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Assembler

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Album Review

Jazz fusion guitar fans will recognize Connors as that blazingly explosive and technically precise legato guitarist in Return to Forever who left after one release to pursue a quieter acoustic guitar path. Connors has always been ranked in the upper echelons of fine fusion axe-men. Yet the guitar releases from Connors have come slowly and been severely underappreciated. After leaving Return to Forever, Connors released three excellent acoustic albums in the '70s, did some work with Stanley Clarke on Clarke's solo releases, and played with the Jan Garbarek Group. Connors then returned to releasing hard-hitting yet elegantly soulful electric fusion guitar albums in the '80s. They comprised a shorter, LP -length format, offering sonic snippets of Connors' electric visions. Comparisons can easily be made between this release's guitar stylings and those of Allan Holdsworth. This is not surprising, as Holdsworth has always sought that horn sound and flow of John Coltrane, and Connors, too, idolizes Coltrane. Convergent evolution perhaps? Connors has more of a rocking and visceral, edgy attack than Holdsworth. His legato phrasing is totally different, as well as his guitar voicings. Connors also has a lean funky, syncopated groove going on in his compositions; he demonstrates he is a guitarists' guitarist with evident passion for his instrument. Assembler marked the final electrified release of this fusion CD offering of the '80s. Assembler saw an initial 1987 release and then this 1994 re-release on the Evidence label. ~ John W. Patterson, Rovi

Biography

Born: September 24, 1949 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Jazz

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

Bill Connors' great moment of fame occurred when he was with Chick Corea's Return to Forever during 1973-1974, recording the influential Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy. His decision to leave RTF to concentrate more on acoustic guitar may have been satisfying artistically, but it cut short any chance he had at commercial success. Previously, he had played electric guitar with Mike Nock and Steve Swallow in San Francisco; but his post-1974 work was primarily acoustic, particularly in the 1970s when he...
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Assembler, Bill Connors
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