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Thread: Brand X Appreciation Thread

  1. #26
    I sampled most of Product and Do They Hurt last night. Some good stuff, and some very not so good stuff. I think between these two, there's probably one good album I could cobble together, so I put them on the list and will likely get them at some point.

    After I was done sampling, I listened to Moroccan Roll. As usual, I spent much of the album scratching my head waiting for something to happen. When it finally did, both my wife and I went, "hey, finally, somethig cool!" When these guys are on, they can be excellent. But as I said before, for me they they spend a lot of time diddling around and not doing much.

    Bill

  2. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Sputnik View Post
    After I was done sampling, I listened to Moroccan Roll. As usual, I spent much of the album scratching my head waiting for something to happen. When it finally did, both my wife and I went, "hey, finally, somethig cool!" When these guys are on, they can be excellent. But as I said before, for me they they spend a lot of time diddling around and not doing much.

    Bill
    I suppose that's true of the track credited to Collins, but there are some fine compositions on Moroccan Roll. The Indian flavored Sun In The Night is a beautiful song, and imo, Disco Suicide is one of their finer compositions. I never tire of that one. And when Percy does that swelled bass stuff with the deep tones, it gives me goose bumps.

  3. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reid View Post
    I suppose that's true of the track credited to Collins, but there are some fine compositions on Moroccan Roll. The Indian flavored Sun In The Night is a beautiful song, and imo, Disco Suicide is one of their finer compositions. I never tire of that one. And when Percy does that swelled bass stuff with the deep tones, it gives me goose bumps.
    "Hate Zone" is one of my favourite Brand X tunes!
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  4. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Reid View Post
    I suppose that's true of the track credited to Collins, but there are some fine compositions on Moroccan Roll. The Indian flavored Sun In The Night is a beautiful song, and imo, Disco Suicide is one of their finer compositions. I never tire of that one. And when Percy does that swelled bass stuff with the deep tones, it gives me goose bumps.
    Sun in the Night starts OK, but sort of drones on, imo. Nice melody, but I don't like what they did with it. And there's some stuff in it this song just sounds totally out of tune, and doesn't work at all for me. Definlty the Collins track(s) seems to meander. So for me, the first ~18 minutes of the album do nothng.

    It definitely picks up after that. Like I said, I like a lot of what is here, but for my taste this album and Unorthodox are just wildly inconsistent. If it weren't for the stuff I like on these, which I like a whole lot, then I'd have ditched them ages ago.

    Bill

  5. #30
    Member nosebone's Avatar
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    They were mostly jammers & probably recorded days of music before settling on album tracks.
    no tunes, no dynamics, no nosebone

  6. #31
    Member at least 100 dead's Avatar
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    NP: Algon (Where an Ordinary Cup of Drinking Chocolate Costs 8,000,000,000). Or was that Heathrow Starbucks? Starbucks sucks, dude.

  7. #32
    Member gearHed289's Avatar
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    I've loved Brand X since the very early 80s. Just something about their sound and style appealed to me. People talk about Jaco's fretless bass playing all the time - and he was obviously amazing - but the music he played on generally never moved me. Percy Jones was the guy who inspired me to yank the frets off a bass. I've seen a couple of incarnations of Brand X/Tunnels and have had a beer with Percy. Very nice, unassuming guy.

  8. #33

  9. #34
    To the OP:

    Sorry, man, but I love Brand X....but to position Goodsall against McLsughlin ( I intentionally leave Di Meola out of the discussion because I don't think he's that good in most circumstances anyway, and he's simply not a giant like McLaughlin is), who was a clear and significant influence on Goodsall (and so many others). In terms of harmonic knowledge, breadth of scope and a career that has touched on so much stylistically, a McLaughlin comparison just makes no sense, because Gooodsall's career has demonstrated nowhere near the same expansive knowledge.

    You may like Goodsall more, and that's totally fine, but compare their careers and I think my point is made without having to say anything more.

    Ditto Corea. That guy has done everything from fusion to straight ahead; from free jazz to chamber, and solo piano work to classical cross-pollinations.McLaughlin has been similarly broad in his reach, in particular his exploration of the nexus of east and west in groups lie Shakti and Remenber Shakti.

    Neither Goodsall nor Lumley come close in that regard.

