Exposé Online banner

Zapotec — Alpha Centuri
(Psycho-Audible PA-0001, 1998, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 1999-11-01

Alpha Centuri Cover artWhen I first listened to this disc, I quickly categorized it as jamming space rock. The first track builds from quiet ambience to a throbbing jazzy thrash, consisting almost entirely of an every-effect-available guitar solo. That first track is misleading. The bulk of the music recorded here is tightly arranged instrumental rock on the jazzy side, reminiscent of Return to Forever’s glory days. At times it cooks like Mahavishnu or crashes like Crimson or even floats like Happy the Man (if you can imagine them as a jazz combo). The dominant sounds are Bill Curtis’s electric guitar and Anna Hubbell’s violin, though keyboardist Jeremy Cubert gets in a few good licks. Odd meters abound. Lightning unison lines are balanced by delicate acoustic passages. Curtis is a player of great technical proficiency, with a rapid picking style along the lines of John Goodsall rather than the fluidity of Allan Holdsworth. I find the only real weakness here (and it’s a small one) is the fact that the musicians supporting him, while excellent players, tend to pale a bit behind his flash. But who wouldn’t? Fans of Brand X or Mahavishnu looking for something new would do well to seek out this disc. I hope it’s the first of many by this promising band.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 18, 1998 releases

Related artist(s): Jeremy Cubert, Zapotec

Latest news

2017-10-18
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart $amp; Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more

2017-10-13
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more

2017-09-26
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more

2017-09-06
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

2017-08-22
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


Previously in Exposé...

Pelt - Técheöd – Here we have three ambient tracks from a not-so-dark trio on the indie VHF label. According to the label website, the title of this album is pronounced "Tay-hoood," but I'm still not certain what...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues