Exposé Online banner

Tony Levin — Pieces of the Sun
(Narada 72438-11626-2-0, 2002, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2002-09-01

Pieces of the Sun Cover artTony Levin’s newest release is a true band effort, the direct result of touring after his previous CD, Waters of Eden (reviewed in #21). He remains on the Narada label, though (even more than on Waters) he avoids the New Age style it is known for, and actually bumps the heavy factor up a couple of notches from time to time. Right off the bat, the opening cut, “Apollo,” jumps out with an aggressive riff punctuated by some big synthesizer notes from Larry Fast. It’s almost like a classic Synergy tune beefed up by guitar, bass, and drums. (And that’s exactly what we get later on, with a killer arrangement of “Phobos” from 1978’s Cords.) “Apollo” has a gentle middle section featuring the California Guitar Trio, then goes back to the big riff for a finale. Jesse Gress provides some flashy guitar work, and Jerry Marotta contributes his distinctive drumming. Another favorite is the title cut (used by the band on tour as their intro), which starts with the pounding of Taos drums in a dramatic seven-beat pattern, piles on some fat synth notes, and tops it off with Gress’s piercing guitar. “The Fifth Man” (its title an allusion to Levin’s current status in King Crimson) utilizes some of the crunchy cross-rhythms Crimson has recently been fond of, here between Levin’s Stick and Gress. And since Levin, Marotta, and Fast have a history of backing Peter Gabriel, there’s even an old unreleased Gabriel tune called “Dog One,” which dates from some old studio sessions.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 25, 2002 releases

Related artist(s): Tony Levin, Jerry Marotta, Larry Fast (Synergy), Jesse Gress

Latest news

2017-04-16
ProgDay 2017 Announces First Bands – Flor de Loto, Sonar, and Infinien are the first three performers to be announced for the 2017 edition of the long-running ProgDay Festival. The 23rd ProgDay takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. » Read more

2017-04-16
Allan Holdsworth RIP – Surely in the list of artists who have contributed to the sound of modern music, there is a special spot for guitarist Allan Holdsworth. His name is known to virtually every student of the instrument in jazz and rock, and his style has been so widely emulated that it's hardly worth mentioning anymore — we can just assume that every guitarist has Holdsworth as an influence. » Read more

2017-02-20
Larry Coryell RIP – One of the greats of jazz guitar has left us at the age of 73. Larry Coryell was one of the founding figures of jazz fusion, but produced a significant body of work the bridged many styles. His group Eleventh House provided a unique take on the combination of jazz and rock that was distinct from contemporaries such as Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever, and Weather Report. » Read more

2017-01-31
John Wetton RIP – After a long battle with colon cancer, singer and bassist John Wetton has died at the age of 67. As an integral member of such bands as King Crimson, UK, and Asia, his was one of the distinctive voices in progressive rock, lending a human touch to often difficult music. » Read more

2017-01-30
Seaprog Announces First Artists for 2017 – The organizers of the Seaprog Festival in Seattle have announced the first set of confirmed performers for the 2017 festival. The best known names are Jack o' the Clock and Zero Times Everything, but a host of other bands are featured, mostly from the Northwest. The festival will take place June 2-4, 2017. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

David Torn / Mick Karn / Terry Bozzio - Polytown – I always tend to be a little suspicious when any release is accompanied with as much hype and hoopla as this one was. It better well measure up to all the chatter and attention it gets. Certainly this...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues