All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

794

Lucas Pickford and Steve Hunt: Blown Fuse

Todd S. Jenkins By

Sign in to view read count
Red-hot fusion explorations that draw strongly from the genre’s past peaks. Lucas Pickford is an up-and-coming bass wizard who has found his own voice amid the saturating influences of Jaco, Stanley Clarke, Jonas Hellborg and Jeff Berlin. Pickford is indebted to all the above but derivative of none. Here he partners with keyboardist Steve Hunt, who has worked prominently with Billy Cobham, Allan Holdsworth and other major fusion players. The results, recorded at Hunt’s home studio, provide an impressive overview of where fusion came from and where it’s headed.

John McLaughlin is clearly a profound influence on all the performing parties. The exotic flavors of Mahavishnu abound in several tracks (“Ikshvaku”, “Arjuna Speaks”), and an excellent cover of McLaughlin’s “The Wish” features Pickford on both sarod and bass. He, Hunt and percussionist Vinay Kantak do a fine job of navigating the tune’s demanding rhythmic shifts. This music requires an unfathomable degree of concentration and fine listening skills, which the players share in spades. “Ikshvaku” is a masterpiece that easily blends the colors of India and Weather Report. “Mysterious Passage” is itself a loving homage to Weather Report, composed by the bassist. Jaco’s fleet-fingered bass style is admirably recalled, and Hunt plows the mysteries of Joe Zawinul’s keyboard textures with equal aplomb. The absence of a saxophone keeps the tune from veering from homage to imitation. “Croaker” is more in the Cobham camp, wherein drummer Steve Michaud holds forth admirably.

It’s nice to find a fusion album that doesn’t rely too heavily on guitar pyrotechnics. Only four of the tracks have any guitar at all, and only on “Croaker” and “Mr. Crum” does Tim Miller really set the strings ablaze. This is really Pickford’s show from stem to stern, and the bassist does not disappoint. His high-range rapidity on “Panic Attack” renders moot the lack of a guitar. For his part, Hunt is sensible to not toss around the kind of ostentatious cheese that made us all hate keyboards by the end of the 80s. Keyboardist Dow Brain joins in on two tracks, “Panic Attack” and “Hot Shot”, weaving some blissful Rhodes sounds into the mix. “Smatter” leans a little toward Miles’ 70s funk at first, then scoots away from the darkness into fun funkiness.

Blown Fuse is what fusion is really all about, what keeps its older fans satisfied and its younger fans hopeful for the future. Steve Hunt remains a treasure, and Lucas Pickford is definitely a man to watch. Simply outstanding.

(Available at http://www.lucaspickford.com as of December 10, 2001)


Track Listing: Mysterious Passage; Ikshvaku; Croaker; Arjuna Speaks; Mr. Crum; Panic Attack; Smatter; Peck It; The Wish; Hot Shot.

Personnel: [Collective:] Lucas Pickford, basses, sarod; Steve Hunt, synths, electric guitar, programming; Charles Haynes, Steve Michaud, drums; Vinay Kantak, tablas, djembe, vocals; Tim Miller, guitars; Dow Brain, keyboards.

Title: Blown Fuse | Year Released: 2001

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Decay Of The Angel CD/LP/Track Review
Decay Of The Angel
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 14, 2018
Read Encontros - Orquestra Atlantica CD/LP/Track Review
Encontros - Orquestra Atlantica
by Chris Mosey
Published: August 14, 2018
Read Sorrows & Triumphs CD/LP/Track Review
Sorrows & Triumphs
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: August 14, 2018
Read Od Ponedelnik CD/LP/Track Review
Od Ponedelnik
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: August 14, 2018
Read Coast to Crossroads CD/LP/Track Review
Coast to Crossroads
by Mark Sullivan
Published: August 13, 2018
Read Body CD/LP/Track Review
Body
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: August 13, 2018
Read "Ellipse" CD/LP/Track Review Ellipse
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 23, 2018
Read "Gnosis" CD/LP/Track Review Gnosis
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 27, 2017
Read "Discussions" CD/LP/Track Review Discussions
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 20, 2017
Read "Dr. Quixotic's Traveling Exotics" CD/LP/Track Review Dr. Quixotic's Traveling Exotics
by Karl Ackermann
Published: May 5, 2018
Read "Tokyo 1981" CD/LP/Track Review Tokyo 1981
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 12, 2018
Read "Still Dreaming" CD/LP/Track Review Still Dreaming
by Geannine Reid
Published: June 24, 2018