Isotope

Isotope/Illusion

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This 1995 release comprises the Britain-based quartet's first two recordings, originally issued in 1974 ("Isotope") and 1975 ("Illusion"). Whereas, the original LP cover art and liner notes are reproduced, however one track "Sliding Dogs Lion Sandwich," needed to be omitted from the production in order to cram all of the original works into one CD.

Guitarist Gary Boyle leads the charge here, along with famed "Soft Machine" bassist Hugh Hopper; appearing on the "Illusion" album, and drummer Nigel Morris, serving as the standouts. As keyboardist Laurence Scott's ("Isotope") and Brian Miller ("Illusion") render flashy electric piano riffs to augment this band's upfront jazz-rock approach. Elements of John McLaughlin's "Mahavishnu Orchestra" are imminent here, as this group navigates tricky time signatures, spearheaded by Boyle's speedy, fuzz-toned licks and Morris' polyrhythmic timekeeping. In addition, "Isotope's" line of attack consisted of memorably melodic hooks and fierce soloing endeavors. These two recordings created a buzz during the early jazz-fusion days, although the ensemble didn't stay around long enough to reap the benefits of success. But these are strong efforts, characterized by the artists' synergistic interplay and their often-inspiring compositional frameworks.

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