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Long Hot Night

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    8
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AllMusic Review by

Angel Air gives listeners another chance to experience this slick but slow-burning mid-'90s effort from this all-star assemblage led by Ray Fenwick and Polle Eduard, who played together in the '60s Dutch rock band Tee Set. They're joined by former Focus guitarist Jan Akkerman, former Deep Purple and Rainbow drummer Cozy Powell, saxophonist Candy Dulfer (who made a name playing with Prince), and session vocalist Lisa Boray (who scored a major '80s disco hit, "Break Out"). With so many different talents aboard, this affair might have been a mess, but the sound is smooth and self-assured. Eduard and Fenwick's lyrics revolve around romance and affairs of the heart. "Don't Mess With Fire" and "A Million Miles Away" are cautionary tales cloaked in a gentle, bluesy swagger, while Dulfer's sax powers the sultry, mid-tempo groove of "Short Avemue," which also gives Akkerman a chance to shine. Powell, on the other hand, gives his naturally exuberant drumming style a rest; he's more of a team player than on other projects. The standout track is unquestionably "Black & Blue," a smoky pop duet where Eduard and Boray push their voices to the limit and Dulfer weaves a compelling sax line behind him. Boray also contributes some nifty backing vocal lines on the moody pop ballad "It'll Be All Right on the Night" ("If you leave today, you'll be on your way"). "Three Times Your Age" is a funky denunciation of a lover whose experience betrays his wayward nature. Akkerman soars again on the closing instrumental "Katie's Love," where he and Fenwick swap atmospheric solos with Dulfer. It's a fitting end to such a well-crafted adult pop album. Fenwick's liner notes say that the late Powell called Long Hot Night his favorite project; three cheers to Angel Air for letting people find out themselves -- they'll definitely like what's going on here.

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