Tom Coster

Ivory Expedition

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This release brings together Tom Coster's first two solo albums, originally released in the early 1980s, onto a single-disc reissue. Unfortunately, much of this CD consists of generic jazz-rock fusion that lacks the originality of Coster's work with Santana in the '70s. During those halcyon days, Coster helped Carlos Santana chart a more jazz-oriented direction for his band, producing some of that group's finest music in the process. Here, however, the synthesizers often get in the way, with the cheesiness of that era's electronic keyboards hampering the arrangements. There is some good stuff here, though: the beautiful ballad "Magical Moments," the fast-paced "Can't You Stand It," the appealing melody of "The Prince." Coster surrounded himself with a fine supporting cast for these two albums, but for those expecting a continuation of the magic he had produced with Santana, it's a disappointment.

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