I have always found drummer Bill Bruford's solo music to be almost unclassifiable. There is a style very unique to Bruford and it affects(infects?) everything he does. More so in King Crimson and UK than Yes or Genesis. It's kinda rock, kinda jazz, kinda fusion, kinda out there and very progressive. What's especially unique is that he never loses the sense of melody in his music. Throughout the instrumental works Feels Good to Me and One of a Kind (the first two albums), the tunes are still memorable even to someone not especially interested in the complexity and ever changing time signatures we as a prog community hold so dear.
On his third album with essentially the same band, he introduces yet another element to his solo creations. The voice of Jeff Berlin. Berlin's bass playing is always friggin' phenomenal, as he demonstrates on the third track "Joe Frazier." Penned by Berlin, this voiceless track is jumpin' and constant. It moves! His vocals on the four songs that have lyrics are good, but may take some getting used to. Especially on tracks like "Age of Information" and "The Sliding Floor" the chemistry works to a great degree.
All eight of the songs on this CD are extremely listenable. The diverse keyboard work on Gradually Going Tornado is by Dave Stewart (National Health, w/Barbara Gaskin, NOT the Eurythmic). He does an excellent job keeping pace with the varied stylings and even shares writing credit with Bill on most of the songs. The piano work on "Palewell Park" almost reminds me of Dave Brubeck. I consider Brubeck's Time Out to be one of the all time classic jazz albums, so consider that a compliment.
Who is that doing a slavish imitation and taking the place of the first two albumís guitarist Allan Holdsworth? Why, "the unknown John Clark," that's who! This is how he is listed in the credits, and managed to stay unknown to me for quite some time. For years I thought it must be Holdsworth under a pseudonym for some reason, then I looked him up on the All Music Guide and found him playing with all kinds of different people. From our man Bruford to Vanessa Williams. His playing on this recording is excellent, any of you out there know if he did anything else of note in the prog or fusion field?
Although some were disappointed with Bill Brufordís direction on this album, Iíve always thought it was a great cross between his fusion style and the prog leanings of UK and King Crimson. Highly recommended.
Reviewed by Terry Jackson on February 7th, 2007