Second Direction Four Corners

Second Directions was a jazz-funk combo put together in the mid-'70s by saxophonist and flautist Fritz Münzer. Münzer was also one of the pioneers of the German modern jazz scenes after World War II, trained in bebop and West Coast jazz. Second Direction finds him in the company of then younger musicians - Gerhard Spirk on electric bass, Val Hargreaves on drums and Karl Heinz on electric piano and strings - and the sound is reminiscent of fusion bands like the Weather Report and Brazil's Azymuth, where the sounds coming from each player's instrument are fresh and kinetic. They rarely indulge in the technicality of their solos and as a result, their performances are bright and catchy. Münzer leads the outfit with colourful melodies and plays his sax through a wah-pedal on "Blue Dilemma," but the show clearly depends on Heinz and his sparkling touch on the keyboard. A consistent album and a well mastered reissue. (Spinning Wheel)