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

2017-02-20
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 Cabezas de Cera and Jack o' the Clock, but a host of other bands are featured, mostly from the Northwest. The festival will take place June 2-4, 2017. » Read more

2017-01-27
Acoustic Festival of Britain 2017 Announces Eclectic Lineup – The Acoustic Festival of Britain has been going since 2006, and this year's event sees a number of outstanding artists on the bill. Fairport Convention, Tir na nOg, and Martin Turner are some of the artists we've covered, and there are many more, including The Men They Couldn't Hang, Howard Jones, Chantel McGregor, and many more. The festival runs June 2-4, 2017 at Uttoxeter Racecourse in Staffordshire. » Read more

2017-01-26
Butch Trucks RIP – Butch Trucks was one of two drummers in the first incarnation of the Allman Brothers Band in 1969, helping the band achieve its legendary status as an American original. He died on January 24, 2017 of a self-inflicted gunshot would. He was 69. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Five-O-One AM - 21st Century Dream – Somewhere between Marillion (Season's End) and the SI label bands Lies Five-O-One AM. That is, song oriented pop with elements of prog. Combine that with WMMS's reputation and Five-O-One AM...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues