Exposé Online banner

KBB — Live 2004
(Musea FGBG 4598.AR, 2005, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2006-05-01

Live 2004 Cover artGuitarists may get the lion’s share of attention in fusion and prog, but there have always been leaders on other instruments. For violin, the story probably starts with Jean-Luc Ponty, and we can all probably name a few others. Add to that list Akihisa Tsuboy if you haven’t already. He fronts this Japanese quartet, backed by keyboards, bass and drums, and his playing is the primary focus of the band. He covers a range of tones, from relatively natural to highly effected with wah-wah, chorus, and echo. He has the technical skills to hold his own without a guitarist as a foil, building his solos up to frenetic peaks sure to please any fusion fan. The generally lengthy tunes (from six to thirteen minutes) allow lots of room to stretch out, though they are not built entirely on indulgent soloing, instead featuring a variety of sections and contrasting moods. The seven tracks cover the band’s first two albums, plus one new tune, “Inner Flames,” which is my favorite of the set, with a great bass line recurring for sections throughout, some stellar keyboard work on organ, synth, and electric piano, and a wild violin solo. The only real flaw of the music is that sometimes they briefly succumb to the beauty of their own melodies and lapse into near-New-Age territory, but those moments are brief and not egregious enough to seriously mar this great release.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 33, 2005 releases

Related artist(s): KBB, Tsuboy Akihisa

Latest news

2017-02-20
Larry Coryell RIP – One of the greats of jazz guitar has left us at the age of 73. Larry Coryell was one of the founding figures of jazz fusion, but produced a significant body of work the bridged many styles. His group Eleventh House provided a unique take on the combination of jazz and rock that was distinct from contemporaries such as Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever, and Weather Report. » Read more

2017-01-31
John Wetton RIP – After a long battle with colon cancer, singer and bassist John Wetton has died at the age of 67. As an integral member of such bands as King Crimson, UK, and Asia, his was one of the distinctive voices in progressive rock, lending a human touch to often difficult music. » Read more

2017-01-30
Seaprog Announces First Artists for 2017 – The organizers of the Seaprog Festival in Seattle have announced the first set of confirmed performers for the 2017 festival. The best known names are Cabezas de Cera and Jack o' the Clock, but a host of other bands are featured, mostly from the Northwest. The festival will take place June 2-4, 2017. » Read more

2017-01-27
Acoustic Festival of Britain 2017 Announces Eclectic Lineup – The Acoustic Festival of Britain has been going since 2006, and this year's event sees a number of outstanding artists on the bill. Fairport Convention, Tir na nOg, and Martin Turner are some of the artists we've covered, and there are many more, including The Men They Couldn't Hang, Howard Jones, Chantel McGregor, and many more. The festival runs June 2-4, 2017 at Uttoxeter Racecourse in Staffordshire. » Read more

2017-01-26
Butch Trucks RIP – Butch Trucks was one of two drummers in the first incarnation of the Allman Brothers Band in 1969, helping the band achieve its legendary status as an American original. He died on January 24, 2017 of a self-inflicted gunshot would. He was 69. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Scott Mosher - Deep Horizon – Progressive metal has been around long enough now that a new release has to have something different about it in order to catch my interest. Scott Mosher does a good job doing that with the first...  (2007) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues