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


Ian Gillan Band


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.81 | 67 ratings

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Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Clear Air Turbulance, Ian gillan Band's sophomore release was my first contact with the ex Deep Purple vocalist solo work. And I was very surprised how he changed his approach to music after so many years away from the business. Instead of the hard rock/heavy metal sound of his former band, what we have here is a mix of funk, soul, R & B, gospel, jazz rock/fusion with just a bit of hard rock for good measure. the result is strinking similar of that of another ex DP member Glenn Hughes (on Play Me Out, released that very same year). Both take black music as the basis for their work, although Hughes tends to be a bit traditional, while Gillan definitly takes a more experimental, jazz-rock direction.

Having said that (and once you recover from the initial shock) you'll find that the album is really outstandly good. Gillan knows what to do: his voice is still in great shape, powerful and surprisingly versatile. The band is a chapter apart, since he could hardly have chosen more capable musicians for what he had in mind. John Gustafson and Ray Fenwick were both veterans of the british R&B scene since the 60's, so it is no surprise they could handle their jobs. The good news are the relatively newcomers Mark Nauseef (drums) and Colin Towns (keyboards and flute), both extraordinaire players. Towns, specially, is shining throughout the CD, using for great effect his instruments, like the Fender Rhodes electric piano and the Clavinet. His synth solos are also of notice and his flute playing is quite outstanding too.

All tracks are good, with long instrumental passages (often beefed up with a brass section). Highlights for me are the title track, the beautiful ballad Five Moons and Over The Hill. Production is quite good for the time and the band is tight and creative. This is really a team efford, not a solo album. It was just a shame those guys never got the recognition (and commercial sales) they deserved. This is probably IGB best and most progressive work. And although I'm not really a fan of funk or jazz rock this is really those records that defy categorization, being an excellent musical efford. Highly recommended.

Tarcisio Moura | 4/5 |


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