...from Simon Reynolds regarding my take on Neil Ardley's Harmony Of The Spheres here. Ardley's album is every bit as fantastic as Simon suggests, although I would add that it reminds me an awful lot of the immediate post-Gabriel era of Genesis circa 1976-1980, the period that even Genesis apologists seem to find problematic, mainly due to Phil Collins's repositioning as lead vocalist. But the increasing prominence of Collins (plus ex-WR drummer Chester Thompson's recruitment as live sticksman) also means that there's plenty of pseudo-fusion taking place on these albums, which often results in a 'British Weather Report' vibe comparable to that of Spheres. I'm thinking of tracks like 'Dance On A Volcano' and 'Los Endos' from A Trick Of The Tail, 'Wot Gorilla?' and 'Unquiet Slumbers For The Sleepers' from Wind And Wuthering, 'Burning Rope' from ...And Then There Were Three and 'Duke's Travels'/'Dukes End' from Duke. These are much more convincing examples of a very British take on fusion - combined with a solid pop sensibility that the US musicians obviously lacked - than Collins's more strictly jazzwise explorations on the horribly dated early albums by Brand X.