Thursday, 27 August 2009

Isotope “Illusion”


( LP Gull Records, UK, 1975 )
Catalog # GU-402V 1

A1 – Illusion
A2 – Rangoon Creeper
A3 – Spanish Sun
A4 – E-Dorian
B1 – Frog
B2 – Sliding Dogs, Lion Sandwich
B3 – Golden Selection
B4 – Marin County Girl
B5 – Lily Kong
B6 – Temper Tantrum

Personnel & Credits:
Bass – Hugh Hopper
Drums – Nigel Morris
Guitar – Gary Boyle
Keyboards – Laurence Scott
Producer – Poli Palmer

Recorded at Rockfield Studios, Monmouthshire
Stage Sound: Fran Caldwell
Engineer: Gary Martin

This is the second album by the jazz-rock british based quartet Isotope. Isotope is a strong fusion band with all the characteristics of a fusion band. While the recorded sound is a bit on the murky side, the performances more than compensate for it. Guitarist Gary Boyle really shines here, bringing together elements of Indian music (he was born in India originally), jazz, Hendrix and John McLaughlin with a tart, biting tone yet still having a unique warmth. Former Soft Machine bassist Hugh Hopper lends his distinct fuzz-bass sound to the proceedings and gives the songs a lot of extra bite and grit as well as being quite melodic in his own unique way. Drummer Nigel Morris seems to have found a precarious balance of technique and soul as he propels the tunes at a brisk pace, really LISTENING to the other musicians as opposed to just showing how fast he could play. Lawrence Scott provides understated keyboard support (mainly on Fender Rhodes) but doesn’t seem to feel comfortable going out on the edge as much as the other musicians do. If you enjoy a well balanced diet of melody, dense harmonies, fiery instrumental work and the FUZZIEST bassist in prog, give this a spin! Highly recommended for fans of jazz fusion.

By Celo

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