Personnel: Jeremy Steig (flute, alto flute, bass flute, piccolo); Jan Hammer (electric piano, gong, Chinese gong); Eddie Gomez , Gene Perla (electric bass); Don Alias (drums, congas, percussion).
Recording information: Electric Lady Studios, New York, NY.
Photographer: Berry Berenson.
Fusion pairs the entirety of Jeremy Steig's landmark 1971 Capitol release Energy alongside unreleased material from the same sessions. Energy is a miracle of alchemy -- Jeremy Steig transforms his flute from the ethereal to the elemental, forging a heavy, deeply funky jazz-rock record that defies gravity. Paired with keyboardist Jan Hammer, bassists Gene Perla and Eddie Gomez, and drummer Don Alias, Steig creates Technicolor grooves that float like butterflies and sting like bees. His music doesn't so much fuse jazz and rock as it approaches each side from the perspective of the other, exploring their respective concepts and executions to arrive at a sound all its own. If anything, the tonal restrictions of Steig's chosen instrument push him even farther into the unknown, employing a series of acoustic and electronic innovations to expand the flute's possibilities seemingly into the infinite. While some of the unissued content here is no less astounding, as a whole Fusion feels like too much of a good thing; one can't help but miss the focus and shape of Energy in its original incarnation. ~ Jason Ankeny