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Tim Crowther is a well-kept secret when it comes to fiery fusion guitar work His playing here on Refusal to Comply is the epitome of high-energy. Riffs are explosive, driving, full of sustain and overdriven in raw power with phrasings to delight the hearts if any die-hard fusion head. This power trio of Crowther on guitar/guitar synth, Algy Ward on bass and Steve Clarke on drums calls back the huge sound accomplished by King Crimson on Red. Yet this not progressive rock as much as it is volcanic jazz rock. Crowther wails on wah-wah, ostinato bursts of unparalleled speed and legato leaps of John Mclaughlin wildness, all with Bill Connors flavored overdrive.
Song compositions are widely varied and pull the listener into rapt attention for fusion fusillades funneling forth and wispy vapor trails of quieter moments of anticipation. Each member writes tracks as well as they create in combination. The spirit of adventure runs rampant here with Clarke exploding on drums in a very Billy Cobham style. Crowther interprets sonic moods perfectly. To truly exhibit this trio's finesse they even cover The Mahavishnu Orchestra's "Celestial Terrestrial Commuters" from Birds of Fire ! Wow, Crowther and gang tear it up, the only thing missing was Hammerian Moog fills. This Crowther is flat-out awesome.
The remaining seven tracks are filled with wonderful power chords, open chords, killer lead breaks, and effects. This is a jazz rock fusion gem mine here. Catch a drum solo, get funked up, rocked out in distortion/wah-wah/angst riffage and massive attack and drones. All the good stuff of hard fusion just comes natural to these guys. Make sure you seek this rare release out if you like your fusion with some "bite". Highly recommended.
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.