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Manfred Mann Chapter Three - Manfred Mann Chapter Three CD (album) cover


Manfred Mann Chapter Three


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.77 | 61 ratings

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4 stars A quintessential record in the jazz-rock territory.

First off, this is not a very accessible record. Mike Hugg's vocals came completely out of nothing to me, the sax solos were like ear sodomy at first, and some of the songs just felt stretched or out-of-place. But after a couple of listenings, I started to appreciate it's oddities and the overall sound.

Compared to jazz-rock records of that time, like the heavily improvisational and composed HOT RATS, or the more pop/rock oriented CHICAGO (II), Manfredd Mann Chapter Three offers a different kind of dark, droning, modal style. This is established in pieces such as ''Travelling Lady", "Snakeskin Garter", "Time", and "Konekuff" which all have some superb brasswork, not to mention the organ solo in "Snakeskin Garter" by the man himself, beautiful stuff. Still, the general style tends to repeat, so some dull feelings can surface; "Devil Woman" and "A Study In Inaccuracy" particularly dont do much for me.

There is, however, a counterpart of shorter, easier songs. "Sometimes" and "Ain't It Sad" are both lighter numbers with a folk-ish feel to them. The major difference is that "Ain't It Sad" is a bare 2-minute filler, and "Sometimes" is somewhat decent with it's introspective lyrics and mellow feeling, albeit nothing special. The pop rock number "One Way Glass" is pretty pointless, but nothing hard to endure. But the jazz-ballads "You're Better Man Than I", and "Where Am I Going" are among the stronger tracks; both of them have some genuine vibes, methinks.

Not the easiest record to digest, but it truly is a gem in it's in own right. 7.8/10

rotosphere | 4/5 |


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