Way back in the dark ages of the late '60s and early '70s, jazz-rock offered listeners the promise of an exciting hybrid that would combine the improvisational prowess and harmonic imagination of jazz with the energy and rhythmic might of rock. That dream has largely been unrealized in subsequent decades, but David Hines and a corps of musical renegades and genre-benders recall those days with their playing on Nebula. Whether it's Hines delivering flashy and adventurous solos on various basses ranging from a five-string fretless to four- and six-string instruments, or special guest Allan Holdsworth adding his own agile licks on "Skippy" and "Antillia," this is classic fare being updated.
Other key elements are Steve Hunt's fierce keyboard and piano licks and Steve Kirby's contributions on electric and acoustic guitar. These songs don't just amble along, nor are they dominated by vocalists or diluted by string sections. They are strong musical evidence that there are still some players interested in expanding the concepts pioneered by Miles Davis' electric units and Charles Lloyd's late-'60s bands.