NIACIN‘Live!’ (Magna Carta MA-9063-2) (2003)
Who you may ask? Well it’s a freeform, jazz rock styled musical trio
comprising of bassist Billy Sheenan (ex-Dave Lee Roth/Mr Big/Talas), drummer
Dennis Chambers (ex-Santana) and keyboard player John Novello. It’s an all
instrumental affair ranging from the uptempo ‘Bullet Train Blues’, where the
Hammond work of Novello takes a front seat to mellower moments like ‘One
Less Worry’, where drummer Dennis Chambers takes a lead role. Then you get
covers, ‘Purple Rain’ by Prince with an almost religious arrangement and the
Supremes’ classic ‘You Keep Me Hangin’ On’ (also famously covered by Vanilla
Fudge), sounding not unlike Deep Purple!
There are two unreleased studio tracks, ‘Front And Center’, featuring
some tasty keyboard/bass interplay and ‘Gelatin’, taking on a prog rock
leaning. Both blend well with the live material rather than just being last
minute add ons.
A very talented combo that more than make-up for the lack of guitar by
pushing the keyboards into that role and it works well.
Review by Jason Ritchie
***** Out of this world | **** Pretty
damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly