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9 customer reviews

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Audio CD, January 27, 1994
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Editorial Reviews


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8. Flickering Lights

Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 27, 1994)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Evidence
  • ASIN: B0000014KV
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #191,623 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

5 star
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3 star
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 20, 2000
Format: Audio CD
This is the most important solo CD from Bill Connors, a Return to Forever alumni. (He played on Hymn to the 7th Galaxy). This CD has been in my collection for a long time. If youre a serious fan of fusion your collection is not complete without this CD! The guitar is very melodic with some extreme lagato and fluid lines, the chord work is also exquisite and intricate with respect to arrangement. There is so much feeling and soul in this music its scary. Ive read Connors interviews and he talks about a Coltrane meets Hendrix approach to the guitar. The sheets of sound on guitar thing is really happening here.
Also, bassist Tom Kennedy is one of the best Ive ever heard, his mastry of breaking up the chords and playing so poly-rythmically establishes him as one of the true masters of the bass, up there with Stanley Clarke, Jaco Pastorious, and Jeff Berlin.
The drummer, Dave Weckl who toured with Chick Corea is a master drummer and of the finest time keepers avalible. By far some of the best fusion these ears will ever hear!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By E. Minkovitch on December 10, 2008
Format: Audio CD
The yardstick by which to judge other neo-fusion albums, in my opinion. By neo-fusion I mean the new-school fusion sound of 80's and 90's, featuring crisp, metallic, processed sound, heavily relying on virtuoso guitar soloing, hard drumming and driving bass lines (UZEB, Tribal Tech, Allan Holdworth, Frank Gambale etc.). Bill does it extremely well. His solos, although as technical as it gets, are melodic and well though-out, yet spontaneous rather than planned. He uses speed expressively, rather than excessively. The compositions are interesting with plenty of tension and drive. There are heavy rock-like riffs, breath-taking shred-meister soloing, crystalline picking and fluid melodic lead lines to satisfy any rock and fusion fan. His rich, metallic-sounding chords provide all the harmony that's needed, replacing the need for keyboards. Perfect fusion sound. The only thing I can add - I wish I could play like that!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Steven Burgio on October 15, 2005
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
so many people whine that Bill sounds too muh like Allen on this album. However, If you listened to bill's early works, like with Stanley Clark's self titiled album, Bil is just being his talented self.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By P. McKenna on April 5, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Let me start off by saying that I have been a fan of the chameleonic Bill Connors for some years now. His ever evolving muse and explorations have kept my attention for some time, whether it was his soaring and searing melodic electric playing with Return to Forever (which as far as I'm concerned stomped all over Al DiMeola), his beautiful and complex acoustic music from the mid to late 70's or his earliest re-emergence on electric guitar in the early 80's with several ECM artists like Jan Garbarek. All during that time, Bill stayed true to a very unique, personal and individual course.

And that's why this mid 80's release troubles me so much yet still has some things worth listening to.

Certainly, it couldn't be faulted in the musicianship and production departments, how could you go wrong with Dave Weckl and Tom Kennedy driving things along for you and having a sympathetic ear in guitarist Steve Khan producing?

However, the fault lies for me in the fact that Bill came out sounding a lot like Allan Holdsworth to a VERY alarming degree, even using much of the same gear, tones and even phrasing! What gives? Even Allan himself expresed some dismay, saying once that he liked Bill Connors when he sounded like Bill Connors. This is what puzzles me about this phase of Bill's career.

But on the other hand, it's not a complete loss, as there are some VERY worthwhile things that take place, like the title cut, the blues drenched "Cookies", the obtuse (and utterly delightful) "Titan" and the rousing closing cut "Flickering Lights" (even if it does have a bad case of Holdsworth-itis).

A mixed bag for sure, and leaving this Owl to wonder just why did he travel the Holdsworth path when he had plenty of his own originality to offer. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By D. M. Paine on June 15, 2006
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I've heard all three of Bill's three trio albums from his early period (roughly, the 80's, the time between his acoustic experiments and his quiet period starting in the 90's). To my mind this is the best overall album, best melodies, arrangements, and concepts. There is some great stuff on the other two albums but this one has the highest consistent quality.

Bill's soloing style includes a quirkiness that is balanced by serious attention to melodic development. He first demonstrated this with Return to Forever, and then with his legendary six-minute solo on Stanley Clarke's Life Suite, about 1976. In this album Bill has worked even harder at creating chordal backgrounds and catchy riffs, i.e. he has written some excellent material. The solos spring organically from the themes, and are not disconnected jams - Bill is a real artist, not just a guitarist. I'll also second what others are saying about the strong playing support from Tom Kennedy and Dave Weckl, both big talents in their own right.

Its a shame this album wasnt better promoted. Bill Connors should be better known as a jazz leader, not just that fast-but-gritty guy who helped launch Return to Forever. For his most recent album, check out the aptly-named Return from 2006...more of a straight jazz album, less fusion. Highly recommended!!!
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