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Brand X - Moroccan Roll CD (album) cover


Brand X


Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.06 | 265 ratings

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3 stars The big names in Brand X'es line-up and the strong debut were good reasons to secure an extensive UK tour for the band.At the end of the year Brand X entered the Panavision room at Trident Studios, London to record their second album.This time the line-up was expanded with the addition of Morris Pert on percussion, leader of Sun Treader.The recordings were finished in January 77', the production was made by Dennis MacKay and ''Moroccan roll'' saw the light on Charisma Records in UK and Canada and Passport for the US market.

The tribal title and the addition of Pert offer enough suspicions for a slight change in style and the best example is the opening Ethnic-oriented ''Sun in the night'' with its Sanskrit lyrics, sung by Collins, and the extended sitar and percussion use, not really suitable to the band's aura.The rest of the album has well-hidden ethnic vibes as well, especially in some bass parts, but most of it offers the familar and airy Jazz/Fusion of Brand X, albeit in a smoother and more relaxed style, where dynamics are rather absent.There are also some dominant funky moves here and there, however ''Moroccan roll'' still possesses the virtuosic principles of ''Unorthodox behaviour'' with the work of Robin Lumley on synthesizers, piano and analog keyboards being trully efficient and John Goodsall delivering some really fine jazzy solos with his guitar.Brand X produce endlessly smooth interplays, fast paces and well-crafted instrumental solos, while Collins' drumming seems once again unmistakeable.A couple of bombastic tunes and more grandiose plays in an orchestral/pre-New Age mood proove the band's diversity, but there are seem also to be traces of a more compatible sound at moments with a pair of cheesy tunes or pale keyboard parts contained.

To my ears ''Moroccan roll'' is a quite uneven effort.It contains some of Brand X finest moments with flawless interplays and solos, but also some rather uninteresting and colorless tunes.Still the first outcome and later and the incredible technical sufficiency of the band make this one easily recommended.

apps79 | 3/5 |


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