Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Fourth Way

Spied these cool  Japanese reissues over at featuring Kiwi Mike Nock, in early 70s jazz funk mode...

"A killer album from funky jazz combo The Fourth Way – one of the best groups of the progressive jazz era in America, thanks largely to the work of its excellent members! First to get big credit is Mike Nock – the Aussie [New Zealand] pianist who worked with Yusef Lateef in the mid 60s, and really came into his own by the time of this album – grooving on electric piano in a stone cold way that still sounds great today, and also doing wonderful on the acoustic keys. Next up is Michael White, one of the few jazz violinists to really know how to groove – and how to avoid getting too flowery at the wrong moments.

"The group's completed by a fantastic rhythm team – drummer Eddie Marshall and bassist Ron McClure, who plays a range of electrified basses! The album kicks off with the incredible break track "Everyman's Your Brother", and the whole thing's great – with tracks that include "Bucklehuggin", "Dance Of The Mechanical Men", "Openings", "Gemini Trajectory", and "The Sybil".

Werwolf: A seminal slice of jazz rock – recorded by Fourth Way at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1970! The group's greatest appeal at this point is the keyboard work of the great Mike Nock – playing Fender Rhodes here with a very raw sound, plus an Oberheim Ring Modulator – which sounds even wilder at times!

"The tracks are long and jamming – with some fairly free electric violin work by Michael White, and more grounded rhythms from drummer Eddie Marshall, alongside bassist Ron McClure – who really makes the tunes rumble! Titles include "Spacefunk", "Tierra Del Fuego", "Mesoteric Circle", and "Brown Rice".

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