Miroslav Vitous — Magical Shepherd
(Wounded Bird WOU 2925, 1976/2001, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2003-12-01
For those who have not heard any of the Miroslav Vitouš solo albums, he will be mainly known for his work as the original bassist with Weather Report, on three and a half of their first four domestic albums (you know, the spacey, jazzy ones before they went pop). Of his solo albums I’ve heard, this is my favorite, and features the talents of Herbie Hancock, Jack DeJohnette, and Airto Moreira in addition to the bass guitar and synthesizer work of Vitouš himself. The overall vibe is cosmic funk, not quite as spaced out as Hancock’s Sextant, maybe a bit less structured than Weather Report’s studio work. Dexterous bass work is the focus, both in the standard range and in a higher register with fuzz, taking the place of lead guitar, but happily Vitouš is no egotistical showoff. Hancock is also great, mostly on electric piano in the mode he used working on the classic electric Miles albums. Some listeners may be turned off by the female vocals, which swoop above the grooves and even occasionally lend the feeling of Shaft crossed with the Star Trek theme, but this is a relatively minor aspect of the recording, and doesn’t bother me. While I can’t say that every one of Wounded Bird’s reissues is a winner, this one is a real gem.
New Aristocrats Live Album on the Way – No foolin'! These supreme musicians toured Europe early in 2020, just before touring ceased to be a thing musicians could do, and there were some hot performances captured. On May 7, some of these will be releases as Freeze! Live in Europe 2020. » Read more
Jewlia Eisenberg RIP – The sad news has come out that Jewlia Eisenberg has died. As a founding member of Charming Hostess, Eisenberg changed the face of music, bringing together Balkan klezmer, American folk, and experimental rock in a distinctive blend that garnered much praise. » Read more
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more