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Music Reviews: 'Spirit'; 'The Family That Plays Together'; 'Clear Spirit'; 'Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus'

From ‘The Family That Plays Together’ to ‘Clear Spirit,’ a look at some of the west coast band’s reissues

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Seekers of esoteric musical thrills might do well to investigate these reissues of the all but forgotten West Coast band Spirit’s late ’60s/early ’70s albums, each complete with the by-now-requisite bonus tracks. Best remembered for hits like ”I Got a Line on You” and ”Nature’s Way,” Spirit navigated the then-uncharted waters of proto-fusion, art rock, and hippie jamming. In fact, there’s a distinctly Phishy smell to tracks like ”I’m Truckin”’ (from Clear Spirit). Thankfully, unlike many latter-day chops flaunters, these guys mostly kept to the four-minute mark, so that even the unsuccessful experiments are mercifully brief.

Spirit: B; The Family That Plays Together: B-; Clear Spirit: B+; Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus: B+