DAVID SANCIOUS — Forest Of Feelings (review)

DAVID SANCIOUS — Forest Of Feelings album cover Album · 1975 · Fusion Buy this album from MMA partners
3.5/5 ·
Sean Trane
Sancious is a bit of an exception in the jazz rock world, as part of his background is deeply rooted in rock (he was after all part of Springsteen’s E-Street Band and will later play with Peter Gabriel and Sting), but his oeuvre is also extremely drawn from classical music. With only a drummer (the good Ernest Carter that played some sessions on Born To Run) and a bassist (a very noticeable Gerald Carboy), Sancious manages to make an extraordinary Classical-jazz-rock album with his wide range of keyboards (and obviously a lot of dubbing too). This album is produced by the familiar Billy Cobham, who also contributes some percussion instruments on half the tracks

Starting with the amazing symphonic Suite Cassandra, Sancious should marvel those symphonic rock fans that always fear the jazz tonalities: if one album could convert them, this might be it. Followed by the funky and energetic Come On, where Sancious’ guitar leave nothing to envy to others, David veers into a calm Asian tune where Indian and Far-East music merges (this is fusion like we are not used to and the track’s title East India confirms it) to some of Billy’s percussions and chimes from Alice Coltrane. Herbie Hancock is not far away in this track. The inaptly-named Dixie is anything but Southern Dixie-jazz sounding (even if Sancious is making an anti-racist statement in this track) and presents another steaming fusion of styles, this time nearing Ponty’s later 70’s albums and some Tangerine Dream-like electronics, if you can picture that!!!

With the title track comes the album’s last lengthy track (a small 8 minutes and the start of the second side), where the mood is more into RTF and Chick Corea’s world. A short funky Joyce is followed by a “Crystal Image”-clear classical piano. One Time plunges us into an Emersonian realm, but I think Keith would have to bow out, as he would’ve not managed to play (or write anyway) this classical piece with the jazz feeling that Sancious dares. Absolutely stupendous!! The title’s track’s reprise is again in the Ponty register.The album’s CD version gets a bonus track, the short, ultra calm and reflective Promise Of Light, which blends in on the album quite well, but is nothing that special, but can serve as a very apt outro.

If you notice, a lot of the references or comparisons I gave while describing the tracks date after this album’s release, and if not on purpose, I don’t think this is an accident either. Sancious seems to be much a precursor with this album.

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