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2018 fusion rock project from guitar legend, Shuggie Otis! Features commanding drummer Carmine Appice (Vanilla Fudge/Beck Bogert & Appice) and stellar bassist Tony Franklin (The Firm/Roy Harper). Shuggie Otis is a singer-songwriter, recording artist, and multi-instrumentalist. Otis's composition "Strawberry Letter 23" (as recorded by The Brothers Johnson) topped the Billboard R&B chart and reached #5 of the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1977. He also achieved commercial success with his 1974 single "Inspiration Information" (from the album of the same name), reaching #56 on the R&B chart. Born in Los Angeles, California, Otis is the son of rhythm and blues pioneer, musician, bandleader, and impresario Johnny Otis who was of Greek descent and his wife Phyllis Walker who was of African American and Filipino descent.
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However, I was very disappointed with "Inter-Fusion." Shuggie gathered together some killer players in Carmine Appice (Vanilla Fudge,Cactus,etc ), Tony Franklin (The Firm ) and Kyle Hanwood for what amounts to a funk fusion jam session that just isn't super. Lots of aimless noodling on half of this 90% instrumental CD. The lone Shuggie vocal is one the only song he wrote , "Ice Cold Daydream", and it doesn't sound inspired at all. Cmon Shuggie, we know you have the talents to do better than this.
Was this some kind of a stop-gap album? Otis still has his chops guitar-wise, but perhaps a fusion album wasn't the way to go. While there are flashes of Otis' guitar playing that show he still has it, the overall musical blandness combined with the bad mix makes this set something you need to hear before you purchase it. If you like it more power to you.