Exposé Online banner

Quicksilver — Six String Voodoo
(Global Recording Artists GRA 12582, 2007, CD)

Quicksilver — Quicksilver 07 Live
(Global Recording Artists GRA 12632, 2008, CD)

Quicksilver — The Hermit
(Global Recording Artists GRA 12792, 2010, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2011-06-01

Six String Voodoo Cover artQuicksilver 07 Live Cover artThe Hermit Cover art

Gary Duncan was the ‘other’ guitarist in the original Quicksilver Messenger Service. Today, with Freiberg off doing other things with Jefferson Starship most of the time, Greg Elmore nowhere to be found, and Cipollina and Dino having moved on to the next world, the stewardship of the Quicksilver name has gone to Duncan. What began as a review of the band’s latest album The Hermit made more sense in perspective with the band’s two previous releases. What’s important to understand is that, aside from Duncan’s guitar and a propensity for extended jamming, the music here bears little resemblance to the original QMS sound, or even the early 70s Dino-led version of the band. This is not an effort to retread the old days, but a vital new sound that should be judged in the context of currency.

Six String Voodoo curiously contains no credits whatsoever, other than Duncan, thus leading one to believe that this might well be a ‘solo album,’ with the guitarist laying down numerous tracks of psychedelic and jazzy guitar, bass, piano, and keyboards along with an anonymous drummer – or perhaps Duncan is the drummer too. The studio is a big player here as well, adding reverb and other effects to make this one very trippy instrumental playground. While most of the material across the seven cuts herewithin is jammy, wandering and somewhat introspective, it is nonetheless effective and engaging once the listener accedes to its improvisational groove. All taken, the result is nothing short of brilliant.

Released later the same year, Quicksilver 07 is indeed a full band project, with five long tracks recorded live at two different venues with different (six and seven piece) lineups, both featuring Duncan and keyboardist Michael Lewis. They put their unique spin on cuts by Monk (“Round Midnight”), Horace Silver (“Señor Blues”), Herbie Hancock (“Maiden Voyage” performed with both lineups) and an impressive eleven-minute take on the Reinhart / Grapelli classic “Minor Swing.” Much of the material here has been staple in the band’s repertoire since the mid-90s and as such is well-traveled and time-tested.

The new studio album, The Hermit, features most of the "Suwanee River" lineup (the last two cuts on Quicksilver 07) including longtime drummer Greg Errico (ex-Sly and the Family Stone), second guitarist John Bird, and bassist Jimmy Guyette. Notably absent is longtime member Michael Lewis, although Quicksilver’s material is so dominated by guitars that the missing keyboardist is hardly noticed. What little keyboards there are here are played by Duncan himself. Unlike the live set, this mixes a few jazz cover tunes (Silver, Jobim, Gillespie) in with a set of new originals plus reworked instrumental versions of songs dating back to the mid-90s Shapeshifter albums. The overall approach is similar to those psychedelic-tinged jazz improvisations, with “Boo-Hooin” offering a more funky groove unlike what we’ve heard before. Of special note is the acoustic “Cancion para Dios,” an exceptional Spanish guitar instrumental featuring a guest appearance by Jorge Santana (ex-of Malo and younger brother of Carlos). All taken this is a superb studio set that should translate well to the live stage.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 39, 2007 releases, 2008 releases, 2010 releases

Related artist(s): Quicksilver Messenger Service

Latest news

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more

2019-03-20
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more

2019-03-03
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Alquimia & Jose Luis Fernandez Ledesma - Dead Tongues – Alquimia is a vocalist, composer and multi-instrumentalist who has three previous albums to her credit in the pre-hispanic/new electronic music area, while Fernandez Ledesma is the de-facto leader of...  (1996) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues