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Ian Gillan Band - Clear Air Turbulence CD (album) cover


Ian Gillan Band


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.82 | 69 ratings

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4 stars Wonder where I was with this one! I guess it had more to do with the fear of some Whitesnake clone creeping in through the Deep Purple door and never gave this a proper chance at all. It turns out that the content of this remarkable album lies in conspiring against the obvious and search out new musical horizons , strangely for Ian the Howler he opted for a jazz-rock format , more like Colosseum II than anything else .He chose to surround himself with some powerful second tier musical talents such as the devilish bass-meister and party-monster John Gustafson (ex-Quartermass and Roxy Music, among many others) , the delectable guitarist Ray Fenwick who crossed paths with Traffic cop Steve Winwood in Spencer Davis Group and Elf's Mark Nauseef who never quite showed this much yank flexible polyrythm on the Dio band's albums. The tunes are fringe progressive rock due to unknown Colin Towns keyboard and flute presence.

While the title track rolls along like a fizzling livewire , spewing out frizzy axe splashes and fussy singing by the Montreux man , welded together by some solid bass and drum work, the sloppy "Five Moons" is just an excuse for a savage sax blowout from Phil Kersie . "Money Lender" is more like Spooky Tooth-like in structure, Ian screeching (Goodness is he ever good at that, like only he can), funky clavinet punching through the brass backdrop, trumpets ablaze. The results are satisfying only because the track has been fleshed out by some zany soloing. "Over the Hill" stretches out further the basics, a fine Fenwick "Look, I can play like Carlos Santana" series of licks and then of course, you have Gillan "Look, I can shriek like Carlos Santana can play guitar", then toss in a slippery synth solo from the urbane Mister Towns (oooo, nasty pun!), some impromptu drum solo riffing from the Yank as well as some silly bass swirls and abrasive guitar ramblings that ultimately explode into a maddening solo. And what do you get? A cool song. Darn, I mentioned the Latino guitar phenomenon and ........TADDAAH on "Goodhand Liza", the band proposes something akin to the Journey debut album, when Gregg Rollie was still in charge and still carrying the Santana aroma with him , building a brash, spicy and polyrhythmic stew led by Gustafson's hectic bass . "Angel Marchenio" has a dreamy, funky tempo that provides a fine platform for a good story (his blood brothership with a Spanish gypsy dancer) and another thoroughly enjoyable instrumental expansion. I am glad that I finally got this and also ashamed it took me so long to get it.

Fully concur with the illustrious signora Raff, the title cut and Over the Hill are superb slices of just plain good music. But the rest is high quality funky music nevertheless.

Oh, one of the weirdest cover artworks ever which explains my >

4 Jewish bumblebee spaceships

tszirmay | 4/5 |


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