Colosseum’s latest recorded offering Time On Your Side is looking forward as drummer John Hiseman, who co-founded the ground-breaking British group in 1968; “We never try to recreate the past,” This album has a unique sound that refuses to be painted with a music brush of any specific style; whilst encapsulating the album in a box firmly tied with Colosseum ribbon and given the bands stamp of approval.
Opening with a drum and Hammond duo, ‘Safe As Houses’; is hard-hitting lyrically with harmonious interludes and the saxophone from Barbara has a hard edge matching the poignancy of the story unfolding in the lyrics, the track has a distinctive 1960’s feel with its protests and rock mixing it up. Change of tempo and Colosseum tip their hat at the blues with Blues To Music; again the sax stands out and the harmonising of the duet vocals from Chris Farlowe whose association with Colosseum goes back a long way and writer of the track Ana Gracey who guests singing the track she wrote.
We had the blues inspired track now Dick’s Licks play homage to Jazz, with drum, keys and saxophone setting the mood before the vocals join in walking with you as the story is shaped that is recognizably a tribute to the late jazz blues saxophonist Dick Heckstall-Smith.
Clempson’s guitar has a quality that adds a zinging layer of tonal interest as the notes ping from bended string to swill and curl around the instrumentation linking joining and providing the perfect springboard for the vocals perfectly shown on the glorious track You Just Don’t Get It , well I get it! This is simply good music.
If you want a prog-rock sound that is reminiscent of previous Colosseum offerings then Anno Domini is the track for you here. Closing the album with a Jack Bruce cover from Harmony Row album, Morning Story is a fitting way to end the album with Farlowe’s vocals inspired as the band pay tribute to a man who was so influential to the British Blues and Jazz scene.
As the music unfolds you know this is an album that will intrigue and hold your musical interest. They have created a music inspired buffet of inspiration and influences, this is the plate that has blended and created a cohesive sound that suits your musical palette as it teases and shapes the sounds of Jazz, blues and at times classical baroque into an original and exciting sound that is R’N’B/rock and so much more. This is definitely an album you want to listen too again and again so sit back and enjoy.
Bluesdoodles gives this CD NINE doodle paws out of TEN ….
1. Safe As Houses
2. Blues To Music
3. The Way You Waved Goodbye
4. Dick’s Licks
5. City Of Love
6. Nowhere To BE Found
7. You Just Don’t Get It
8. New Day
9. Anno Domini
10. Morning Story
Jon Hiseman: Drums
Dave Greenslade: Hammond Organ/Key Boards
Clem Clempson: Guitars/Vocals/Keyboards
Mark Clarke: Bass/Vocals
Chris Farlowe: Vocals
Barbara Thompson: Saxophones
Ana Gracey: Vocals (Blues To The Music)