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Brian Davison

Brian Davison's Every Which Way: 50th Anniversary Remastered Edition

Review by Gary Hill

As you might gather from the title, this album was originally released in 1970, hence the 50th Anniversary. Brian Davison was the drummer in the Nice, which was one of the original proto-prog bands and featured Keith Emerson. After that band broke up, he formed this outfit and released this album. He would later join Patrick Moraz and others in Refugee. This disc is probably closest to the music of Traffic, but it's definitely progressive rock oriented. It's also a particularly successful set, working well from start to finish.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2020  Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Bed Ain't What It Used to Be
Acoustic guitar starts things off. The cut grows outward from there in a cool musical exploration that makes me think just a tiny bit of Pink Floyd. As the vocals come in over the top it feels more like something Traffic might do. There is a bit of a blues rock edge to it. I like the hints of harder rocking sounds that are thrown in as it drives forward. A horn comes across as the cut approaches the three-and-a-half-minute mark, lending a different angle to the proceedings. The number continues with a cool instrumental exploration that really shows off that Traffic meets Pink Floyd thing.
Castle Sand
A mellower tune, this has a bit of a jazzy edge to it. Traffic is again a valid comparison. This is a particularly evocative and powerful number. There are hints of the mellower side of early King Crimson here, too. Psychedelia is another reference point on this piece for sure. I dig the flute solo, and the slow moving texture of the whole thing is classy. The closing psychedelic, atmospheric movement is cool.
Go Placidly
The opening on this reminds me just a bit of something Yes might have done on The Yes Album. The cut shifts to a folk prog styled arrangement from there. It is definitely very 1960s oriented and classy.
All in Time
Built with a lot more energy and drive, this is a cool number. It is another with definite Traffic elements at play, but there are some more decidedly prog things, too. This is one of the most effective songs of the set. I'm reminded a bit of Blind Faith on this, too. It is soaring and classy. The saxophone brings some definite magic to it. In fact, the extended solo is a real powerhouse. The guitar soloing further down the road is on fire, too.
What You Like
A driving rhythm section leads things out of the gate. The cut explodes into a jazzy sort of thing. As the vocals join they bring some psychedelic elements. As the second movement powers out it really makes me think so much of early King Crimson. The powerful musical passage is among the best of the whole disc. The jazzy instrumental movement later in the number is purely prog rock oriented.
The Light
Another cut with plenty of psychedelia in the mix, this has jazz and a blues rock vibe, too. The Traffic reference points are quite valid on this one, too. The number works through some intriguing changes, and is another smoking hot song on a disc that's full of them.
 
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