Brand X: Malaga Virgen
Moroccan Roll (Passport PP98022)
Robin Lumley (keyboards), John Goodsall (guitar), Percy Jones (bass), Phil Collins (drums), Morris Pert (percussion).
Composed by Percy Jones.
Recorded: London, December 1976 and January 1977
Rating: 88/100 (learn more)
Many Brand X fans thought the band really found its groove with the release of Moroccan Roll. Brand X, founded by guitarist John Goodsall and bassist Percy Jones, was becoming one of the most important European fusion bands in the genre. The band would never attain the notoriety of its American predecessors Mahavishnu, Return To Forever, Weather Report or even Eleventh House. But following in those footsteps was quite hard.
"Malaga Virgen," Spanish for "Malaga (Spain) virgin," is notable for how Robin Lumley makes his synthesizer sound like a combination of violinist Jean-Luc Ponty and keyboardist Jan Hammer in a feverish riff that is the tune's beginning and end. In between, a driving semi-Latin rhythm is established by Collins and Pert. In an explorative midsection, Jones has an impressive solo and Lumley turns into Chick Corea on piano. The Return to Forever motif is completed by Goodsall on acoustic guitar sounding every bit the equal of Al Di Meola.
Reviewer: Walter Kolosky