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Shuggie Otis

Inter-Fusion

Review by Gary Hill

This is being billed as "fusion rock," and that's a pretty apt description. We generally put fusion in under "progressive rock" at MSJ, so that's where this lands. Perhaps this fits more closely under general rock, but there is enough jazz here to qualify it pretty well as prog. All the songs are instrumental except one. That one is also the most mainstream blues rock. Shuggie Otis handles the guitar and vocals on this while Tony Franklin holds down the bass, Kyle Hammond tickles the keys and Carmine Appice keeps the beat.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2018  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Aphelion

Organ bring this into being, but it works out from there to some killer bluesy fusion sounds. Around the minute and a half mark it drops way down for a keyboard dominated interlude. It explodes back out from there with some killer fusion sounds. It has some intriguing shifts and changes built into it.

Get a Grip
This has more of a funk vibe, but gets pretty hard rocking tune. It's an energized fusion jam that works quite well.
Ice Cold Daydream
While this is more of a pure blues rocker, it has some cool funky bass work. It's the only track with vocals. The jam at the end takes it into some trippy sort of Hendrix-like territory.
Interlude
This is much more of a pure fusion jam, leaning on the jazz side of that equation. It's a cool instrumental exploration. The organ based movement mid-track has a bit of a "Green Onions" kind of thing underway.
Woman
High energy fusion drives this thing. It's a fast paced and inspired stomper that works quite well. There is some funk driving some of the bass. The guitar really gets in some smoking hot soloing along this ride, too.
Sweet Surrender
I love the cool prog riff that opens this and holds it as it moves forward. This has some killer shifts and changes. It is a great combination of jazz fusion and progressive rock. Different instruments drive different sections of this, but the guitar soloing particularly shines.
Clear Power
Funk and blues combine on this smoking hot fusion jam. This is really a powerhouse number with some killer twists and turns along the road. I really dig the rhythm section solo showcase that comes in later and eventually takes it to the end.
V8
Killer melodic rock, jazz and prog merge on this scorching tune. The guitar soloing is top notch here. It works out to some spacey stuff further down the road.
 
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