Album: Time On Our Side
Label: RUF
Tracks: 10

Back in the late 60's and early 70's, my era for music, a number of bands or groups were referred to as progressive. This basically meant that they used significantly more that the three basic chords used by most of the groups at the time. Three of my favourite "progressive" bands at that time were Camel, Caravan and Colosseum. It has only just struck me that they all start with the initial "C". Perhaps I have a thing about that letter.

So this review is about Colosseum's latest album "Time is on our side." It certainly is having formed in 1968 and still going strong. The original band broke up in 1971, but reformed in 1994 and has been belting their fabulous music out ever since.

The current line-up is Dave Greenslade, Jon Hiseman, Dave "Clem" Clemson, Mark Clarke, Chris Farlowe and Barbara Thompson. Remarkably, all but Barbara Thomson have been involved with the band since at least 1970 with Dave and John being founder members. The band is held together by one of the greatest rock/blues/jazz voices to come out of the UK. Chris Farlowe who still sounds as good today as he did in the 70's.

This album is the first studio album from Colosseum since 2003 although there have been a few live and compilation albums in the intervening period. It has been well worth the wait though.

Anyone that has ever listened to Colosseum will know what to expect from the new album. An incredibly tight mix of blues and jazz, brilliantly performed and played, all with that wonderful Farlowe voice overlaying the musical excellence. The addition of Barbara Thompson on Saxophone from the early days has added that extra bit of real class.

If I am going to be really picky, I am not keen on the final track "Morning Story" but as it is a bonus track I will not hold that against the band.

This is a band at the top of its game and an album of sheer unadulterated quality. I know the members are getting on a bit now but long may they continue to thrill audiences and music fans alike with their very personal style of music. As the popular TV programme is titled, this album is "Absolutely fabulous."

Rory Stanbridge