Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Duncan Mackay - 1977- Score

Duncan Mackay

01. Witches
02. Triptych
03. Spaghetti Smooch
04. Time Is No Healer
05. Fugitive
06. Score
07. Pillow Schmillow
08. Jigaloda
09. No Return

- Duncan Mackay / Keyboards, Yamaha Grand Piano, Hammond B3, Clavinet D6, Wurlitzer 200, Roland Sequencer, ARP 2600, ARP 2800, ARP 2701, ARP2100 ARP 2200
- Steve Harley / Vocals on "Time Is No Healer"
- John Wetton / Vocals (except for "Time Is No Healer")
- Clive Chaman / Bass, Fender Precision Bass
- Andrew McCulloch / Drums & Percussion
- Mel Collins / Flute on "Time Is No Healer"
- Wilf Gibson / Orchestra Arrangements
- Yvonne Keeley / Vocal effects

Duncan Mackay, on this, his second solo album, has moved slightly away from the Keith Emerson imitations that permeated his first album. Slightly, because the Emerson sound still appears. On the first track, Witches, a somewhat Spanish sounding symphonic proc piece, Mackay plays Emerson-like riffs on a honky-tonk tack piano, similar in sound to keith's in Benny The Bouncer. Acousic piano appears throughout the album, with Mackay providing obvious Emerson-influenced sounds.
Most obvious are Spaghetti Smooch, which sounds very much like a reworking of the main sections of Tarkus, played in 7 instead of 10, and Time Is No Healer, which owes a lot to Take A Pebble.

Despite the Emerson overtones, Mackay is developing his own style here. He does a nice job of layering piano, keyboard and synths all at the same time without making the songs too busy. One slight complaint is that his reliance on mostly Arp synthesizers makes many of the tones very similar to those used by Larry Fast at the same time.

And Mackay's inclusion of John Wetton and Mel Collins as sidemen brings him firmly into the nineteen seventies progressive rock family tree.

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