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Niacin - Deep CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.70 | 36 ratings

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4 stars Niacin is a trio of first rate musicians made up of a keyboardist (organ and piano), bassist and percussionist. Almost every song is instrumental, but there is one exception on this album - track 12 has guest vocalist Glenn Hughes of Deep Purple and guest guitarist Steve Lukather from Toto. The rest of the album is made up of amazing playing and all 3 band regulars are hugely talented. The bass runs rival Geddy Lee, the keyboard solos are right up there with Keith Emerson and the percussion rivals any drummer you can come with including Bill Bruford and Carl Palmer. The music can leave your heart pounding when you listen to the technicality going on here. The album is brimming with outstanding solos throughout. There is a lot of jamming going on around the melodies that are apparent on each track. This is amazing listening, for sure and it is definitely progressive jazz/rock fusion, probably relying on the rock side more than the jazz side, but don't worry if you love improvisation because it is all throughout this album.

The main issue I have with it, is that there is not a lot of variety. This would have easily been a 5 star album if there was more variety throughout the album, but as it is, most of the tracks are at the same whirlwind tempo and if you are not paying attention, the tracks seem to meld together. There is an early variation early on the album at the beginning of track 2 with an amazing slow tempo piano solo, but it gets interrupted about halfway through by a return to the same sound evident throughout the album. Another standout here is "Panic Button" which has a bass run that sounds like someone did hit the panic button and the bass is in full-fledged panic mode. With many listens, the melodies start to stand out more, but people looking for variety won't find much of that here. You will find a lot of jamming and top notch musicianship however. But, knowing what the instrumental lineup is, I think you can pretty much imagine how this is going to sound. Organ, bass, drums....quite basic lineup, but every player here is amazing.

This album is probably better in smaller doses because the formulaic playing starts to wear out after about 4 tracks, so 4 tracks at a time is about the recommended dosage for your daily intake of Niacin. So, 4 stars which are awarded because of the musicianship, but know that too much of a good thing can be "too much of a good thing".

TCat | 4/5 |


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