Zoot Horn Rollo — We Saw a Bozo under the Sea
(ZHR 2001, 2001, CD)
by Jeff Melton, Published 2003-02-01
As one of two guitar men behind Captain Beefheart in the Magic Band and offshoot group Mallard, Bill Harkleroad has seen many a change in his thirty-plus years. As chronicled in his book Lunar Notes with Billy James, the acclaimed guitarist participated in the most fertile period of the Captain's career that resulted in that masterpiece of poetry and poly-rhythms: Trout Mask Replica from 1969. Since that time, Harkleroad's voice has been quiet, finally relocating to Eugene, Oregon to take up guitar teaching. His first solo album is an adventure series packed with the likes of blues, jazz, fusion, and many connecting points in between. With Greg Bendian (from Interzone with the Cline Bros.) and other guest players, the mode is one of guitar virtuoso of the same ilk as Waddy Wachtel unleashed on a Guitar Speak album of his own. "Elvis Beans" and "Dancin' with the Doorknob" show the leader's penchant for slide guitar and group interplay as well emphasis on sax unisons and spirited tempo changes. "Temporary Tattoo" shows the band strictly entrenched in Mahavishnu mode with violinist Brian Price matching guitar unisons atop a busy rhythm section. A studied Zappa-esque approach is taken with pieces such as "John's Eyes" which rely on cool vibes and an obtuse melody. Overall the album is a great welcome back for a competent player and composer. Highly recommended.
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more