Friday, August 14, 2015

Bill Connors - 1985 [1990] Step It

This session accented the funk/R&B and rock elements of Connors' arsenal; the eight selections were dominated both by drummer Dave Weckl's prominent backbeats and Connors' riffs and dashing licks, as well as catchy hooks, progressions, and patterns from bassist Tom Kennedy. Such songs as "A Pedal," "Brody," and the title cut weren't melodically sophisticated, but had a bass-heavy structure and quick, animated solos. Although the date is a bit old, its qualities prove a perfect fit on several new adult contemporary and lite-jazz outlets.

Another essential CD for Bill Connors (ex-Return To Forever) fans is "Step It!", which offers prime examples of fluid, legato guitar in a Coltrane-meets-Hendrix, fusion context. Not only is Connors a silky smooth lead player, but his rhythm work is particularly intricate and inspiring. Bassist Tom Kennedy and drummer Dave Weckl also stand out - Kennedy with his poly-rhythmic stylings and Weckl with his energy, feel and panache. Produced by guitarist Steve Khan (who guest solos on "Twinkle"), "Step It!" is a super companion disc to Double Up, and also a great introduction to the work of Connors for the uninitiated. Remarkable fusion from a pioneer who can still deliver excellence.

Tracks Listing

1. Lydia (3:35)
2. A Pedal (8:48)
3. Step It (4:33)
4. Cookies (4:46)
5. Brody (4:15)
6. Twinkle (5:58)
7. Titan (6:37)
8. Flickering Lights (5:07)

Total Time 78:12

Line-up / Musicians
- Bill Connors / guitar
- Dave Weckl / drums
- Tom Kennedy / bass
- Steve Khan / guitar (6)