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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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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
4 stars Second album from the ex-Purple screaming singer, this time with a slightly altered backing band line-op, where Colin Towns and his flute take over the keyboard slot, the other major change being that there is a horn section, often a bit embedded in the music as CAT is not a Glover production. Graced with a wasp-coloured spaceship on irs cover, the album is quite a different beast than its predecessor, as CAT is probably the only valid reason for IGB's presence in our beloved Archives. Indeed newcoming Collin Towns very jazzy feel on his keys seem to direct the whole group to a jazzier play on the 6 tracks (only).

After the excellent opening title track (where the brass section is caught in the sludge at first but gradually emerges at the end), comes another slightly jazzy Five Moons, but this time quite slow. The rockier Money Lender is obviously a shot at the leaches surrounding the group, whether service providers or eternal deadbeats, and without its middle jazzier section, this track could've found its place on a Purple album. Note that in concert, this track is strongly expanded as is the title track.

The funky/jazzy Over The Hill was another concert fave, but there are some disputable synth sounds, but we get some good old screams from Ian complete with a reworking of Smoke On The Water in its second part. One of the most bizarre tune on this album is the ultra-funky and percussion-laden Goodhand Liza, and it is followed by the Latino Manchenio, developing a South American feel and some very fusionesque soloing midway through the track. Santana's mid-70's is not far away from this. Certainly IGB's better album, it is also their proggiest by far and despite Gillan's singing on every track, it can safely be recommended to most fusion fans. It's a little sad that IGB could never duplicate or confirm this effort, though.

Sean Trane | 4/5 |


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