Exposé Online banner

Bruford Levin — Upper Extremities
(Discipline DGM9805, 1998, CD)

by Jeff Melton, Published 1998-07-01

Upper Extremities Cover art

Upper Extremities serves as one of the new Crimson off-shoot projects while the next incarnation literally plays its way into existence. Bill Bruford and Tony Levin have conceived and executed a suitable follow-up to 1988’s Cloud about Mercury with the first track, "Original Sin," picking right up where they left off a decade ago. Significant improvements are evident in this remarkable work led by possibly one of the best rhythm sections in modern music. Torn himself is an icon of sorts since his playing consistently adds a shrouded texture of darkness, mystery and menace. Chris Botti injects a melodic trumpet intro, and the song turns into a torture-shred guitar solo. Botti now fills the role previously held by Mark Isham, and he adds a style a la 80s Miles Davis on six of the tracks. "Etude Revisited" starts and ends with group dinner conversation, but becomes a re-worked rocking scorcher when Torn sends the piece into major chord heaven. "Cracking the Midnight Glass" is something altogether more raucous, although Bruford’s idea of an updated Cream is more akin to Zeppelin’s "Kashmir." Also worth noting are the tracks "DrumBass" and "Torn DrumBass," which are duet compositions featuring the unique Taos bassdrum. Side by side liner notes are included in a separate sheet with complementary perspectives of each track from both Tony and Bill. Although not as dark as any Crimson recording, B.L.U.E. is a shining ring on the challenging clasp where rock meets jazz. And it chooses a double espresso instead of a latte.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 15, 1998 releases

Related artist(s): Bill Bruford / Earthworks, David Torn, Tony Levin, Bruford Levin Upper Extremities (B.L.U.E.)

Latest news

2020-07-12
Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more

2020-06-14
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

2020-05-15
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

2020-05-14
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santana, 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


Previously in Exposé...

Ricochet - Zarah - A Teartown Story – Gradually over the last few years, with the help of Progrock Records distribution, Ricochet is gaining word-of-mouth momentum on the prog metal scene. From the outset the Hamburg band has all the...  (2007) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues