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

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more

2020-01-15
Carlos Alvarado RIP – Carlos Alvarado, pioneering composer, multi-instrumentalist and pioneer of progressive rock and electronic experimental music in Mexico, passed away January 14th, 2020 at age 68 after a two year battle with cancer.  » Read more

2020-01-12
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more

2020-01-12
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more

2020-01-10
Neil Peart RIP – One of rock music's defining drummers has died at the age of 67. Neil Peart's work with Rush provided one of the templates for percussion in rock, and he certainly ranks in the top ten most influential drummers of the 20th Century. Peart retired from playing in 2015 due to health issues, and succumbed to brain cancer on January 7, 2020. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Olov Johansson - Storsvarten – Olov Johansson plays an ancient instrument called a nyckelharpa, which is related to the violin and hurdy-gurdy, and is traditional is Sweden, though not much played in the current day. It looks...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues