06 November 2022 (released)
06 November 2022
If were a band whose best years were 1969 – 1973 and this collection shows them at their peak through a series of BBC appearances. To an extent, it also shows how seriously the BBC treated music through those years with shows such as In Concert, Sounds of the 70’s, John Peel In Concert, Dave Lee Travis and even Radio 1 In Concert.
If were essentially a Jazz Rock/Fusion outfit playing music that was in a similar vein to Colosseum although live they were a very different entity, jamming and stretching out a lot further than Colosseum. These two discs really show them at their best, in a live vein.
The band was formed by Dave Quincy (sax) , Dick Morrissey (Alto, tenor & flute), and Terry Smith (guitars), all stalwarts of the British jazz scene and all composers and arrangers. J. W. Hodkinson on lead vocals, John Mealing on keyboards, Jim Richardson on electric bass, Dennis Eliott on drums were the other players in the first incarnation of the band from ’69 to ’72 – the period covered by this album.
Musically, they cover the bases from Jazz to Rock with a progressive element thrown in. Hodkinson’s vocals are strong and powerful although he can manage tender as well and he plays well against Smith’s guitar playing - Smith is very much a jazz guitarist and his solos are a way away from the standard Blues progressions of many of his contemporaries. Richardson’s bass playing is exquisite as befits one of the top sessioneers of his time and Dennis Eliott’s drums are unobtrusive but powerful – he later went on to become a founder member of Foreigner.
The to discs are an excellent reminder of a much loved band whose history has been a little glossed over by the years.
Top quality and some great music herein.