by: Passport

You can get quite an argument going about what Passport really is -- rock fans hear a very accessible jazz outfit, and jazz fans hear a progressive rock band with real chops. Cross-Collateral is the album that shows how well this jazz band can rock and how well this rock band can play jazz. The title cut is 13 minutes and 38 seconds of progressive rock suite, with elements of funk and jazz fitting into a seamless whole. Klaus Doldinger's sax goes through its whole range of sounds, from growls and grunts to soaring melody lines. Elsewhere on the album are delightfully ethereal pieces that are closer to straightforward jazz, such as the meditative "Damals." "Will-of-the-Wisp," aptly named for the way that the simple theme appears and reappears, is a concert favorite for this band and reappears on their live albums. Cross-Collateral was an international success and brought this band to greater prominence in the U.S.A., and it's easy to see why. To put it simply, everything fits together perfectly. NOTE: Fans of album cover art cherish the LP version of this release, which has an eye-catching cover credited only to Wandrey's Studio. ~ Richard Foss

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