Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Colosseum - Time On Our Side, album review

Blues and Echos

This 2014 release from Colosseum, a few years in the making, isn’t the jazzrock echo of their 70s’ brilliance, but it is a bluesy reincarnation that resonates with some sense of history and reminds essentially what a great band it is, albeit the clientele having changed somewhat – Dick Heckstall-Smith with us no more, for example. Barbara Thompson, who had played with the earlier band and is of course married to drummer Jon Hiseman, takes on the saxophone duties and there are many sweet riffs as on opener Safe as Houses, a title embracing the band’s essence. Chris Farlowe is a wonderfully familiar growl across a number of the songs. Clem Clempson, who released his own fine solo album recently and reviewed here, Dave Greenslade and Mark Clarke continue as core members. Dick’s Licks is a fine tribute [I’m guessing], with Thompson playing her own swing blues, and there is a closing live version of Jack Bruce’s Morning Glory that has its own special echo, and great Thompson playing. One of the ‘prettier’ tracks is a lovely vocal harmony infused song City of Love. There are sweet combined guitar and sax lines to open, as well as guitar solo, and Farlowe injects his own distinctive vocal gravitas to his solo singing within the whole.

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