Roine Stolt — Wall Street Voodoo
(Inside Out Music IOMCD 233, 2005, 2CD)
by Mike Grimes, Published 2006-05-01
Roine Stolt has certainly been a prolific musician the last several years. The Kaipa, Flower Kings, and Transatlantic guitarist / vocalist has released what seems like a couple of albums per year since his comeback-even-though-he-never-left solo album The Flower King in 1994. Wall Street Voodoo is his latest outing and is a double album’s worth of blues-rock. Yes, that’s right. While there are a few forays into his trademark symphonic prog-rock sound here and there, for the most part this album is a stylistic throwback to the late 60s and bands like Cream, Traffic, and The Beatles. Fuzz tones and wah-wah pedals abound. Joining Stolt on this release are some past and present Flower Kings and Neal Morse, who shares lead vocal duties and also contributes some Hammond organ parts. Stolt’s guitar playing takes center stage here and he’s clearly in his element playing this sort of music. He lays down some great parts on the album. The guitar solos on “Dirt” and “Spirit of the Rebel” are especially good. “Everyone Wants to Rule the World” is very Beatles influenced piece. The solo at the end of “It’s All About Money” is quite jazzy and goes through some interesting modal changes. “The Unwanted” starts off as a slow Mississippi delta blues piece in 7/4 time, then mutates through a weird synthesizer solo middle section into a Beatles brass ending. The lyrical theme running through the album relates to the current materialistic state of society. The frequent vocals-through-a-distorted-Leslie-speaker approach on Stolt’s voice gets old after a few songs. On the penultimate track, “Mercy,” the essentially unintelligible lyrics take away from the impact of the nice acoustic guitar parts played underneath. Wall Street Voodoo contains some nice playing from Stolt and it’s a stylistic change of pace compared to his previous releases.
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more
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
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
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