Dennis Chambers, Jeff Berlin, Dave Fiuczynski, T Lavitz: Boston T Party

A meeting of four fusion whizzes could easily digress into a game of “Can you top this,” where any sense of composition gives way to an endless parade of chops. Chambers (drums), Berlin (bass), Fiuczynski (guitars) and Lavitz (keyboards) all play with a ferocity that can sustain itself for hours.

Luckily Boston T Party is built around writing as much as blowing, with most of the tunes coming from Lavitz. The group acts as a supportive environment to inspire the soloist without overplaying. Chambers and Berlin, in fact, seem like they could cut loose a little more rather than just holding down a steady 4/4 groove on a few tracks.

At the same time, the album doesn’t offer much for listeners outside of the fusion/progressive-rock camp. As much it sounds like Deep Purple (a good thing in my book), Lavitz’s organ solo in “Foxy Morons” isn’t enough to overlook a theme that sounds like a nursery rhyme. Fiuczynski sounds stunning on his own “Last Trane,” but the effects he uses on “(Great) Ball of Issues” make his ax sound like duck quacks, which are as clever as the puns in these titles. And when Berlin takes the spotlight on “I Hate the Blues…(But Here’s One Anyway)” and “Deff 184,” it’s tempting to issue him a speeding ticket.