Exposé Online banner

Joe Deninzon & Stratospheerius — Live Wires
(D-Zone 822207043938, 2004, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2005-09-01

Live Wires Cover art

Count me as a supporter of the proposition that the world needs more hot electric violinists playing jazz-rock fusion. Jean-Luc Ponty has moved on to other things, and someone has to take up the cause. Joe Deninzon is a credible candidate. His playing is fluid, though with more grit to his tone than Ponty. He also has a bit more of the blues in his style. As for the material, Deninzon is definitely funkier than Ponty ever was, and also throws in some Middle Eastern touches to keep things interesting. He takes advantage of electronic devices to alter the sound of his instrument (echoes, distortion, etc.), sometimes building up a wall of crazed noise before cutting it off and getting back to the funk. The rhythm section of Ron Baron (bass) and Luciana Padmore (drums) keep the proceedings moving along, though haters of finger-popping on the bass will find occasional fault. Deninzon’s foil in the lead role is the electric guitar of Jake Ezra (or Alex Skolnick on a couple of tracks). Deninzon’s singing is perhaps not the equal of his violin playing, though not bad enough to detract too much from the instrumental fire. A spirited cover of Zappa’s “Magic Fingers” is the best vocal tune. Another non-original track, a wild take on the theme from The Simpsons, is a lot fun. Luckily the vocal parts are only a temporary distraction from the fiery instrumental majority. And in spite of the high level of technique, I’m never overwhelmed with ostentatious wankery.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 32, 2004 releases

Related artist(s): Stratospheerius (Joe Deninzon)

Latest news

2018-11-16
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more

2018-11-02
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more

2018-10-17
Eurock Documentary Seeks Funding – We've been fans and fellow travelers with Archie Patterson and his Eurock project on the journey to discover great music. After many years of promoting and trying to spread the word,a new phase is beginning: a documentary film. Things like this don't just happen, and money does not magically appear to make it happen, so it's up to the fans to get it done. » Read more

2018-09-29
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more

2018-09-25
Help the Psychic Equalizer Avoid Extinction – Last year we reviewed the debut album by Psychic Equalizer, a musical project of Hugo Selles. He's now working on the ambitious follow-up to that release, and is seeking funding from listeners around the world. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Ain Soph - A Story of Mysterious Forest – Breathtaking instrumental progressive from Japan. From the really short, Mahavishnu-type fusion rifferama of "Crossfire" which opens the album, you know you're in for an enjoyable ride....  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues