Biography
You have to feel for bassist/vocalist Lee Jackson and drummer Brian Blinky Davison. By the end of 1969, the three years of hard work they'd put in as the engine room of the Nice were beginning to pay dividends. From being P.P. Arnold's backing band, through the early days of psychedelia, they had gone on to lay the foundations for what would become known to future generations as progressive rock, and had begun playing prestigious gigs with full symphony orchestras. But Jackson and Davison must have known even then that few members of their ever growing audiences were there to marvel at their bass and drum playing, proficient as they were. No, they were there to see Keith Emerson doing battle with his Hammond organ. So when Emerson professed himself dissatisfied, in particular with Jackson's distinctive croak of a voice, and left to form ELP, they could have been forgiven for anticipating a period of downscaling. Jackson promptly decided he'd had enough of prog rock anyway and formed the altogether folkier Jackson Heights, with whom he recorded five largely acoustic albums. For his part, Davison took something of a jazz-rock direction with the short-lived Every Which Way. But when in 1973 they discovered the keyboard wizardry of the Swiss-born Patrick Moraz, then a member of Mainhorse, both were quick to spot the potential for creating a Nice Mark II. The new band was called Refugee, and their debut album was released by Charisma to mostly rave reviews. Extensive touring followed and global success seemed assured. Until, that is, word filtered through that Rick Wakeman had left Yes and a replacement keyboard wizard was being urgently sought. It can't have come as much of a surprise to the long-suffering Jackson and Davison when Moraz landed the job, once more leaving them without a frontman. This time, however, there would be no comeback. ~ Christopher Evans, Rovi



 
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