Seven Moons

Jack Bruce & Robin Trower

If age has anything to do with decline in ability, someone forgot to tell Jack Bruce and Robin Trower. Seven Moons, the duo's third album together (and first in over 25 years), captures both the 60-something musicians at their absolute best. The original Procol Harum guitarist and Cream bassist/vocalist, along with drummer Gary Husband, whose backed everyone from Allan Holdsworth to John McLaughlin, wade through the CD’s 11 tunes like a trio that’s been joined at the hip for decades; an organic flow that diffuses preconceptions, giving hope to those who forget what it’s like to craft and sweat over a truly magnificent collection of songs — genuine songs that wrap themselves around your ears like long-lost acquaintances in from the cold.

Vocally, Bruce hasn’t sounded this assured since Songs For A Tailor. Health ailments that plagued him from delivering the top-furnished goods during 2005's Cream reunion have fallen away and ceded defeat. Seemingly back to full strength, the expedient title track, as the singer says, “feels so right.” Like a man on a mission, Bruce is behind the lilting groove of “Distant Places Of The Heart” — his voice gingerly weaving in and out of Trower’s leathery guitar lines, his bass lines punctuating the cadence and bracing for speed bumps. Then there's “The Last Door,” a song with a catchy turnaround that, had Trower not written it, would have made a great comeback single for Cream. Yeah, it shines with that kind of classic sheen.

Of course, Robin Trower, one of the last original guitar heroes, is reliably on the mark, each note carefully pulled and plied from his nimble fingers, executed and etched without pretense. There's little doubt Trower's playing, writing and whole approach has become more refined over the years. The nuances and layers are buttered up with more color and less abrasion. But don't think the man’s Stratocaster doesn't still breathe fire. When it comes to the bluesier numbers— “Lives Of Clay,” “Perfect Place” and the lingering, yet timely “Bad Case Of Celebrity” — Trower swings his ax and clears the forest, never at a loss for giving the right response to service the overall stickiness of the composition.

Seven Moons disregards the lunar commercial landscape of today, presenting itself as a statement of what happens when a couple of old geezers, with legendary pasts, stitch together a cohesive, satisfying patch of tunes without any “assistance” from the peanut gallery. Here's an album that answers to no one, makes no apologies, and, in the process, leaves its listeners utterly speechless, craving for more. Some might say a real diamond in the bluff, so savor every morsel.

~ Shawn Perry

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