Monday, 22 February 2010

Back Door - Back Door

Debut album from 1973 by this bass/drums/sax trio. All instrumental, this is a terrific display of musicianship by all three members - playing super-tight, punchy, proggy jazz rock for the most part. The drums and sax are both excellent, but the virtuoso bass of only surviving member Colin Hodgkinson is the real highlight, driving the sinewy melodies with some inspired percussive sounding picking and slapping, demonstrated by the dazzling ensemble playing on 'Catcote' - similar to the super-prog section of '21st Century Schizoid Man'. There are deviations - the gorgeous bass solo 'Lieutenant Loose' is splendid, the lyrical duo of bass and sax on 'Turning Point' is truly marvellous, and the flute and bass track 'Human Bed' grounds the band in the early 70s, sounding more like contemporaries Traffic. Sharp-eared listeners will spot a sample used by the Beastie Boys (on Paul's Boutique, I think) from 'Slivadiv', way back when this was a real obscurity. I actually paid £20 fro this on vinyl back in the early 90s - I was going to photograph the original artwork for this post, but I think it's been in my 'buried' vinyl stack since I got the timely cd re-issue back in 2000. Also the original artwork is not that great.
This is a real unique gem, and thoroughly enjoyable due as much to the good tunes as the playing. I recommend checking out some clips of Colin Hodgkinson on Youtube.


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