Phantom Recordings [Release date 27.10.17]
We couldn’t resist ‘Protocol III’ with its fusion flavours and great musicality but arguably it is edged by the latest iteration. This time Simon Phillips (best known for his work with Toto) brings in guitarist Greg Howe who stamps his mark on all tracks and lifts the proceedings with his fluent, funky and melodic playing.
Ably aided and abetted by longstanding bassist Ernest Tibbs and newcomer Dennis Hamm (keys) this is funk fusion par excellence paying homage to the likes of Herbie Hancock and Return To Forever amongst fellow genre journeymen.
Tracks like ‘Pentangle’ remind me of Lenny White in the seventies who melded rock and funk for several albums including the excellent ‘Streamline’. Keyboard player Hamm is also integral to the overall retro and funk stylings.
We all knew Phillips was a talented drummer but in the Protocol series he really shines and shows a deft musicality and fusion flavours that are as accessible as they are irresistible. *****
Review by David Randall
David Randall presents ‘Assume The Position’ on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio every Sunday at 22:00 GMT.
Album review (Protocol III)
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