Exposé Online banner

Niacin — Organik
(Magna Carta MA-9081-2, 2005, CD)

by Paul Hightower, Published 2006-05-01

Organik Cover art

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.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 33, 2005 releases

Related artist(s): Niacin

Latest news

2020-02-18
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more

2020-01-15
Carlos Alvarado RIP – Carlos Alvarado, pioneering composer, multi-instrumentalist and pioneer of progressive rock and electronic experimental music in Mexico, passed away January 14th, 2020 at age 68 after a two year battle with cancer.  » Read more

2020-01-12
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more

2020-01-12
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Court - And You'll Follow the Winds Rush 'Till Their Breath Dwells – From the opening notes of "Rising the Tale" – a short instrumental interlude that opens the disc, it's apparent that this new Italian neo-progressive band has traveled a different...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues