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Percy Jones

Cape Catastrophe

Review by Gary Hill

Percy Jones is probably best known as the bass player for Brand X. Anyone who has heard that act knows that the bass work is really exceptional there. As this album shows, he translates those monstrous bass skills into a great album. Fans of Brand X will love this. I’d recommend it to any fans of fusion or jazzy progressive rock.  For bass players, this should be required listening.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2014  Volume 1 at

Track by Track Review
The Lie

As atmospheric sounds create an almost space prog soundscape, Jones’ bass lends melody and drama. The piece gets more powered up elements added to the arrangement at times, but this is really a bass showcase. That instrument solos throughout and in some pretty amazing ways.

Cape Catastrophe
The title track starts with some air-chatter from radio. Percussion and bass rule this, a real rhythm section work out. It’s somewhat freeform, all fusion and all cool. There are bits that come across that carry more of a melody versus rhythm element. There are also some sampled voices here and there. Although this piece is over ten-minutes long, it never feels tired or repetitive or boring. That really says a lot given the freeform and fairly stripped down nature of it.

The bass is still very busy here, but this piece is more melodic. It’s got a lot of freeform shifts and turns, though. It has some very pretty moments. It has some others that are more crazed and noisy. It’s got a lot of fusion, but also some prog in the mix. Later in the piece, the bass drives the melody over the top of some atmospheric textural sounds.  Some odd samples come across here and there.


There is a lot of energy here as this powers forward. It’s got a pounding kind of fusion meets modern King Crimson vibe to it. This has too much of a groove to be Rock In Opposition, really, but it (like the whole disc) is related to that musical form. This really rocks out like crazy later. It’s one of the most effective numbers on the whole disc.

At over twenty three minutes in length this is the real epic of the disc. It starts off in somewhat freeform, but still quite grooving fusion meets RIO. It carries through in a fairly straight line before dropping into more seemingly stripped back and random territory. Still, it powers back up from there as it continues. It just keeps evolving as it drives forward until it drops away around the five minute mark. Then a new jam ensues, still freeform and fusion-like. As throughout the disc, the bass drives this in some amazing ways. There is some spacey music mid-track. There’s a groove later that has some real world music built into it. Of course, it continues to evolve from there. In a lot of ways, this thing really encompasses everything that’s present on this fine disc, all in one extensive track. It is a really crazed, but also really cool, ride.

Samples and other elements are combined into a rhythmic romp that’s quite tasty. As this powers out there are some moments here that make me think of modern King Crimson. The cut has some quite freeform moments, but yet it manages to groove and feel cohesive throughout.

Thin Line
The bass is alone as this piece starts. It weaves some great lines of rather sad sounding melody as it moves forward. Eventually other instruments do join and this builds out into quite a cool prog jam from there. It continues to evolve as it moves forward.
Symphony in F Major
I was expecting a classical number here. That’s not what I got at all. This is more of the fusion sound heard on the rest of the disc. It’s perhaps more bouncy, fun and accessible than a lot of the stuff here. It’s a good choice for ending number for many reasons, including that.
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