Fire on Ice

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
Fire on Ice is easily the most confounding album of Terry Callier's career. While it's true that his Elektra recordings are not regarded as highly as the Cadet material, it may be time to critically re-evaluate them for their considerable worth and innovation. That said, it's hard to know whom to blame for making a mess of what was arguably a solid album. It's not the slick arrangements -- done by longtime Callier cohort Richard Evans, nor is it the personnel, which includes tenor saxophonists Eddie Harris, Fred Jackson, guitarists Phil Upchurch and Larry Wade, and backing vocalist Minnie Ripperton. Callier's own songs are, for the most part, clean bedrock, deep Chicago soul...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
Fire on Ice is easily the most confounding album of Terry Callier's career. While it's true that his Elektra recordings are not regarded as highly as the Cadet material, it may be time to critically re-evaluate them for their considerable worth and innovation. That said, it's hard to know whom to blame for making a mess of what was arguably a solid album. It's not the slick arrangements -- done by longtime Callier cohort Richard Evans, nor is it the personnel, which includes tenor saxophonists Eddie Harris, Fred Jackson, guitarists Phil Upchurch and Larry Wade, and backing vocalist Minnie Ripperton. Callier's own songs are, for the most part, clean bedrock, deep Chicago soul slicked up for the onrushing disco age. The funky soul edge is fine on tunes like "Be a Believer," and "Holdin' on to Your Love." And the slippery, shimmering synth on the ballads like "Butterfly" works because Callier's slightly smoky sweet voice caresses his accompaniment. As strings waft in to the center of the mix, swelling up above the other instruments, you can hear where Evans and Don Mizell got carried away trying to carry Callier into Salsoul orchestra territory. Combine that with complete filler material like "Disco in the Sky" and the overwrought loungey smooth disco jazz of "I Been Doin' Alright, Part II Everything's Gonna Be Alright" and you see the schizophrenic influence of trying to accomplish too many things at once with Callier's awesome voice and tender lyrics. But given the fact that he wrote the lyrics to "Disco in the Sky" means he's not infallible. And who told Wade he could write a song on his own? "Love to Love" is just a staggeringly bad piece of disco garbage. Still, two of Callier's most moving tracks are here, the stunningly poetic "African Violet," with a melody as spare and haunting as anything Callier ever composed and a vocal workout that lasts over seven minutes it joins the list of his epics. The disc closes with the well-intentioned and phenomenally written "Martin St. Martin." Again, Evans' large horn and string sections with an artificial rhythm track mar what is a very powerful song -- it's one Callier still does live with an acoustic guitar and it never ceases to blow audiences away. Fire on Ice is far from Callier's most compelling record, but, nonetheless, has its own quark strangeness and charm.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/8/2003
  • Label: Dbk Works
  • UPC: 646315050127
  • Catalog Number: 501
  • Sales rank: 375,620

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Terry Callier Primary Artist, Guitar, Vocals
Minnie Riperton Vocals
Jimmy Cleveland Trombone
Eddie Harris Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone
Paul Serrano Trumpet
Ross Traut Guitar
Paul Humphrey Drums
Charles Owens Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone
Phil Upchurch Guitar
Fred Jackson Tenor Saxophone
Marilyn Baker Viola
Corrine Albright Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone
Sidney Barnes Vocals
Jynean Bell Vocals
Delores M. Bing Cello
Michael Boddicker Synthesizer
George Bohannon Trombone
Garnett Brown Trombone
Julianna Buffum Cello
Ronald Clark Violin
Scott Edwards Bass, Bass Guitar
Charles Fearing Guitar
James Gadson Drums
Janice Gower Violin
Morris Jennings Percussion
Carl LaMagna Violin
Betty LaMagna Violin
Danny Leake Guitar
Kenny Mason Trumpet
Derf Reklaw-Raheem Percussion
Marcia Van Dyke Violin
Larry Wade Guitar
Fred Walker Percussion
Cynthia White Vocals
Ellie Willis Vocals
Snooky Young Trumpet
Paul N. Humphrey Drums
William Henderson Violin
Sonny Burke Keyboards
Renita Koven Viola
Mary Debra Lundquist Violin
Fred Jackson Jr. Saxophone
George Bohanon Trombone
Reginald Burke Keyboards
Carl La Magna Violin
Phillip Upchurch Guitar
Denny Leake Guitar
Betty La Magna Violin
Kenneth Mason Trumpet
Mary Lundquist Violin
Delores M. Bing Cello
Eugene Young Trumpet
Technical Credits
Paul Serrano Engineer
Richard Evans Arranger, Producer, Audio Production
Terry Callier Composer
Harry Brotman Engineer
Don Mizell Executive Producer
Barney Perkins Engineer
Dusty Rhodes Reissue Design
Jackson Schwartz Engineer
Larry Wade Composer
Ron Coro Art Direction
Scott Rowley Engineer
Zollie Johnson Engineer
Carmen Halsell Engineer
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