Deep Energy Orchestra — Playing with Fire
(7d Media , 2018, CD / DL)
by Jon Davis, Published 2019-04-05Listening to Playing with Fire, I was reminded of the great band Mawwal. This is a very similar kind of world fusion that exists on the same high plane of musicianship. The group was formed by bassist Jason Everett (“Mister E”) to combine jazz and rock with Indian music. In addition to his bass, the group features kit drums (V. Selvaganesh), tabla (Anil Prasad), electric violin (Radhika Iyer), and Warr touch guitar (Trey Gunn), along with a string section consisting of Rachel Nesvig, Aleida Gehrels, and Phil Hirschi. If the instrumentation also makes you think of things that Shankar has done, or John McLaughlin, you’re in the general area — and Selvaganesh has played in Shakti. Gunn’s presence also adds a slight King Crimson flavor to the proceedings, though not overtly — and some of his solo work has ventured near this territory as well. All of the players acquit themselves superbly, with Everett, Iyer, and Gunn all contributing stunning work. Whether they’re floating meditatively or tearing it up rhythmically, playing composed parts or improvising, everyone is spot on. The whole thing was recorded live at Jack Straw Productions in Seattle as part of an Artist in Residency program, which makes it all the more impressive. Every track is a stunner, and when the hour is done, you might well find yourself hitting the repeat button. This is an outstanding piece of work, and rewards deep listening richly. I can’t even begin to pick favorite tracks — it’s all amazing.
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more
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
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
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
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