Far and Distant Things is the latest album from British keyboard player/composer Benjamin Croft, and he's assembled a stellar cast of musicians to help him out on this new release. Though he's appeared on a multitude of releases and genres in recent years, his true love is jazz, and Far and Distant Things features a 'who's who' of the fusion world. The title track sees him locking horns with trailblazing guitarist Frank Gambale, a standout piece here that also features the rhythm section of bassist Flo Moore and drummer Tristan Maillot. Gareth Lockrane's flute is featured on "Brock" alongside Croft's wonderful electric piano and a tasty bass solo courtesy of Moore. Croft's synth solo on the horn driven "S.A.D. (Spatial Awareness Disease)" is a thing of beauty, while the always dependable Barry Finnerty lends his expert guitar licks to the intricate "Tudor Job Agency". Even the legend Randy Brecker gets involved in the fun, his unmistakeable trumpet adorning the lovely "S&R Video", a song that also features some velvety bass lines from Henry Thomas. Another hot track here is "The War Against Loudness", complete with Croft's blazing synth lines and atmospheric electric piano, as well as some splendid guitar from Mike Miller and blazing drums courtesy of Laurie Lowe. Speaking of drums, the incomparable Chad Wackerman shows up on the hot yet brief blazer "St. Gandalf's", and those luscious electric piano tones are awash on the atmospheric "The Cashectomy", also notable for a sizzling guitar solo from Carter Arrington and more of those nimble Flo Moore bass runs.
Basically, not a weak track to be found here, just professional, highly melodic fusion that is expertly played and meticulously produced. Benjamin Croft is a force to be reckoned with, and I can't wait to hear what he comes up with next. Do not miss Far and Distant Things folks!
2. "Far & Distant Things"
4. "SAD (Spatial Awareness Disease)"
5. "Tudor Job Agency"
6. "S&R Video"
7. "The War Against Loudness"
8. "How Not To Win The Nobel Peace Price"
9. "Thank You, That's What I Wanted To Know"
10. "St Gandalf's"
11. "The Cashectomy"