Dry Jack

Dry Jack, a Kansas City-based jazz fusion band, was perhaps one of the most obscure of the late-’70s jazz-fusion era. The group was led by Chuck Lamb (keyboardist) and Rich Lamb (electric bass-playing brother), and followed Larry Coryell’s Eleventh House and Return to Forever. The group was completed by Rod Fleeman, an electric guitarist, and John Margolis, a drummer. They were a talented unit but were unable to break away from the cliches and stances of their peers, such as Joe Zawinul, Chick Corea and Mike Mandel, who are all members of the Eleventh House. Music is good, but it’s stuck in a time warp. It was based on noodling, strictly written charts, which have some depth but mostly flash and chops. Magical Elements is still worth your time if you’re paying attention to Chuck Lamb’s Fender Rhodes playing on tracks like “Lit Spinners”, a super-hot Brazilian track featuring Fleeman’s fleet guitar and the title track, which features a 5/4 samba beat and complex unison lines. “Strollin’ on Jupiter”, the sole jazz swinger, has a well-constructed and calculated counterpoint. The appropriately named “Americana Hoedown,” reflects Pat Metheny’s bright-sized rural vibe. The derivations of previous generations can be clearly heard during “Earth Daze”, a multi-tiered production featuring Chuck Lamb’s electric keyboards. It is breezy and leads to harder funk. The N.Y.C.-based trio Stuff can be heard on “Sunday Boogie Nookie Stomp,” an instrumental R.

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