Tony Levin, David Torn, Alan White — Levin Torn White
(Lazy Bones Recordings B005H492PI, 2011, CD)
by Paul Hightower, Published 2013-04-01Tony Levin and David Torn are no strangers to improvisational instrumental music, but the name that caught everyone's attention in this outing is drummer Alan White. It's been many moons since Alan knocked the socks off of listeners with his fusion-y playing on Yes' Relayer album (1974), and since the 80s it seems like he's been content to be a steady — yet uninspiring — time keeper. This album lays to rest the charge that White is past his expiration date and makes me wonder why he's failed to bring this level of creativity and intensity to Yes. But beyond White's delightful work, this album is also a showcase for two of progressive rock's most talented and engaging musicians. Torn brings his usual array of oblique and noisy electric guitar textures and sounds to the recordings, playing the role of soloist as well as backdrop painter. Besides his usual wizardry on bass and Stick, Levin is actually the mastermind behind the project. He coordinated the individual sessions (which were recorded remotely) and then sat down with mix engineer Scott Schorr to assemble the final tracks from the hours of raw recordings. Each song feels much more structured and planned out than they should, thanks to Levin's efforts. Fans of ensembles like Bozzio Levin Stevens, Black Light Syndrome, or Polytown should find much to enjoy here, and I'd urge fans of modern instrumental music of all stripes to give this one a listen. Chances are you'll be as pleasantly surprised as I was.
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more