Mike McLatchey 23-Oct-2006 Katamaran - Katamaran

By the late 70s, fusionitis had spread rapidly to just about any group of musicians with a few chops. German jazz-rock outfit Katamaran were one group from the era, influenced strongly by Return to Forever, Weather Report and the like. Based on a typical riffing drum and bass rhythm section, the group lays down grooves for a number of winds, guitars and keys, including flutes, soprano sax, electric piano and more. With so many European fusion albums, it's difficult to give Katamaran the kudos it might deserve, but what could be said for it is that it's not a shred fest, with plenty of room for ensemble work to break up the monotony of solo after solo. The band Perigeo is a decent comparison as far as this goes, one that should hint to the tastefulness going on here. However, as well played and classy as Katamaran are, I can't help but think that there are at least a dozen albums in the style I'd rather be listening to. A solid album, while not necessarily being a standout.

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