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Sunday, June 7, 2015

Continuum, USA

Continuum - End of Line. 1984 Schmizz.

And speaking of fusion albums, here's one Midwest Mike burned for me years ago. I enjoyed it immediately, but never added it to the CDRWL. I recently ran into the title during the CD-R revisit project, and questioned why I hadn't done anything with it. Off to some research I went, and discovered that band member Robert Baglione is still active, and on his website, he offers an opportunity to buy the CD. Ah-ha! So that's the answer I was looking for. But why I didn't pursue the CD at the time, I cannot recall. In any case, I immediately sent Robert a note asking about the CD in question. As I suspected/feared, it's actually a homemade CD-R taken from vinyl and burned from a computer. Nope - that doesn't count. We want factory pressed CDs. Still, if those things don't matter to you, then for certain buy the CD-R, as it is legit and from the source. In my case, Robert offered me a sealed LP, and so I bought one of those instead! I didn't realize he still had those for sale, or I would have bought that too no matter the CD situation. So with that out of the way, here are my notes, enhanced since hearing the LP:

Continuum is a heavy fusion band from Chicago featuring John Redfield on keyboards, Robert Baglione on guitar, and Robert Allen on bass with various drummers/percussionists, most prominently Randy Harrah. The albums starts off a bit disconcerting on the title track with slap bass, disco beats, and cheesy synthesizers. But Baglione gets the psychedelic tinged guitar going thus adding a much needed edge to the proceedings. The jazz sequences featuring piano also light it up. Has some of the most insane guitar runs I've ever heard - imagine somewhere between late 70s Al Di Meola (technique) and early 70s John McLaughlin (tone/style). You're going to want to get your air guitar out for this one! There's way more meat on its bones than most 1980s era fusion albums. Not quite as angular as the Inserts' Out of the Box for example, but we're talking that kind of aggressiveness. A very welcome development and a window to what the 1980s could have been.

Album was released on the private Schmizz Records of Forest Park, Illinois.


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