English foursome Arc emerged from Skip Bifferty [aka Heavy Jelly] in 1970. They were a lesser but very talented blues-based heavy prog outfit comprised of Michael Gallagher's keys, Tom Duffy's bass, the drums of David Montgomery and guitarist John Turnbull. Occasionally compared to Patto though they also remind of Supertramp if that group had been young and hungry, Arc sound not unlike many bands of the era who took from what the Beatles had established but adding a harder, rawer feel mixed with the semi-classical sparks of early Yes, making 'At This' a respectable collector's item.
Any chance that one has to hear a master musician in his or her preferred setting is a gift. For all the one-offs and ensemble by committee type of gigs that spring up, it is the reunion with familiar collaborators for a stint of a few nights that really becomes integral for the best performances. On his new recording, At This Time, pianist Steve Kuhn found himself just in the right time and place to record a trio record that feels timeless and truly inspired. The ensemble, which features legendary bassist Steve Swallow and drummer Joey Baron, was happy to find itself in an extended engagement at Birdland Jazz Club in New York in September 2015 and found time to get into the recording studio before heading to Europe on tour.
Pryor reaffirms his mastery of postwar blues harp over the course of this sturdy set, again done with the help of some fine Texas and Chicago players. Pryor's downhome vocals shine on the distinctive "Bury You in a Paper Sack" and "Stick Way Out Behind".
The band’s third album ‘Look At Yourself’ was originally released in October of 1971 and represented the first for manager Gerry Bron’s new label ‘Bronze Records’. The title track is a charging statement of intent as the band don’t let up, with no time to reflect on their success. Such was their hectic schedule at this time they managed to cram touring, session time and 3 albums in the space of 12 months. These re-packaged and re-mastered albums have been endorsed by the band all with a bonus disc of un-released material. ‘Look at Yourself’ was released with a unique foil front cover and this has been faithfully re-created in a lavish digipack format using foil board material which presents the entire package in a new and shimmering light.
This is a typically flawless swing set by violinist Stephane Grappelli. Joined by pianist Marc Hemmeler, bassist Eberhard Weber and drummer Kenny Clare for a session originally cut for MPS, Grappelli mixes together sophisticated ballads with hotter stomps and uplifts the somewhat modern rhythm section.