Next Stop is the second release from The John Irvine Band and follows up their impressive debut Wait & See from 2011. As with their debut Next Stop is written and composed by John Irvine (guitar & keyboards) and features the same line-up, namely Doug Kemp on bass and Alan Emslie on drums & percussion. Also following in the footsteps of their previous offering, Next Stop is a classy, well written instrumental album featuring great ensemble pieces, firmly steeped in the progressive jazz/rock camp.
Listenable is the key word here and although I have a great love for instrumental music it can sometimes become too self absorbed for its own good. Not so on Next Stop where the primary thrust is the interaction between the three players. No better displayed than in the title track which combines John Irvine’s versatile guitar work and keyboard ornamentations, all neatly driven and punctuated by Alan Emslie and Doug Kemp’s tasteful, often understated bass holding it all together. Awesome track…
Next Stop also demonstrates nice touches with atmospheric pieces such as the opening track, Home and the moving A Straight Line. We’ve also got the delightful and at times, foot-tapping groover, that is Pyramid Power, along with up-tempo, keyboard driven Slipstream. And of course the thoughtful epic A Means To An End…
These three guys are at the top of their game here on Next Stop and have once again produced a fine album of listenable, finely executed instrumentals. I’ve refrained from making any comparisons throughout this review, but here I’d like to say that if you enjoy well written instrumental music and if guys like Allan Holdsworth, Pat Metheny, John McLaughlin, Eric Johnson, Jeff Beck, but also including Alex Lifeson and Andy Summers, feature in your current collection then you really should check this album out. I doubt you will be disappointed, but should you doubt my word, then I urge you to check out the Next Stop album through JIB’s Bandcamp page.
01. High Mountain (1:52)
02. Next Stop (7:47)
03. Pyramid Power (6:03)
04. Your Skyline (7:10)
05. A Straight Line (5:24)
06. Home (1:45)
07. Slipstream (3:14)
08. Here Comes The Twister (8:01)
09. A Means To An End (11:03)
Total Time – 54:20
John Irvine – Guitar, Keyboards
Doug Kemp – Bass
Alan Emslie – Drums, Percussion
Record Label: Independent
Country of Origin: U.K.
Date of Release: 23rd September 2013