Sunday, November 10, 2013
Shadowfax - Watercourse Way (1976)
I was unaware of this long lost hidden fusion giant of an album until one of my music-audiophile pals put me onto this gem. I will admit that I was never a big fan of Shadowfax music and do recall owning one of their 80's albums which did nothing for me. However...in complete contrast to their later material, this debut album (which was later re-recorded and re-mixed in a more new age manner and issued on CD) is stunning..and shocking actually.
With odes to the Mahavishnu Orchestra and the likes of Billy Cobham (Spectrum), Watercourse Way delivers a solid fusion excursion for our minds. 1975 Shadowfax consisted of Chuck Greenberg (lyrics), Phil Maggini (bass), Doug Maluchnik (keys), Stuart Nevitt (percussion) and Greg Stinson (guitars). Clearly influences include John Mclaughlan, Billy Cobham and Herbie Hancock.
“The Shape of a Word” is a great 8 minute tune that will seriously wake your brain up ! These guys set out to record a magical little fusion album and with the assistance of Larry Fast released this gem of an album. I would say that the impressive cover art is also fitting to the music on the vinyl record. Sadly this version has never been released that I know of on CD so you will have to hunt this one down in the Thrift Stores or vintage vinyl stores. Watercourse Way was the one and only Shadowfax albums released on Passport Records and some six years later would re-emerge with a reformed sound fittingly captured for new-age music fans on William Ackerman’s Windham Hill label.