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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Michael Franklin and Timothy Franklin


Review by Gary Hill

This album is pretty amazing. Michael Franklin (bass) and brother Timothy Franklin (keyboards) have gathered together a group of musicians that includes the Tower of Power horns, Billy Cohbam, Larry Coryell (R.I.P.) and many more to produce a great instrumental album. It fits pretty firmly under fusion, but is not content to exist just under that heading. It's dynamic, diverse and always effective.

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Track by Track Review
This is a powerhouse fusion jam that just oozes cool, style and class. I love the funky bass work on this. This also includes some smoking hot keyboard work.
The Wall
This is a slower groove that a little less fusion leaning. It's no less effective, though.
Ave for Josephine
A balladic cut, this has pretty melodies. The bass manages to really shine on it via an exploration later in the piece. Symphonic string elements are a great touch, too.
A classical music meets prog concept is in play at the start of this cut. The track fires out into some scorching hot fusion from there. This is more pure prog than some of the other stuff here. In fact, a section that has some organ soloing really makes me think of Emerson Lake and Palmer. There is a smoking hot electric guitar solo after that. Tehre is also an amazing bass solo that ensues beyond that.
The River (Runs through Memphis)
Slow, more traditional, jazz is on the menu here. This is all class, but not one of my favorites here.
Just Say So
This fast paced jam features lots of smoking hot bass work. This is a unique fusion jam that seems to have some world music elements in the percussion. It shifts and turns in so many cool directions. As unusual as this is, it might be my favorite thing on the album.
Chiba Chan
Another up-tempo tune, this is a bit more traditional in its jazz stylings. It's still packed full of crazed jamming and unusual twists and turns. It is definitely another of my picks on this. Parts of it make me think of Frank Zappa to some degree.
Pavanne for Deborah Ann
A much mellower piece, this is quite slow moving and pretty. The melodies are packed full of emotion and magic. There is a turn toward classical music later in terms of the layers of sound and tone.
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