Alan Mallery 20-Jan-2001 Group 87

Group 87 was a "supergroup" of sorts, since all the members have had successful careers since then. We have Mark Isham on trumpet and keyboards, Peter Maunu on guitar and keys, and Patrick O'Hearn on bass. Terry Bozzio as a guest handles the drums. The music on their debut album is entirely instrumental. You can't really call it "fusion" since it is entirely composed. Various songs are penned by different band members, and make use of various tonal colors and moods. The closest comparison would be the music of Pekka Pohjola. The compositions and very thoughtful; some raise the energy bar while others are more contemplative. A great album for the time (1980) that still sounds fresh today. Those who favor quality instrumental progressive rock would do well to check this out.

Peter Thelen 10-Feb-2001 Group 87 - Group 87

Here's a very laid back, instrumental lite-fusion album from around 1980 by the trio of Mark Isham, Patrick O'Hearn and Peter Maunu, with guest drumming by Terry Bozzio. The overall thrust is highly melodic and very uplifting, but for the most part a little too light, happy, and "programmed" sounding for this writer's tastes. Occasional bursts of fire punctuate the album's overall safe approach - I suppose if this had been released a couple years later it might have found its way into the new-age bin catch all - although it does occasionally rock, but not much. I am most often reminded of Anthony Phillips' Invisible Men period, like programmed synths are making the music and the three are just playing along as soloists or incidental musicians. Bozzio's brilliance shines through on a few tracks, but that isn't enough to rescue the program from being much more than average. Most of the material here is stuff you could envision your grandparents grooving to in their Oldsmobile.

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