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
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