An unlikely, but terrific, unique collaboration
ajs | Princeton Jct., NJ United States | 05/11/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I disagree with the assertion that this is not for Towner fans.
It all depends on your expectations. I love this record because
it sounds like nothing else I own, yet the playing is very
familiar. It does not sound "ECM"ish; much fresher to my ears.I missed this when it first came out and am very glad
to have discovered it; a really unique-sounding record that
stands up to repeated listening. Reminds me of the first
time I heard Steps Ahead (the first Elektra album) in that sense;
perhaps it's Eddie Gomez' abilities that deserve more credit!"
Bruford is the key
TUCO H. | Los Angeles, CA | 10/01/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Here's yet another excellent album among many Bill Bruford has been associated with. He's the only ex-member of Yes to have produced consistently high-quality work for the past 30 years. Bruford may not have the super-chops of a Colaiuta, Weckl or Gadd but he's more clever than all of them. Far from being "out-of-his-league" as another reviewer suggests, he creates his own league and unique field of play for his formidable accomplices. He could easily try to show off with flash or worse yet try to play like a typical jazz drummer and have this record sound like so many hundreds of others and put all the pressure on Towner to make it work. Instead he penetrates these tunes like a Swiss watch that can melt and bend as in a Dali painting. Bruford sticks firmly to his calculated and finely-tuned un-loose style but this is the restraint he needs to slowly unwind his drumming art besides providing a unique strict-timed background for Towner and Gomez, especially Towner to feed off. This makes the record sound 'one-of-a-kind,' a perfect fusion and blend of styles rather than tied to any one discipline. All that wouldn't matter if the compositions weren't excellent and here you have them. Every track is a great piece played with consummate skill by all three players with just the right amount of looseness and improvisation to maximize its potential, if not quite maximizing it to the transcendent masterpiece level you might hear on Towner's "Solstice." The last track is kind of out-of-place with the rest of the material and a bit more rock-oriented and closer to the late-70s Bruford-Band material but still a fun listen and nice way to close the album with a bit of a bang. The sound quality on the album is way above the average and on par with ECM recordings although without the often suffocating sameness of high quality recording you hear on some of the ECM albums."