The Ozone Quartet

Fresh Blood

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Ozone Quartet are refreshing and play with an ethereal beauty; Hollis Brown enchants on electric violin, while axeman extraordinaire Graham Fry (replaced after this recording by Kenny Thompson) twists and turns and rocks like John McLaughlin and Steve Morse. It's not empty riffing for speed records, but soulful, well-placed sonic seasonings that carry you down the river of prog rock/fusion dreams. An essence of King Crimson weaves itself throughout the disc as Wayne Leechford excels on Chapman Stick. His Levinesque precision is a delight to meld with. Percussive, rich Stick ties each composition together. Leechford explodes on "Dragonfly"! Francis Dyer provides complex time signature drumming and multi-atmospheric moments to each piece. One can hear distant lands of ancient times in his polyrhythmic colorings and collages of beat.

80-percent of this album is medium- to slow-paced, quirky, rocking, musical meandering through bizarre realms, fog-shrouded moors, and moonlit shrines of ancient Babylon. It is a sorcery of sound, each artist playing off the other as if many arms of one unseen being. Brown and Thompson have plenty of room to stretch, wander off, and refuse the moment in each piece. Only two songs, "Surge," a very Mahavishnu Orchestra moment, and "Dragonfly," a King Crimson manic-overdriven tribute, dare speed along toward an upbeat frenzy. Some comparisons to Ozone Quartet's sound: Mahavishnu Orchestra's Between Nothingness and Eternity, early Dixie Dregs, Curved Air's Air Conditioning, Daryll Dobson's The Mind Electric, early Jean-Luc Ponty, Steve Kindler on Visions of the Emerald Beyond, Mark Wood's Voodoo Violence, Boud Deun's Fiction and Several Days, and of course King Crimson. On Fresh Blood, however, its Hollis Brown on violin and Wayne Leechford on Chapman Stick gives this group that singularly distinctive sound.

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