Don Marino Falcone might, by name, sound like space-rock’s answer to Tony Soprano (RIP), but invitations to contribute to his psychedelic progressive jazz collective Spirits Burning seem to be offers that more and more musicians of stature can’t refuse.
This album is a particular coup, linking Falcone with Cyrille Verdeaux of 70s French prog-rock outfit Clearlight, alongside such luminaries as Falcone’s long-time collaborators Daevid Allen and Bridget Wishart, of Gong and Hawkwind duties respectively. Bevis Frond bassist Adrian Shaw, High Tide’s Pete Pavli, and former Cure drummer Andy Anderson also feature among the throng of contributors.
Their collaboration mirrors Clearlight in many ways; the ensemble approach has always been a Sprits Burning touchstone in any case, but this record’s instrumental focus, with only a scattering of vocal tracks, and its fusion vibe sees the two outfits harmonise. The results have a real deftness of touch: stylish, zippy and zesty, often possessive of a feel-good summer lightness that’s highly appealing. Its accessibility makes it a useful jumping-on point to Falcone’s work, which ranges from “proper” space-rock through progressive and into the industrial noise of his recordings with Grindlestone.