    As for White? I'll not argue there. He's a strong drummer but there are countless others who can do what he does as well or better. That doesn't make him bad or irrelevant; it just doesn't make him all that special. But truthfully, as good as Collins and, in particular, Kenwood Dennard are (I'm a big fan, actually; check out his work in trombonist Robin Eubanks' EB3 trio and, his '70s work with Pat Martino on Joyous Lake) are, like White there are plenty who can do what they do as well or better...but for me, I like them for how they do what they do...not that they are better than anyone else. And that's why I love them both. I can cite other drummers who can wipe the floor technically, but who cares? If one drummer's approach hits you where it counts more than others, then that's all that matters.

    Comparing Pert and Lewis is really apples and oranges as they are truly very different kinds of percussionists: one, a more orchestral player; the other, more jazz-centic. Both great.

    But truthfully ... Why must you try and prove one is better than the other? Is your not liking them more not enough? I cite Corea and McLaughlin only because they are true living legends..and for a reason. Lumley and Goodsall, as good as they are, simply are not...

    But the others? Taste, man. That's all. No, Clarke can't do with Percy Jones does...few can. But equally, I've never heard Jones slap the shit out of his bass and get as deep down and dirty funky as Clarke does. They are very different players, and there's plenty of room for both in the world. As there is for Corea & Lumley, and McLaughlin & Goodsall.
    Last edited by jkelman; 02-17-2015 at 08:17 AM.

  10. #35
    Member nosebone's Avatar
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    nice post Jman
    no tunes, no dynamics, no nosebone

  11. #36
    Love Brand X. Might be my favorite band that had Phil Collins as a band member.

  12. #37
    jkelman, I disagree with virtually everything you said but to each his own.

  13. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by gearHed289 View Post
    I've loved Brand X since the very early 80s. Just something about their sound and style appealed to me. People talk about Jaco's fretless bass playing all the time - and he was obviously amazing - but the music he played on generally never moved me. Percy Jones was the guy who inspired me to yank the frets off a bass. I've seen a couple of incarnations of Brand X/Tunnels and have had a beer with Percy. Very nice, unassuming guy.
    The problem with Jaco's style is that I know SO MANY bassists who were so influenced by him that they play just like him. Great bassists but they sound just like him. What sets Percy apart is that NOBODY does what he does or even can do what he does. I've never heard it at any rate. He is completely unique. Somebody mentioned bass-slapping but my feeling is, I personally know guys who can slap you silly on bass guitar but frankly, they're a dime a dozen. You see them everywhere. But they can't do Percy. He's kind of an Art Tatum of bass guitar. Charlie Parker one the greatest sax men ever but I've played with guys that can play everything Parker did as good as he did it. I've never met anyone who could match Art Tatum and few even bother to try.

    Nor do I think everybody in Brand X is the best on their instruments and I never said as much. I said they deserve more recognition over the guys who are always getting it. Phil Collins was a phenomenal drummer in his day but he was never my favorite. I liked Frank Katz better and I think the best drummer I've ever heard is Joey Heredia. But that's just me.

  14. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by Speare-shaker View Post
    The problem with Jaco's style is that I know SO MANY bassists who were so influenced by him that they play just like him. Great bassists but they sound just like him.
    They don't all play with his kind of drive and soulfulness. Other bassists may have coped Jaco's sound, but that's as deep as it goes.

  15. #40
    Member dropforge's Avatar
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    The only heavily Jaco-influenced guy I know of who took his approach even further, yet has a style all his own, is Michael Manring.

  16. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by Speare-shaker View Post
    Well...I may as well say it...RTF's adulation of L. Ron Hubbard taints them for me. I can't listen Romantic Warrior because they wrote it for him. That ruins it for me. That they would waste their talents on that POS.
    What about music representing Christianity?
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  17. #42
    If I had to choose one fusion band, it would be Brand X. Having said that, I absolutely love RTF. Comparing them is silly IMO. All the musicians are excellent and very different players, as are the compositions. Being a bass player, Stanley and Percy are both players that I love. Again, completely different. Both are groundbreaking players. Brand X never were as popular as RTF, but among fusion fans, are well loved. It's also possible to still see the members of RTF perform, whereas Percy and John never play in the SF area.

  18. #43
    Insect Overlord Progatron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Speare-shaker View Post
    Well...I may as well say it...RTF's adulation of L. Ron Hubbard taints them for me. I can't listen Romantic Warrior because they wrote it for him. That ruins it for me. That they would waste their talents on that POS.
    I see, so it isn't on a musical level. That explains things much clearer, actually. Strange that you can't listen to instrumental music because of the beliefs of the people who composed and performed it. I suspect you can start tossing some other CDs out the window too then, if you dig deep enough to learn about the people behind it.
    Two boys have been found rubbing linseed oil into the school cormorant.

