Bozzio Levin Stevens — Black Light Syndrome
(Magna Carta MA-9019-2, 1997, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 1997-10-01
There’s been a lot of speculation and internet chatter leading up to the release of this one. Certainly, with three musicians of this caliber one might be inclined to expect something special from such a collaboration. According to the liner notes, Black Light Syndrome is purely improvised, composed on-the-spot in the studio, yet with some tracks (the Crimsonesque “Dark Corners,” or “Falling in Circles,” for example) it’s hard to believe these weren’t well rehearsed beforehand. Terry Bozzio, as always, is in top form, knowing precisely when and where to put that accent that frames the spirited guitar flights of Stevens and Levin’s free-wheeling Stick and bass work. Steve Stevens is one not normally associated with the likes of Bozzio and Levin, having been Billy Idol’s bone crunching right-hand guitar man throughout the 80s; here he manages to evoke a number of styles, from metal to jazz to Spanish Flamenco. Levin brings in his own cache of ideas here as well, including some 80s (and even 70s) Crimson influences. Parts of this might remind of Firepool-era Djam Karet. There are plenty of nice surprises throughout this disc, it definitely comes highly recommended.
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santan, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more
Shindig Festival Goes Lock-Down – Here's what they're saying: It's A Happening Thing! The Shindig! Magazine Lockdown Festival. In our days of no large gatherings of people, maybe it's still possible to have a music festival. Shindig! Magazine is giving it a go with a multi-artist streaming extravaganza on Saturday April 25. » Read more