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Ray, Rick: Temporary World

On the very day I pulled this one out for my first listen I received, from Rick, the very disturbing news that his vocalist Chuck Abrahams had passed away suddenly and unexpectedly from a massive heart attack. Chuck was not yet fifty years old! SOT sends their heartfelt condolences to Chuck's family, the band and to Rick, a great and insightful friend of our website. It was not until a full week later that I felt ready to tackle the album again.

The first thing that must be stated is that Rick is truly a unique veteran. He has assembled an impressive body of work over three decades in truly dedicated and uncompromising fashion. The other adjective that immediately comes to mind for Rick is "intense". Whether it is his candid writing, political views or his music Rick is possibly the most unique, intense and uncompromising artist you will ever hear. CD Baby states "Intense Psychedelic Progressive Hard Rock - Jazz Fusion with thought provoking lyrics." "The most unique recording to be released by Neurosis records" I could not agree more or better describe the music. With a legacy of 28 works behind him showcasing his many and varied influences ranging from Hendrix/Trower/Marino/Zappa through the jazz stylings of the Dregs, this release was poised to become, and may still become, Rick's best yet. Unfortunately, after rekindling a lifelong friendship with Chuck in the spring of 2005, the ensuing joy of writing and producing this album together, we are now left wondering what this album might have begat and what collaborative wonders we will now never get to hear. Truly a sad loss.

The album runs the gamut from delicate acoustic pieces through psychedelia through full blown prog fusion flights of fancy. Prophetically, the lyrics deal substantially with ideas and emotions around the passing of close souls. My best description of the music is a deft jazzy prog vibe with a decided harder fusion bent reminding me most of the ferocious guitar sax interplay evident on Larry Coryell albums of the early '70's featuring Steve Marcus on reeds ( "Offering" comes to mind immediately). Chuck's understated yet soaring vocal stylings complete the musical palette along with lead guitars and keys by Frank Pellino, the powerful bass work of Jack Ambrose, the reed work of Rick Schultz, and the intense drumming of Sam P. J. Glorioso. Simply put, a must have for lovers of "Intense Psychedelic Progressive Hard Rock - Jazz Fusion with thought provoking lyrics."

Chuck Abraham 1958-2005 You will be missed…….RIP

Track Listing
01. Until The End 7:22)
02. Rumor Clinic (5:10)
03. X In The Sky (5:28)
04. Modified Universe (6:25)
05. Change Stays The Same (6:18)
06. Enemies Of America (6:24)
07. Together Forever (6:23)
08. None Of My Concern (4:43)
09. Chemical Dispersion (5:44)
10. Passage Of Time (3:47)
11. Temporary World (4:45)
12. Alteration (5:52)

Added: October 15th 2005
Reviewer: Mike Blackburn
Related Link: More Information
Hits: 23228
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Ray, Rick: Temporary World
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2005-10-15 07:42:06
My Score:

Rick Ray and his band were bound to put together an album like this someday. Temporary World is a positive sounding release filled with stellar musicianship, and, for the first time, strong lead vocals that really fit the style of the band. After experimenting with different singers over the years, Rick settled on old friend Chuck Abraham for Temporary World, and the result is the best album the band has ever recorded. Packed with Ray's fiery and fluid guitar work, additional guitar and keyboards from Frank Pellino, the ever present Rick Schultz on reeds, Sam Glorioso's nimble drum work, and the muscular bass of Jack Ambrose, this album a better all-around feel and focus than any other Rick Ray project to date, and there have been many.

Some of the highlights are the opening killer "Until the End", a funky hard rock with an intense guitar solo from Pellino (his lone solo on the album) that sends shivers up the spine, the progressive jam-band leanings of "Modified Universe", the hard rock & fusion sounds of "Change Stays the Same", the psychedelic acoustic sounds of "Enemies of America", and the Robin Trower influenced "Together Forever". Rick's acoustic guitar talents are on display on the instrumental "Passage of Time", and the band play a unique hybrid of 70's hard rock and Canterbury prog styles "Alteration".

Sadly, singer Abraham passed away from an unexpected heart attack shortly after the release of this CD, which is such a shame given his young age plus the fact that his powerful vocals were a great fit for this band that was so lacking a talented vocalist.

If you have ever heard any of the many Rick Ray Band albums, and thought that perhaps there was something missing from them, Temporary World should be the one that fully satisfies for the most part. Again, the production is not world class, but for the first time the songwriting really clicks, the new line-up really gels together, and the vocals are right on target.

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