Infinity Ltd.
(Lofish, 2005)

Infinity Ltd. is a blast from fusion jazz past.

Keyboardist Walter Fischbacher leads the quartet, sharing leads with tenor sax player Bernard Ullrich. Despite some urban sounding shout-outs by Pete Macnamara, Infinity Ltd. harkens back to '70s jazz funk, with heavy, choppy bass lines by Ric Fierabracci and four-four drumming by Hari Gangberger. When guest Jeff McErlain plays guitar on "Lizard," he fits right in by relying heavily on the wah-wah petal. And, of course, Fierabracci is right out front doing a few solos, almost as a tribute to the heyday of the electric bass.

If you like all those synth sounds that came out of jazz keyboards back in the '70s and the sound of an electric piano, this CD is for you. None of the keyboards sound at all acoustic.

Fischbacher comes up with both pretty and pretty psychedelic keyboard settings on the title tune. "Dano" is also softer, featuring Randy Brecker on trumpet. Fischbacher warms his keyboards to match Brecker's tone. "Cafe 28" adds a playful touch, with sounds of someone trying to make a phone call interspersed with the music.

The funk beats get a bit overextended on the last two cuts, "B Nice" and Triple S," which are a little over 13 minutes combined. But generally, Infinity Ltd. makes the days of fusion sound better than they actually were. A lot of stuff from back then was irritating and self-indulgent. This CD, on the other hand, has the advantage of modern production (expertly done by Fischbacher) and well thought-out arrangements on 10 songs that range from three and a half to seven minutes. I have never much liked this genre, but Phishbacher is beginning my conversion. Play that funky music, Austrian white boys!

by Dave Howell
15 July 2006

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