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Album Review

This 1987 production signifies experimental guitarist David Torn's second effort for Germany-based ECM Records. Here, the artist exhibits a sound, style, and methodology that are clearly his own, amid superb support by Bill Bruford (drums), Tony Levin (Chapman Stick/bass), and Mark Isham (trumpets). Torn generates gobs of excitement via his cunningly articulated phraseology, while also incorporating North African and East Indian modal concepts into these power-packed performances, fabricated upon climactic opuses and steamy crescendos. The guitarist's rippling harmonics and off-kilter voicings make for an engaging listening experience, especially when he trades sprightly fours with Isham atop the often-circuitous rhythms. Simply put, Cloud About Mercury looms as one of the finest jazz fusion dates of the '80s, and should be deemed a mandatory purchase for aficionados of this genre.

Biography

Born: 17 May 1949 in Sevenoaks, Kent, England

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Bill Bruford's career is like his drumming sound — inimitable. Known for his ringing metal snare drum, crisp cymbal work, and knack for complex time signatures, a young Bruford came to prominence in the late '60s with Yes. The drummer completed his British art rock trilogy by briefly joining Genesis in the 1970s and spending a quarter-century with King Crimson through the late '90s. In between King Crimson dates, Bruford led a dazzling self-titled jazz fusion solo band from 1978 to 1980. Featuring...
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