Niacin — Organik
(Magna Carta MA-9081-2, 2005, CD)
by Paul Hightower, Published 2006-05-01
Niacin is back! For those yet to discover this band, especially those of you with a fondness for the sound of the mighty Hammond B-3, waste no time. As with past efforts, this collection revolves around the instrumental prowess of keyboard player John Novello, bassist Billy Sheehan, and drummer Dennis Chambers. This supergroup of ace musicians have caused a stir with their uncompromising approach to fusion rock that is heavily inspired by the late 60s/early 70s work of Hammond pioneers like Keith Emerson, Jon Lord, Booker T, and Jimmy Smith. And like previous albums (this is their fifth studio release), Organik offers a heady mix of progressive rock, jazz, funk, blues and fusion with Novello’s Hammond, piano, and Fender Rhodes always at the heart of the songs. Sheehan and Chambers dutifully support the arrangements, though each gets their own moments to shine, Sheehan in particular. But make no mistake – all eyes are on Novello for most of this album. Whether ripping through fusion workouts like “Blisterine” or pulling it back with the tasty and soulful vamping of “Magnetic Mood,” he never ceases to amaze. I suppose some might accuse Novello of merely ripping off the work of the original masters, though I question if these critics have a pulse. No, these thirteen tracks (including a delicious cover of Zappa’s “King Kong”) are the real deal and I can’t recommend these guys to Exposé readers highly enough, particularly those of you looking for a less metallic alternative to Derek Sherinian’s Planet X.
Related artist(s): Niacin
There's No Time Like the Present – The Belgian band Present has been one of the best avant-rock bands in the world since its formation in 1979. Over the years since then, Present has released nine amazing albums, and now they're ready to start work on number ten. They're looking for some financial help from their fans around the world. » Read more
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more