DAVID SANCIOUS — Transformation (The Speed Of Love) (review)

DAVID SANCIOUS — Transformation (The Speed Of Love) album cover Album · 1976 · Fusion Buy this album from MMA partners
3.5/5 ·
Sean Trane
Sancious second album came a bit bizarrely with a similar artwork of orange skies at sunset, just like its previous and debut album To say that if the container looked the same,and deduct that the content was the same as the debut is something I wouldn’t do, but there is a bit of that. The awesomely gifted Sancious was breaking grounds with his risky mix of jazz and symphonics without actually sounding cheesy or cliché or being part of Sinatra’s generation. The man was using modern jazz rock/fusion ala RTF or later WR, but instilling a good dose of classical music, a bit like McLaughlin had done with MO, but quite achieving the same results, which is where Sancious innovates. This album is actually attributed to DS and Tone, which is his back up band, roughly the same players than on the debut, including bassist Carboy and drummer Carter, and an appearance of Gayle moran, already a guest on the previous album.

Just four tracks on this album, three of them medium-sized on the A-side, but the longer of these Sky Church Home is good blues but overstaying its welcome at 9 minutes. The other two tracks are much more interesting for the progheads, as the opening Metamorphosis takes you through a bunch of challenging rhythms, and entwining solos of keyboards and guitars (both handled by Sancious) and even gets a bit of growled vocals in until you feel dizzy. After Sancious’ fiery guitar pyrotechnics on the blues tracks, Play And Display Of The Heart is a welcome rest, a slow-starting fusion piece starting on a classic piano (and later a slightly more jazzy guitar, but not at first) and remains in the mostly in the symphonic (sorry to use this word for a sole piano) realm.

The flipside’s sidelong Transformation returns more to the enthralling music of Metamorphosis (mmmhh!! I think the titles are a solid hint), slowly rising from the ashes under a hundred percussion instruments slowly crescendoing (a bit like the Moody Blues had done so typically in their classic period), and once the track is under way, it turns out that it should’ve been subtitled speed of light or speed of sound rather than Love.Sancious’ rocky guitar histrionics are much of the appeal on this album and the groups support him well, providing studious and well kept rhythm. All I heard from Sancious is the first two albums, but this mother is definitely his better tracks spread over the two discs. After a dizzying quarter hour of all-out music reaching some real heights, the track slowly fades with the same percussion instruments that had started it. Outstanding playing from everyone, even if Moran’s voice is an acquired taste (not by me), but her interventions are rather insignificant in regards to the tracks’ enormous stature. Its amazing that Sancious’ two epic label albums didn’t get more recognition (although they sold rather well, back then) and is not a household name among fusionheads. Part of the explanation might be that both album were out of print for many years, and only received a reissue in Columbia’s Master Of jazz Rock in the early 90’s, and now finally a third recently. Both his first two albums are very much worth your investigation, the forst being more even, while this one is presenting Sancious’ masterpiece.

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