Magna Carta

What appears to be an interesting idea on the surface — a trio made up of bassist Billy Sheehan, drummer Dennis Chambers and John Novello on Hammond B3 — never gels into something new and rich. Instead, it sounds like a CD made up of all the “boogie” parts of prog-rock songs — ya know, the bits in Deep Purple tunes when Jon Lord would wail on the B3, giving Ritchie Blackmore time to light a smoke or something? Listening to this release brought back frightening memories of summers in high school, riding around in a beat-up car having my ears pounded by King Crimson, Zappa, and ELP. While sorta fun then (of course, beer intake may have played a part in the experience…), it only sounds old now. The only cut on the record to feature vocals (by former Deep Purple growler Glenn Hughes) and guitar (by Toto’s Steve Lukather, of all people!), “Things Ain’t Like They Used To Be,” doesn’t really add much, and all in all, you end up wishing that the three artists here had tried to perform an homage to Booker T and the MG’S instead of ’70’s arena rock.

Magna Carta, 208 E. 51st St. Suite 1820, New York, NY 10022.;

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