Exposé Online banner

Andy Summers — The Last Dance of Mr. X
(RCA Victor 09026-68937-2, 1997, CD)

by David Ashcraft, Published 1999-01-01

The Last Dance of Mr. X Cover art

What's this? Former Police-man Andy Summers fronting what is essentially a power trio? And with a backing band consisting of monster bassist Tony Levin and Gregg Bissonette on drums? Perhaps the lesson that we learn here is not to pigeon-hole musicians because Summers might surprise many of us with his chops and strong leads. We all know Andy Summers from his ultra-tasteful rhythm playing, but here he sounds more like Holdsworth than that guy who played with Sting. The material is evenly split between modern jazz standards (by the likes of Wayne Shorter, Horace Silver, Monk, and Mingus) and Summers' originals. The arrangements are what really make this a special disc, since it rarely settles for a "jazzy" sound despite the material. They are consistently inventive and the band takes distinctly different approaches to each tune. The trio plays almost telepathically, and the setting is ideal for showcasing Summers' clean chordal work and economical solo excursions. Having only heard some of Summers' solo albums since leaving the Police I must admit that I wasn't prepared for the strength of this one. Some of his earlier work featured some rather mushy new age approaches that simply didn't put his full talents in the proper light. He comes out burning on this one and really carries the album despite the fact that the trio format can be very demanding on the leader. Andy even reinforces the power trio comparison by quoting some Clapton licks from "Sunshine of Your Love"! This disc will appeal to fans of IOU or Road Games era Holdsworth, and will also play well with fusion and jazz fans in general. While his leads are not as blistering as a Holdsworth or Steve Morse, Summers more than makes up for that with his tasty chordal work and creative interpretations of some wonderful jazz tunes. This one might just take some of you by surprise...


Filed under: New releases, Issue 16, 1997 releases

Related artist(s): Tony Levin, Andy Summers

Latest news

2019-08-20
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more

2019-06-05
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

The Neil Campbell Collective - Particle Theory – Neil Campbell is a talented composer, virtuoso classical guitarist, and multi-instrumentalist (acoustic and electric guitars, keyboards, synths, glockenspiel, and harmonic vocals). Particle Theory is...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues