Tony Levin — Waters of Eden
(Narada 72438-49132-2-9, 2000, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2001-03-01
Over the last half dozen years, King Crimson bassist Tony Levin has produced a small but impressive body of work on his own Papa Bear Records, including World Diary (1995), a collection of collaborations with players such as Bill Bruford, Jerry Marotta, Shankar, and many others, and From the Caves of the Iron Mountain (1997), an atmospheric project involving Levin with drummer Jerry Marotta and flutist Steve Gorn, recorded in the location of the title. Levin's latest effort is released not through his own label, but New Age independent Narada, known more for meditative acoustic guitar music than progressive rock. But fear not. While Waters of Eden is prettier and more meditative than King Crimson, it is by no means lacking fire. The closest comparison is to Levin's work with Peter Gabriel, and this recording in fact reunites the core of Gabriel's band of the late 70s and early 80s: Levin with drummer Jerry Marotta and synthesist Larry Fast. A couple of tracks ("Bone and Flesh" and "Pillar of Fire") feature Fast's expansive synth pads and Marotta's throbbing toms. Think of what might have happened in a rehearsal for Security when Gabriel wasn't around and Levin decided to take the lead. This core trio is augmented by some special guests. The California Guitar Trio joins in for the title track; David Sancious provides keyboards and a credible virtual soprano sax on "Icarus;" guitarist Jeff Pevar soars over many cuts. Throughout, the melodic lead is centered on Levin's sensitive playing, on fretless electric, electric upright bass, and electric cello. In general, the music is fairly simple, sweeping melodies with chordal accompaniment, but the passion and craft of the players lifts it above mere New Age drivel.
Holger Czukay RIP – Holger Czukay, a musical experimentalist without boundaries who has been involved with expanding the sound palette of rock music since the late 60s, has died at the age of 79. After studying with Karlheinz Stockhausen in the early 60s, he became fascinated with the possibilities of rock music, and was a co-founder of the pioneering group Can. He leaves behind an impressive body of work both as musician and producer. » Read more
John Abercrombie RIP – Another of the greats of jazz guitar has left us. John Abercrombie plied his way through a beautiful series of albums on the ECM label as well as bringing his talent to bear on albums by many of jazz's greatest artists. From his early work in the group Dreams to Gateway and outstanding work with Billy Cobham, Jack DeJohnette, Kenny Wheeler, and many more to his own trios and quartets, he brought a unique instrumental voice to the world. » Read more
First ProgStock Festival Set for October – October 2017 will see the inaugural edition of a festival called ProgStock in Rahway, New Jersey at the Union County Performing Arts Center. With a definite slant towards neo-progressive music, the event is sure to please many fans with the inclusion of such artists as Echolyn, Glass Hammer, and Aisles. The festival will take place October 13-15. » Read more
Clive Brooks RIP – Word reaches us today of another sad passing in the music world. Drummer Clive Brooks, best known as a member of such Canterbury bands as Egg, Uriel / Arzachel, and Groundhogs, has died at the age of 67. Details are sketchy at this point. The news was reported on Nick Mason's Facebook page — Brooks was Mason's drum tech. » Read more