This band of jazz/progressive-rock and jazz-fusion legends is captured live via a 1979 concert filmed at Oxford Polytechnic, England. Interestingly, this black & white footage signifies only one of two appearances set forth by this band. Clocking in at a stingy forty-two minutes, we take what we can get, but the benefits far outweigh the brief duration.
Drumming hero Bill Bruford commandeers the musicians while using ultra-thin, Roto-Toms incorporated into his drum-kit, to complement an array of gongs, and cymbals. Renowned for his ‘70s work with progressive-rockers; King Crimson, Yes and Gong, this unit marked the advent of Bruford’s solo career, as this concert was enacted prior to his One Of A Kind LP. He’s clearly the traffic director, where he generates crisp triple-stroke snare rolls, and his now infamous manner of executing a backbeat with off-kilter accents and snappy, polyrhythmic fills.
Allan Holdsworth’s whammy bar technique and legato lines provide credence to his guitar-god status. Classic riffing and flashy outbursts are part of the game-plan, featuring bassist Jeff Berlin’s innovative technical prowess and Dave Stewart’s beefy, analog synth lines. And dynamics are in abundance evidenced by bouncy works such as "Beelzebub," and "5G."
With his Winterfold Records label, Bruford has reissued ‘70s solo endeavors and his duet LPs with Swiss keyboardist Patrick Moraz. This DVD in particular, offers a rare glimpse of a band that was short-lived, but well-loved. The drummer’s compositions are designed upon thrusting progressive-rock motifs, whimsical melodies and knotty time signatures. In addition, the members receive ample soloing space, caught rather effectively with zoom, pan and overhead shots. But what transferred warmly to the original LP seems a bit out of place on this date, when vocalist Annette Peacock performs on two pieces subsequently presented on the "Feels Good To Me," outing. On these tracks, she sports a sultry, jazz-diva gait interspersed with anthem-like melodies, sanguine passages and blitzing rock lines. Consequently, her quirky (and sometimes out-of-tune) phrasings are generally shrouded under the band’s high-impact sound and stage presence. Yet, the historical implications of this highly-entertaining biopic cannot be undermined. Rock earns a Masters here....