What can I say? In my opinion, when this was recorded on March 7th 1979? It is truly one of the best lineups Bill ever played with. And if you know anything of progressive rock history, that really is saying a lot.
Allan Holdsworth? Even influential rock guitarist Edward Vanhalen looks upon him as god. Of the many Dave Stewarts in rock music, this keyboardist has perhaps the best prog credentials. His talent established them with the Canterbury scene and bands like Egg, National Health and Hatfield and the North. Jeff Berlin? Very few bass players can lock in this tight and not let go, no matter what is happening around them, the way he can. And he still comes up with memorable licks in this esteemed company.
Some favorites the band plays on this CD (which is also available from Winterfold on DVD) are “Beezlebub,” and both parts of “Sahara of Snow.” Part two is where Holdsworth pulls off a performance that just blows me away. Can this truly be live? The man deserves his legendary status.
Bill Bruford is a prog icon and one of the most individual voices in this field of music. His performance is convincing here, and consistently spot-on. Jeff Berlin is always spectacular, rumbling and rollicking along, a real monster of the bass. Of the two songs with guest vocalist Annette Peacock, I like “Goodbye to the Past,” although “Back to the Beginning” has yet another amazing Holdsworth solo. I love the last song “5G,” it gives Dave Stewart a chance to shine and is a nice way to close out the album.
This music is truly one of the best examples of a marriage between rock music and jazz that you’re likely to find. You’ve got four incredible players recorded at the top of their game. You’ve got a few of the best songs from the first two excellent Bruford recordings, Feels Good to Me and One of a Kind. Why wouldn’t you want to own it?
Reviewed by Terry Jackson on January 24th, 2008