even including one of his compositions, "Over Birkerot," from Odyssey (ECM, 1975). The enhanced gunslinger performance is warranted, to meet the demands thrown up by Maguire and his armory of keyboards, blasting out turbulent Cecil Taylor
. For prog fans that come onboard for the presence of Caravan/Hatfield and The North bassist/vocalist Richard Sinclairwho appears on a few tracksbe forewarned that the majority of Never Pet a Burning Dog contains highly steroidal chops, demanding above-the-norm patience and active listening. The opening melodic whispers of Sinclair on "Corale di San Luca," over a calm floating tempo, only serve as a red herring for what is to come.
The overdriven keyboards and guitar on "Laughter" mesh to form patches of electrical storm. Ironically, there is an eye in that storm on "Passing Cloud"Sinclair's fully fleshed-out vocals reemerging in a last cameo over a lush bed of Fender Rhodes and mellotron, sans guitarbut Deville and Maguire crash right back into the game on "Cosmic Surgery." Most of the original compositions serve as flight plans that guide the almost competitive velocity of Maguire and Deville, but Biancothe American in the mixmeets them in their fusionist duel, injecting and countering with his overall jazzier ethos on his own contribution, "Aeon."
Despite the influences and references, this is 21st Century progressive jazz rock that pushes to escape the gravity of the familiar. This is by no means humorous music, but rather an exhibition of possibilities beyond Canterbury. There is a certain sense of confidence in douBt's style that suggests there is yet more to be said. Demanding music for demanding times.
Track Listing: Corale di San Luca; Laughter; Over Birkerot; Sea; Passing Cloud; Cosmic Surgery; Aeon; Beppe's Shelter.
Personnel: Alex Maguire: Fender Rhodes piano, Hammond organ, mellotron, synth; Michel Delville: electric guitar, Roland GR-09; Tony Bianco: drums; Richard Sinclair: vocals (1, 5); bass guitar (1, 2).