Monday, 7 February 2011


I'm not going to become all hypocritical and say I am or was a big fan of Gary Moore's work: I wasn't; I'm not.
But this is truly a shit-hot beast of an album, and Moore added an awful lot to make it so.

Long before the major success of 'Parisienne Walkways' and some well selling blues albums, Gary Moore played hard-rock jazz fusion with the outfit Colosseum II; part two of drummer extraordinaire Jon Hiseman's original proggers Colosseum.

Colosseum II were far the better band; losing a lot of vocal and concentrating on hardening up a genre that was rapidly becoming far too muso for its own good.

The opening track is played completely flat-out, not quite John Abercrombie, but not far off; Moore playing some blistering notes with very quick fingers; encapsulating the fusion sound of that time; you know, kind of Alan Holdsworth (U.K.) or John Goodsall (Brand X); both artists in fact who made music comparable to Colosseum II; but with Hiseman leading from the kit, Colosseum II's sound was far more dynamic and kick-ass: they didn't noodle or pussyfoot around so much; they just got down to it.

'Desperado' is the standout track for me; it really does everything you want hard-rock jazz fusion to do.
And it does it with much gusto.

Moore's big track is 'Rivers', essential for all those who value his music.
It's a big anthemic track, the only vocal on the album - which Moore sings - and he plays a tastefully subdued legato solo at its centre.
He could certainly cut it, and he didn't need to be ostentatious.
Satriani he wasn't.
(If he was he wouldn't be on here, that's for sure!)

But it must be said, all the guitar parts and solos on this album are incredibly well constructed and well played; he really found a niche here, but he was obviously a fidget, and other things beckoned.

This is now a rare piece it seems, so I'm glad to share it; and I think it makes for a fitting tribute to the man's art.

Man, those notes!
May they live on.


Colosseum II - Electric Savage (1977)

Put It This Way
All Skin and Bone
The Scorch
Am I
Intergalactic Strut

Immaculate vinyl rip @320kbs
Savage fusion here


icastico said...

reminds me most of The Dixie Dregs.

roy rocket said...

Now they were cerebral!
Know what you mean, though.

. said...

"Valentyne Suite" has been one of my permanent albums since it was released. You say this line-up is better? Hmmmm ... thanks for giving me the opportunity to hear it!

roy rocket said...


. said...

I love it. Very different to Valentyne Suite, different band, different sound, but great. Surprised by what a shredder Gaz could be. Yay!

(Anyone interested in full-tilt heads-down no-nonsense jazzrockfusion should also pick up the incredible Mahavishnu soundboards from '73, now get-attable through the majesty of the internets.)