These warhorses have been around a long time, hail from long-esteemed ensembles, and have few troubles vending their discs and concerts where'er they go (in this case, Holland, attracting people from all Europe once the gig was posted). The occasion was a tour of the well-received Seven Moons studio disc and, of course, a generous sampling of the backlog from Cream and elsewhere, including a cut, Carmen, issued by the 70s BLT (Bruce / Lordan / Trower) trio, co-written by Trower and Procol Harum's inkslinger Keith Reid.
In cases such as this, I oft instruct people where to start the disc in order to locate its center and work outwards. Here, surprisingly, given how the tune's been done to death in ten gigabazillion covers, that core is Sunshine of Your Love, where Trower and Bruce both pull out marvelous solos prompting Jack to state "Now we're beginning to get somewhere!". Carmen follows, with its thick bluesy lament vibe below Bruce's classically operatic wail, reminding the listener of the first three Trower solo LPs, classics all.
The word for this CD is 'stately'. Neither fiery nor lowballing the energy, the gents are enjoying a comfortable space to work from, diplomats of the idiom and plainly still in their powers. Don't expect to have your head taken off and certainly do not imagine they've already said it all before this. The compositions are literately adventurous, more concerned with subtlety and atmosphere than showcases of well-proven bravura. What they're actually doing is taking the 60s / 70s sense of composition further, extending the intelligence, prizing the quietly unorthodox, and treasuring an era that still resonates so strongly…themselves two prime exponents of its very zenith.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2009, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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