  19. #44
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    Love me Brand-X. Phil Collins and Percy Jones are the highlights.

  20. #45
    Quote Originally Posted by Speare-shaker View Post
    jkelman, I disagree with virtually everything you said but to each his own.
    Fair enough in most cases as, as I said, much of it comes down to taste.

    The only place I'll argue is your comparing Lumley to Corea and especially Goidsall to McLaughlin, who was a major influence on Goodsall (as he was most fusion guitarists in the day). Show me how either Lumley or Goidsall's careers have been as broad, as far-reaching, as diverse and as unabashedly exploratory as Corea and McLaughlin and I'll concede.

    But the facts - the size and breadth of their respective discography alone - speaks for itself. You may prefer Goodsall to McLaughlin, but to suggest Lumley and Goodsall are in the same league? C'mon. When the history books are written. Corea and McLaughlin will take up entire chapters, while Goodsall and Lumley will be lucky to get a few paragraphs...if that.

    Again, I say this as someone who loves Brand X and all the players who've passed through its doors. But to suggest Lumley and Goodsall are in the same league is, I'm afraid, an unsupportable argument.

  21. #46
    Quote Originally Posted by Speare-shaker View Post
    I personally know guys who can slap you silly on bass guitar
    Yes, but along with Larry Graham, Clarke was one of the guys who innovated the approach. So while theose who can do it may be a dime a dozen, they didn't innovate the style, and that counts for something...just as you can't knock Jaco because he ended up creating a paradigm shift in electric bass playing; he was a true original, as is Jones. He just happened (largely through right place, right time, I'd say, and being an aggressive self-promoter) to be more influential. Ditto Clarke, who remains as instantly recognizable as Jones...not gong to say one is better than the other because I don't think that way; they're both innovators, and both great.

    While not as slinky as Jones, I would say John Giblin comes from a similar school of thought though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Speare-shaker View Post
    Nor do I think everybody in Brand X is the best on their instruments and I never said as much. I said they deserve more recognition over the guys who are always getting it. Phil Collins was a phenomenal drummer in his day but he was never my favorite. I liked Frank Katz better and I think the best drummer I've ever heard is Joey Heredia. But that's just me.
    Joey Heredia? NOW we're talkin'! Great to hear someone mention this unjustly overlooked player....so thanks for that.

    As for deserving broader recognition, I'll agrree with that, though I think the single Brand X'er who has been criminally under appreciated is, indeed, Jones. And for all the reasons you cite. Sure, Goidsall and Lumley are great, but if you are the OP, you tried to make an argument that they can be stood up against McLaughlin and Corea and hold their own. I doubt even they'd agree.

  22. #47
    Quote Originally Posted by MYSTERIOUS TRAVELLER View Post

    As for Weather Report; I hafta be in the mood for Jazz cause if it don't Rock it usually doesn't excite my senses and WR don't Rock
    Funny, then that your handle is the title of one of WR's best albums (imo).....

  23. #48
    Quote Originally Posted by Speare-shaker View Post
    Well...I may as well say it...RTF's adulation of L. Ron Hubbard taints them for me. I can't listen Romantic Warrior because they wrote it for him. That ruins it for me. That they would waste their talents on that POS.
    Sorry, but only Corea and Clarke were Scientologists, actually, as I recall.

    But irrespective - and I share your dislike of Scientology and Hubbard- shouldn't music be assessed on its own merits? McLaughin was into Sri Chinmoy for a time; Richard Thompson was Muslim. Neal Morse an ardent Christian. Plenty of artists have been involved in what are, for some, questionable spiritual pursuits. But shouldn't their music be assessed on its own merits? Why does having written Romantic Warrior for L. Ron make it somehow bad? There's nothing actually in the music that reflects Hubbard or his sect.

    To each their own, but for me, the music is what matters...unless the artists are something truly egregious, like pedophiles or murderers, then I don't care what their spiritual pursuits are.

    But I will say this: Corea has been a Scientologist for 45 years. Whether or not I think it's a scam (I do), it's clearly been working for him.

  24. #49
    Quote Originally Posted by dropforge View Post
    The only heavily Jaco-influenced guy I know of who took his approach even further, yet has a style all his own, is Michael Manring.
    Victor Wooten
    Arild Andersen (a double bassist who cites Jaco as a seminal influence)
    Mark Egan
    ....

  25. #50
    Member BobM's Avatar
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    Other than the classification as "fusion" I would find it very hard to compare Brand X vs RTF. Corea pretty much composed RTF material note for note. Brand X was a jam band that found their songs by playing together.
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