Richie Goods & Nuclear Fusion: Three Rivers

Are any of you old enough out there when “fusion” was the latest and most exciting trend in music? At one time, bands like Return To Forever, Mahavishnu Orchestra and Weather Report attracted fans of both jazz and rock, filling places like the Hollywood Bowl and Greek Theatre. Then, a chap by the name of Wynton Marsalis came along and literally pulled the plug on fusion, going back to acoustic sounds a like Miles Davis circa ESP. Where did we go wrong?

Bassist and composer Richie Goods reminds us of all the fun and funk that 70s fusion brought us. There’s a key team of Billy Kilson/dr (who worked with Dave Holland), Andy Ezrin/key and Ben Butler/g that get you on your feet with a backbeat on ”Mudd Funk.” Interspersed between tunes like that, the mellow “Cosmic Beauty” and the gorgeous “Four Kings” which features Chris Botti’s glistening horn are short vignettes that spotlight Goods on acoustic bass, most notably on an electric take of John Lennon’s “Imagine” while some vocals by Shayna Steele on “Sightlless Bird” and “Sy Smith on “Hope She’ll Be Happier” round out the spherically deep album. The music here is a great mix of rhythm and solos, neither one overpowering the other. Isn’t that the purpose of jazz?

Richman Music Inc.

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