North Star — Tempest
(Space Monster Optional CD-05, 2000, CD)
by Henry Schneider, Published 2017-11-30
Although North Star has released several albums showcasing their musicianship, their music was nevertheless plagued by dreadful vocals. I found it unbearable to listen to any North Star release more than once. Trying to tune out Joe Newman’s voice, I longed for an all-instrumental North Star album. Finally my wishes were granted. Tempest is simply the best North Star release ever! Who can argue with ten impressive instrumentals ranging from Kevin Leonard’s Keith Emerson chops to Joe Newman’s sitar raga? Tempest is chock full of surprises. The biggest being Joe Newman’s solo "Raudra," an exquisite Indian raga he composed and performed. Newman really shines on the sitar. This one track is alone worth the price of the disk! Other musical treats include the experimental "Bathroom by the Bongos" (I’m sure that there is an interesting story behind the title), Kevin Leonard’s keyboards on "Getting’ Gigué Wit It," the dance funk of "Plastic Bombastic," and Dave Johnson’s tribute to his mom and sister "Goodbye Mom." Perhaps Dave Johnson’s five-year-old son Max says it best, “North Star is totally awesome, cool dude.” Do not pass on this one.
Related artist(s): North Star
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