-lit jazz club late the night before. It's groovy, man, and the whole thing feels like you've accidentally wandered into the greatest casual jam session you'll ever witness. 'No Man's Land' is a cooker and a healthy five minutes of great organ rock, 'Do a Little Dirty Work' funks, quiet instrumental ballad 'I Miss You (Like I Miss the Sun)', and soulful reflections in piano showcase 'One Less Worry'. Flat-out gospel stomper 'Three Feet Back' steals the show, John Novello making his mark as an important voice in rock organ, supported by the next, the hard-bopping 'Bullet Train Blues', catchy beats of 'Klaghorn', fascinating Stravinsky fugue jazz in 'Spring Rounds' and hearty 'Paydirt'.

Possibly a bit more rooted in the infectious swing of black American music than many progsters expect and though I would recommend their 2005 release 'Organik' over this, 'Niacin' is a fine debut from one of the best progressive jazz-rock ensembles of our time.

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 Niacin by NIACIN album cover Studio Album, 1996
3.24 | 22 ratings

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Niacin
Niacin Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by js (Easy Money)
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin

3 stars Niacin shows a lot of potential on their first release, but they also expose some areas that could use improving. They play heavy 90s jazz rock fusion with the emphasis on rock. Different songs showcase a variety of influences including 70s ELP, funk, blues, 70s hard rock and straight ahead jazz. Everyone on this CD is an excellent musician and the songs are tight and energetic, but there are some problems that need to be dealt with.

One of the main problems with Niacin is their monotonous sound. Every single song is bass, drums and B3 with some occasional piano in the background. They rarely use any effects or studio tricks of any kind. Basically this CD sounds like a live gig without the energy and ambience of a live gig. On the very last song they run the B3 and bass through echo and reverb and end up with a song that is a breath of fresh air after all the sameness.

The other main problem is John Novello's inability to sustain a long solo. His solos are short and usually consist of quick memorized runs or repeated 4 or 5 note riffs. In the liner notes Novello lists some of his favorite players including Jimmy Smith, Brian Auger and Jon Lord. Ironically, these three are considered some of the best organists at playing a long solo. Each one is a master at piling phrases on top of each other as the solo builds in energy. It is possible that Novello is not interested in long solos, but I think that is what a lot of people are looking for in this style of music.

This is a really good band and they play hard. If you don't mind the short solos and predictable sound texture this might be worth checking out.

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