label: Charisma – CAS 1138
Format: Vinyl , LP, Album ————————————–Vinyl = mint and shiny.
Genre: Jazz , Rock
Style: Fusion , jazz-rock
A1 The Poke 5:10
A2 Masques 3:16
A3 Black Moon 4:48 Piano [Fender] – Morris Pert
A4 Deadly nightshade 11:22
B1 Earth Dance 6:06
B2 Access To Data 8:00
B3 The Ghost Of Mayfield Lodge 10:17
Check the audio commentary (what this album is like):
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Charisma Records Ltd.
Copyright (c) – Charisma Records Ltd.
Marketed By – Charisma Records Ltd.
Printed By – James Upton Ltd.
Recorded At – Trident Studios
Mixed At – Trident Studios
Marketed By – Phonogram Ltd.
Distributed By – Phonogram Ltd.
Published By – Fuse Music
Published By – Hit And Run Music Publishing
Published By – Josef Weinberger Ltd.
Bass – Percy Jones
Drums – Chuck Bürgi Drummer – percussionist for: Balance, Blue Öyster Cult, Rainbow, Red Dawn, Aldo Nova [Subject], Bon Jovi [Bon Jovi], Roger Glover [Mask], Joe Lynn Turner [Rescue You], Michael Bolton [Everybody’s Crazy]
Guitar – John Goodsall
Keyboards – Peter Robinson
Percussion – Morris Pert
Photography By [Front] – Chris Kutschera
Producer – Robin Lumley
Matrix / Runout (Side A stamped): CAS 1138A // 2 T º 11
Matrix / Runout (Side B stamped): CAS 1138B // 1 T 1 2 4
Released September 8, 1978
Recorded May–June 1978
Studio Trident Studios, London
Genre Jazz fusion
Masques is the 1978 album by the British jazz fusion group Brand X. This was the band’s first studio recording without drummer Phil Collins. The rear of the album cover has a photo of the crowd from the Knebworth Festival, 1978 — a bill that included both Brand X and Genesis, Collins’ other band.
The Ghost of Mayfield Lodge” is based on a true story about a carriage house where Percy Jones was staying which was said to be haunted.
This album is the first album on which Percy Jones played the fretless Wal bass, which became his trademark sound.
I’ve never heard a Brand X album that I didn’t like, and Masques is definitely one of the strongest of a stellar company!
For this one, Chuck Bergi takes over the skins from Phil Collins (who’ll return to the fold for PRODUCT), and does a very stalwart and capable job. Founding band members John Goodsall (guitar) and Percy Jones (one of the all-time MASTERS of the fretless bass) remain, and percussionist Morris Pert is back to hit various and sundry instruments, objects and parts of Britain.
All of the songs on this disc are great, but I especially enjoy those by Pert: the powerful “Deadly Nightshade,” the ebullient “Earth Dance,” and the surprisingly pretty and delicate “Black Moon.” (Goodsall’s “Access to Data” is also awesome!) As always, the band leads the listener down many winding, weird and wondrous paths, with complex rhythms and time signatures. Throughout it all, their sense of timing is impeccable — these are strictly top-shelf musicians! It’s much more in the “jazz-fusion” vein: (generally) instrumental, electric, and often frantic. Thus, their music can be challenging and “difficult” for the uninitiated. if you have an open musical mind, and room for diversity in your collection, you’ll likely grow to really appreciate this fabulously-talented band’s unique, eclectic “brand” of music, and MASQUES would be a fine way to commence (or augment) your Brand X collection! Far out!
After a couple of really well-working Brand X releases, the band went on a bit different path than before with “Masques”. This album can be seen as a tighter, quirkier and harder release but still with the usual Brand X playfulness and the amazingly solid instrumentation. Phil Collins was too busy with Genesis at the time for this release that he got replaced by Chuck Bürgi, a superb drummer who does a mind-boggling performance here, up to pair with Collins I would say. Collins returned after this release.
This might be the most complex Brand X album, stuffed with odd time signatures. The songs are well composed and structured with a great sense of melody too, in Brand X’ usual quirky style, of course! There are no really weak tracks here. “Masques” the best release in their discography!
My rating: 5 for being so underrated.