John Simms was a founder member of prog rock legends Clear Blue Sky. Their debut album was released on the iconic Vertigo label in 1971 when John was a mere 18 years old. The band were frequently compared to Cream and Led Zeppelin but with progressive elements. The first album artwork was an early Roger Dean album sleeve and the album itself went on to be a bit of a holy grail among record collectors of the era.
John went on to work with Ginger Baker, John Entwhistle, Bernie Torme and others. He was part of a band called Karizma in the 1980's which featured Ginger Baker's son Kofi on drums. He has more recently provided the score for a film adaptation of the Stephen King short story "Stationary Bike".
Apart from some familiarity with the first Clear Blue Sky album, I have known John through several years of us both being occasional honorary members of Census Of Hallucinations. We also both appear on the OHead album "Resurgent Resonance"
Chromatogy landed on my doormat through the post following the request of an exchange for the Two Headed Emperor album "Goldhanger Creek"
As is my custom when listening to an album for the first time, I listened from beginning to end in one sitting. It's an outstanding album with a beautiful ethereal soundscape feel which I would loosely describe as somewhere between spacerock and jazzrock. John is without doubt an outstanding rock guitarist whom is not only reminiscent of Steve Hillage or Jeff Beck but I would comfortably stand alongside either of them.
The album has some great atmospheres with the excellent keyboard contributions of David Hendry, some percussion and vocals from Maxine Marten and a cameo appearance from Census' founder Tim Jones.
The album contains spacerock elements, cool rhythms and has something of a jazzy feel circa the late 80's Jeff Beck. You can also hear elements of the Census DNA in the mix which is hardly surprising as everyone on the album has been part of the Census Of Hallucinations set up at one point or another.
It's a great listen and shows that John still has something of a pioneering spirit as he explores new territory and is not bound by his past even though he could quite easily churn more of that out and it would be well received.
You can get the album from https://johnsimms.co.uk/