by David Pritchard



In the late '70s, guitarist David Pritchard was one of the most obscure artists to land on the Inner City label, and remains so even with the issuance on CD of this, his first recording. It's a pity the world never caught up to him, but now everyone has a second chance to appreciate this approach to fusion, which -- although derivative -- displayed virtuosity and depth of character beyond more seasoned professionals. The Los Angeles-based Pritchard wrote all of this music, which taps from the wellspring of groups like fellow West Coasters John Stowell, David Friesen, and Oregon. Electric bass guitarist Larry Klein really asserts his musical side on this recording apart from his studio work or an association with wife Joni Mitchell, while drummer Paul Kreibich is at this time a young, impressionable drummer whose talent is clear and present. Lesser-knowns -- saxophonist Charles Orena and keyboardist Ted Saunders -- round out this group that plays arranged and written compositions based on cohesion, teamwork, and spontaneous jam-type precepts. You can tell the five musicians really enjoy playing this stuff, particularly during the opening number, the faux road song "Black Moon," which conjoins melodic sax and guitar with shimmering keyboards and ostinato bass. The title track is more forceful and has a lot going on, as Pritchard's steely tone offers a sound that flanks the busy British Canterbury movement in shifting tides and a samba base. The elusive melody of the three-minute semi-ballad "Inner Voice" swims around the tension inherent in Klein's single held bass note; "Dry Lake" is the world fusion piece resembling Oregon with cascading acoustic guitar and the soaring soprano sax of Orena latticed across deft probing and repeated basslines; while "Glider" is the most jazz-oriented track, a nice waltz, less concentrated and representing an acoustic, stand-apart cut. The most developed composition is "Hotel Spirit," with distinct organic California overtones floating above clouds before merging to a static swing. Even more involved, "Mirage" starts in the underground with Orena's bass clarinet, using more patient constructs via the electric piano of Saunders, and moving into lighter jazz-rock that merges into more complexity that the band just can't resist, and dives into. Over the years this recording may have been forgotten, but upon a revisit, it's fresh, inventive, and charming, not to mention well played by this (then) young group of fledgling fusioneers. It's a recommended item worth searching for.

Product Details

Release Date: 08/17/2010
Label: Inner City Jazz
UPC: 0077712710473
catalogNumber: 1047

Album Credits

Performance Credits

David Pritchard   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,Steel Guitar
Patrice Rushen   Keyboards
Chester Thompson   Drums
Bruce Malament   Synthesizer
Freddie Hubbard   Trumpet
Michael Jochum   Percussion,Drums
Larry Klein   Bass,Electric Bass,Acoustic Bass
Paul Kreibich   Drums
Charles Orena   Saxophone
Charles Oreña   Bass Clarinet,Soprano Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Ted Saunders   Piano,Electric Piano

Technical Credits

James Mooney   Engineer
David Pritchard   Composer
Chase Williams   Producer
Irv Kratka   Executive Producer
Sidney Gross   Cover Painting

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