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More promise than delivery

Behind the Sun
By Clyde Criner

RCA Victor: 1987

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This review first appeared in the April 8, 1988 issue of the San Diego Evening-Tribune.

In the late 1970s, fusion musicians began incorporating two new influences into their music: synthesizers, a technological innovation, and African-Latin rhythms. While both influences began to make significant impact as the '80s opened, few bands dabbled in both (although Weather Report immediately comes to mind).

Keyboardist Clyde Criner's objective on his new album, "Behind the Sun," seems to be brings these two influences together. His keyboard leads are typical of other artists' work in fusion and new age, but he combines this approach with a multi-layered Afro beat laid down by an all-star rhythm section of bassist Marcus Miller, drummer Omar Hakim and percussionists Kevin Jones, Jose Ocasio and Steve Thornton.

While his objectives are undeniably admirable, the results are uneven. On "Black Manhattan," guest guitarist Carlos Santana's red-hot solos seem out of sync with Cliner's more methodical approach. While he turns it around on "A Song to Tell," utilizing the energy of his rhythm section to spark a funk fury, on whole this release shows more potential than delivery.