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Brand X - Moroccan Roll CD (album) cover


Brand X


Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.06 | 265 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars Some 'fusion' albums suffer from technical overkill, and the same is true about certain standard jazz albums. Soloists simply keep jamming relentlessly, and this may seem an amazing display of energy, but the music doesn't take you anywhere. This problem doesn't exist on MOROCCAN ROLL, which (together with Weather Report's BLACK MARKET) must be one of the most poetic fusion albums ever made. It's easy to see why Eno borrowed some of Brand X's musicians on ANOTHER GREEN WORLD and BEFORE AND AFTER SCIENCE. Apart from executing superb solos on their respective instruments, all of this band's members are adept at creating sonic landscapes. Forgive me if I sound twee, but MOROCCAN ROLL really is the kind of album that takes you on a journey. Thus, Robin Lumley's "Collapsar" comes across as a superb bit of film soundtrack which is performed exclusively on jazzy/proggy keyboards. "Why should I lend you mine" is a fascinating eleven-minute band improvisation, nocturnal in feel and based on a spooky bass riff. It uses some of the techniques developed by Chick Corea's Return to Forever, but far surpasses Corea in loveliness and sensuality. The boisterous "Disco Suicide" features gorgeous piano solos by Lumley, and one of Phil Collins' best ever performances on drums. On "Malaga Virgen" Percy Jones gets the opportunity to shine on fretless bass, but the piece is also blessed with superb performances by Lumley (on mini moog this time) and by lead guitarist John Goodsall.

If you're interested in fusion, or non-vocal prog in general, this album should be top of your list. (There are two brief vocals on MOROCCAN ROLL, but they can safely be ignored.) If you're a Genesis fan, you really shouldn't miss some of Phil Collins' greatest moments. I've known this album for thirty years and it has never let me down - there's far too much going on! Definitely one of the highlights of the 1970s prog canon.

fuxi | 5/5 |


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