Gateway Music Special Venture : Twice (DK,rec.1999-2000,pub.2007)****
Guitarist John Sund was stimulated to explore new, often electric, fusion territories, when participant, Ghanaian percussionist Avi Solomon joined him. With bass player Thomas Fogg and drummer Morten Ilsoe they started gigging as Special Venture, with a debut CD in 1999. When the bass player left to go in different directions, new great additions were Cuban bass player Yadam Gonzalez and vibraphonist John Meinild, which added renewed opportunities and explorative new worlds and challenges for the group to be developed in a spontaneous and conscious way during the recording. The first four tracks of this album were done live at Danish Radio for a selected public and from over a two year period. The remaining tracks were done in a studio, but with a live feeling, using only a few direct sound loops and just a handful of background sounds added afterwards. The result sounds consciously developed, skilful, experienced and spontaneous at the same time. The music has something of smooth jazzrock, with just a small Mahivishnu touch here and there, and is recalling some great earlier examples of jazzfusion-rock, even when the strength is kept to harmonic dynamics mostly. In this the guitarist John Sund shows rather progressive moves and improvisations. Other great ideas come forth from African flavours in rhythms with colourful melodic evolutions connected with this. Also “jazzy vibes” are worked out well, warm and harmoniously, with even some calmer, moody jazzy soundscape part somewhere. For a collection of varied and different ideas, the tracks flow gently into one another as if the CD is one big improvised session, based upon lots of prepared ideas to make this work.
The band members were so much involved in things that followed up this recording session, like other projects, the final release of this album took some years before it was released. It is clear that when looking back to these sessions, there were recorded great memorable moments which could have led to even more attention and demand.