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

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Rats Live on No Evil Star CD/LP/Track Review
Rats Live on No Evil Star
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 9, 2018
Read We Two CD/LP/Track Review
We Two
by David A. Orthmann
Published: December 9, 2018
Read Angel Band: Free Country Vol. 3 CD/LP/Track Review
Angel Band: Free Country Vol. 3
by Peter Hoetjes
Published: December 9, 2018
Read The Complete Lansdowne Recordings 1965-1969 (Vinyl box set) CD/LP/Track Review
The Complete Lansdowne Recordings 1965-1969 (Vinyl box set)
by Roger Farbey
Published: December 9, 2018
Read The End of the Universe CD/LP/Track Review
The End of the Universe
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 9, 2018
Read Little Big CD/LP/Track Review
Little Big
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 8, 2018
Read "A Humdrum Star" CD/LP/Track Review A Humdrum Star
by Geno Thackara
Published: February 9, 2018
Read "Coast to Crossroads" CD/LP/Track Review Coast to Crossroads
by Mark Sullivan
Published: August 13, 2018
Read "The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Wrath" CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Wrath
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 6, 2018
Read "The People Could Fly" CD/LP/Track Review The People Could Fly
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 8, 2018
Read "Atwood Suites" CD/LP/Track Review Atwood Suites
by Jerome Wilson
Published: September 16, 2018
Read "Atody Man" CD/LP/Track Review Atody Man
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 9, 2018