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Gary Boyle - Step Out CD (album) cover


Gary Boyle


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.17 | 5 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars -- First review for this album --

Guitarist Gary Boyle was born in India, 1941. In the early sixties he attended the Leeds College of Music in the north of England. Before releasing his solo debut album in 1977, Boyle had played and recorded with many kinds of artists, e.g. Dusty Springfield, Bert Jansch, Keith Tippett and Stomu Yamash'ta, and had founded his own fusion group Isotope in 1973. So deservedly his solo career got a good start: he was voted New Star in the Melody Maker Poll and his debut The Dancer won the Pop/Jazz Award at the Montreux International Jazz Festival.

Step Out is Boyle's third solo album. The line-up consists of himself (guitars), Paul Birchall (keyboards), Gary Culshaw (bass) and Graham Dean (drums). There are also some Scandinavian guest musicians involved, most notably Stefan Nilsson on Prophet-5 synthesiser. The album was recorded in Denmark if I'm not mistaken. The opening piece 'Jeanie's Dance' is light-hearted funk-jazz. The basic groove stays pretty constant except for some happy little bursts with semi- soloing. 'Numb Thumb' is also based on a funky groove, and especially the keyboard solo feels delightful. 'Step Out' continues in the similar fashion. The rhythm section plus percussionist Jacob Andersen do great job and the staccato piano playing makes you smile. Some of the 36-minute album's eight compositions perhaps lack the final spark. Boyle's guitar is of course always there but often in a very democratic spirit.

Finally on 'Periscope' the electric guitar steals the show with fast and virtuotic soloing. 'Fuchi C Pesta' has a Latin feel in its fast tempo. At this point the listener probably starts to crave for something mellower, and the wish is fulfilled with beautiful 'Thinking of You' featuring lovely flute work from Bjrn J:son Lindh. My countryman Jukka Tolonen and his more romantic compositions on albums such as Summer Games would serve as a good reference. 'Gitte' is the other number to feature the flute, albeit in a smaller role and in a lively funk groove environment. The final piece 'So Many Times Before' is a slowish song featuring Gary Boyle on vocals too. His vocals are very pleasant and the relaxed, slightly romantic song is a great way to end this enjoyable album.

This album isn't the most original creation of its genre, but it's warmly recommended for the friends of funk-flavoured fusion. 3 stars rounded down for the shortness and a slight feeling of sameness in the groove especially on the a side. But nevertheless this is a happy listening with excellent musicianship.

Matti | 3/5 |


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