RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

Various Artists – The Fusion Syndicate
Purple Pyramid

Rating: A

On October 16th, Purple Pyramid will release a truly unique album that mixes some of the best rock players with the best jazz players on the planet. The tunes are all original and feature a ton of improvisation that shows off just how good these players are.

This is music for grownups, as one will not see any soft shoe, choreographed steps, or pop ditties on these seven songs.

These are true virtuosos from bands like Yes, Dream Theater, Porcupine Tree, Hawkwind, the Yellowjackets, the Mahavishnu Orchestra and more. Suffice it to say, they know what they’re doing and they do it well.

The songs were written by Billy Sherwood, who also produced the album and assembled the talent. “When I was asked to write and produce a fusion record I jumped at the chance. I’ve always had a deep love of jazz and fusion music having grown up listening to Weather Report, Return To Forever, Mahavishnu among many others in the genre. The record has become a musical dream team, including some of the world’s most renowned players in the field. The music reflects a time when virtuosity was the standard and incredible musicianship was the order of the day. Each artist sharing their talent and skill, blending it all into a bigger musical picture, creating an amazing expression of unity and purpose.”

Here is the who’s who on the album:

Random Acts Of Science – Rick Wakeman (Yes) ; Jerry Goodman (Mahavishnu Orchestra) ; Nik Turner (Hawkwind) ; Jimmy Haslip (Yellowjackets / Alan Holdsworth)

Stone Cold Infusion – Steve Stevens ; Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater / Liquid Tension Experiment) ; Mel Collins (King Crimson) ; Colin Edwin (Porcupine Tree) ; Billy Cobham (Mahavishnu Orchestra)

Molecular Breakdown – Jay Beckenstein (Spyro Gyra) ; Billy Sheehan (Steve Vai) ; Gavin Harrison (Porcupine Tree) ; David Sancious (The E Street Band)

Particle Accelerations – Larry Coryell ; Derek Sherinian (Dream Theater / Black Country Communion) ; Eric Marienthal (Chick Corea Elektric Band) ; Chester Thompson (Genesis / Brand X)

At The Edge Of The Middle – Steve Morse (Dixie Dregs) ; Jim Beard (Mahavishnu Orchestra) ; Randy Brecker (Blood, Sweat & Tears) ; Percy Jones (Soft Machine / Brand X)

Atom Smashing – John Etheridge (Soft Machine) ; Tony Kaye (Yes) ; Chad Wackerman (Frank Zappa)

In The Spirit Of… – Steve Hillage (Gong) ; Scott Kinsey (Tribal Tech) ; Theo Travis (Steven Wilson Band) ; Justin Chancellor (Tool) ; Asaf Sirkis (The Orient House Ensemble)

By Jeb Wright