For those who don’t know American saxophonist Charlie Mariano’s music, you’re in for a treat. For his legions of fans, this may be an album that has passed beneath your radar. Critic Thom Jurek calls it “one of the great, under-heard records to ever come out of the fusion years… a stone classic and one of the best examples of post-Miles jazz-rock fusion ever recorded”. Although Mariano first made his name in the jazz caldrons of Boston and New York – his solos on Mingus’ The Black Saint and The Sinner Lady are jazz classics –, Mariano is known in Europe for his eclectic play, ranging from jazz, fusion and pop to world music. The astounding lineup for this album includes keyboardist Jan Hammer of Mahavishnu Orchestra fame, Polish violin great Zbigniew Seifert, bassist Jack Bruce from the legendary rock group Cream, Soft Machine drummer John Marshall, and the amazing Asian percussionist Nippy Noya. The sweeping opening title piece features a percussion-drum duel and stratospheric solos by Hammer and Mariano on alto sax. With Charlie on the South Indian reed instrument the Nadaswaram, Parvati’s Dance takes several steps East as it illuminates Mariano’s deep feeling for the sub-continent, with a light thrown on the Hindu goddess of love, fertility and devotion. The elegiac violin-flute duo Sleep My Love is followed by Hammer’s Thorn of a White Rose with violin and alto sax musically entwined. Neverglades Pixie has a rocking, swampy Southern feel with Mariano slashing away on soprano, slippery-slick violin and synth solos and Bruce’s rollicking down-home bass. Mariano stays on soprano and Hammer steps over to the acoustic piano for a gripping duet on the emotionally charged Charlotte, while Avoid the Year of the Monkey has consummate fusion soprano, violin, and synth solos. A fusion celebration – big fun.