Niacin - Time Crunch

Year of Release: 2001
Label: Magna Carta
Catalog Number: MA 9059-2
Format: CD
Total Time: 56:13:00

If you're feeling lathargic, then what you need is a shot or two of Niacin. Time Crunch, Niacin's fourth studio album (released in 2001), shows us a band agressively asserting itself. It's a hot album, sizzling in fact. The picture on the back cover says it all -- we're going to be tough, serious, and have a lot of fun. One gets three quick blasts in the form of aggressive and textured fusion from "Elbow Grease," "Time Crunch," and "Stone Face." Dazzling displays of dexterity and power. The they follow this up with a ballsy verson of King Crimson's "Red," the guitar parts handled by John Novello on keys.

As you might expect the bass work from Billy Sheehan and drumming of Dennis Chambers is just spectcualar. This trio is so tight, you figure it must one entity with six arms and one head. Things mellow a bit with "Invisible King," moving at slower pace, but no less taut. As is expected, the Hammond B3 is all over this release, mainly in the lead, but you just need to focus your ear a bit more and you'll hear some extensive bass and drum work providing a very textured...well, not background exactly...and even accompaniment doesn't really adequately say it. The focus shifts, sometimes so very smoothly. On "Invisible King," we even get an added, lighter texture of acoustic piano, a bit of classicism in the funk. Funky jazz is back again with "Daddy Long Leg." You'd sware there were other instruments at play here, besides keyboards, bass and drums, but those saxes and trumpets are certainly from the fingers of Novello.

"Hog Funk" is a little more studied, though no less dynamic. "Glow" is a very mellow, romantic piece, played on piano with sparse percussion, and languid bass -- it's a late and hazy night at the club kind of jazz. It is aptly named as it is so warm it does nearly glow. Beautiful piece of music. "Damaged Good" rocks, with Chambers providing a driving beat, while Sheehan's bass thrumbs and churns. "Outside Inside Out" is a sometimes moody piece, sometimes joyful -- that topsy-turvy feeling is certainly intentional, given the title. "Blue Wind," a cover of Jan Hammer piece, is a rollicking and frollicking jam...I can just see the smiles on each of their faces as they were recording this.

Once you get to the end of the disk, there are two things you'll say: "Whew" and "Can we play that again?" Yes, everything is just right about this album, the production by Novello, Sheehan and Mike Faley is terrific. Highly Recommended.

Elbow Grease (5:17) / Time Crunch (3:13) / Stone Face (6:09) / Red (8:00) / Invisible King (4:27) / Daddy Long Leg (5:18) / Hog Funk (5:06) / Glow (3:05) / Damaged Goods (4:25) / Outside Inside Out (5:02) / Blue Wind (5:51)

Billy Sheehan - bass
John Novello - Hammond B3
Dennis Chambers - drums

Niacin (1996)
Live In Japan (1997)
High Bias (1998)
Deep (2000)
Time Crunch (2001)
Niacin Live! Blood, Sweat and Beers (2003)
Organik (2005)

Genre: Fusion-Jazz Fusion

Origin US

Added: June 2nd 2002
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website:
Hits: 1169
Language: english


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