Magical Elements

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Michael G. Nastos
The Kansas City-based band Dry Jack were perhaps one of the more obscure ensembles of the late-'70s jazz fusion era. Led by keyboardist Chuck Lamb and his electric bass-playing brother Rich Lamb, the group followed on the heels of Larry Coryell's Eleventh House, Return to Forever, and Weather Report. The quartet, rounded out by electric guitarist Rod Fleeman and drummer John Margolis, was a talented unit, but fairly locked in clichés or stances of their peer-group keyboard heroes à la Chick Corea, Joe Zawinul, and Mike Mandel from the Eleventh House. The music is well played but stuck in a time warp, based on noodling and strictly written charts that have some depth, ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Michael G. Nastos
The Kansas City-based band Dry Jack were perhaps one of the more obscure ensembles of the late-'70s jazz fusion era. Led by keyboardist Chuck Lamb and his electric bass-playing brother Rich Lamb, the group followed on the heels of Larry Coryell's Eleventh House, Return to Forever, and Weather Report. The quartet, rounded out by electric guitarist Rod Fleeman and drummer John Margolis, was a talented unit, but fairly locked in clichés or stances of their peer-group keyboard heroes à la Chick Corea, Joe Zawinul, and Mike Mandel from the Eleventh House. The music is well played but stuck in a time warp, based on noodling and strictly written charts that have some depth, but mostly flash and chops. In retrospect, Magical Elements holds interest if you pay close attention to the Fender Rhodes playing of Chuck Lamb on pieces like the super hot Brazilian track "Lit Spinners" with Fleeman's dizzying fleet guitar, or the title track in its road-song 5/4 samba beat with some complex unison lines. The sole jazz swinger, "Strollin' on Jupiter" has some composed and calculated counterpoint that works well in its contained melody, while the appropriately titled "Americana Hoedown" reflects the bright-size rural feel of Pat Metheny. You can clearly hear the derivations of predecessors during "Earth Daze," a multi-tiered production of Chuck Lamb's electric keyboards that is breezy, leading to harder funk. The N.Y.C.-based combo Stuff are definitely copped on "Sunday Boogie-Nookie Stomp," a static instrumental R&B tune that sounds more like production music for early ESPN broadcasts. The stark comparison between Dry Jack and Corea's Return to Forever on the echoing 6/8 ballad melody of "Laurel's Dream" is difficult to mistake for anything else. A poor man's Midwestern fusion band, Dry Jack had a short and undistinguished run, but they were good enough to have their two albums from the Inner City label reissued on CD in 2008, which says something about how their collective abilities yielded some middle-gauged weight.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/17/2010
  • Label: Inner City Jazz
  • UPC: 077712710633
  • Catalog Number: 1063

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Americana Hoedown (4:40)
  2. 2 Lit Spinners (3:23)
  3. 3 Laurel's Dream (6:48)
  4. 4 Magical Elements (6:40)
  5. 5 Sunday Boogie-Nookie Stomp (6:51)
  6. 6 Strollin' on Jupiter (5:29)
  7. 7 Earth Daze (9:39)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Dry Jack Primary Artist
Technical Credits
Chuck Lamb Composer
Rod Fleeman Composer
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