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Jazz Rock/Fusion • United States

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PLAYERS were an American fusion band from the late 80's, consisting of Scot HENDERSON of TRIBAL TECH, Steve SMITH (VITAL INFORMATION, JOURNEY), T LAVITZ of DIXIE DREGS, and bass player Jeff BERLIN known amongst other things for his work with Bill BRUFORD. They released their only record in 1987.

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4.09 | 3 ratings

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Showing last 10 reviews only
 Players by PLAYERS album cover Studio Album, 1987
4.09 | 3 ratings

Players Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars PLAYERS released this one album back in 1987 and it's Jazz/ Fusion all the way. A few of the tracks were recorded live as we can hear the audience. This short lived American band featured Jeff Berlin on bass, Scott Henderson on guitar, Steve Smith on drums and T. Lavitz on keyboards. Berlin is maybe the most known to Prog fans for his work with Bill Bruford, while Henderson was part of TRIBAL TECH, Smith has been on many albums including solo Holdsworth, while Lavitz played on the final four DIXIE DREGS albums. A stellar lineup and man is this well played. Yeah they're players all right.

"Crystal" is a relaxed opener with drums and keyboards standing out. It does turn more intense before 2 minutes with some nice drum work before it settles again to that earlier theme. The guitar kicks in at 3 1/2 minutes as the drumming becomes more intense. "Valentine" opens with drums and piano as the guitar and bass joins in. The guitar is really enjoyable here. We get a bass solo before 3 minutes. Nice. Drums and keys to the fore after 4 minutes then the guitar returns before 5 minutes. "50/" starts with a relaxed drum intro as the synths float in. Bass is next then laid back guitar before 2 minutes then it all picks up some.

"Vehicle" is uptempo with drums and keys leading the way. We get a drum solo before 2 minutes then the keys and bass join in. The bass is quite jazzy here. "Freight Train Shuffle" is live with lots of keys and steady drum work. This is the closest they get to funky. "Between Coming And Going" is again led by the keys and drums and I like when it settles some before 2 minutes as piano and bass come to the fore. The guitar starts to light it up 3 1/2 minutes in and the drums shine after 4 minutes. "The Creeping Terror" opens with bass and drums but eventually the guitar will start to solo over top. Some organ-like sounds here as well. "20,000 Players" features drums, bass and keys early on and the bass sounds amazing after 3 minutes. The guitar starts to light it up before 4 1/2 minutes.

I'm certainly not blown away by this album as it comes across as being a traditional Jazz/ Fusion album. I wish there was a some experimental stuff here or more atmosphere, but having said that this is highly rated by the majority and I'm impressed enough to offer 4 stars.

Thanks to historian9 for the artist addition.

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