Monday, July 16, 2012

Looking Back On: Bozzio Levin Stevens

Review by Dan Bobrowski
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator for

Improv deluxe... Terry Bozzio is a musical heavyweight: Zappa, UK, Missing Persons, plus countless solo releases, sideman sessions and clinics. One of the best players at his position. Tony Levin, Bass/Stick man extraordinaire, his list of sessions is nearly a long as the number of bands in this archive. He's played with the prog hard hitters; King Crimson, Pink Floyd, ABWH, Peter Gabriel,California Guitar Trio and the list goes on. He's supported the bottom for artists from Sarah McLaughlin to Alice Cooper.

The surprise for me when I bought this 6 years ago, was Steve Stevens. He of Billy Idol fame... Ultra-teased hair, leather pants, make-up and pointy guitars... ugh! I was blown away.... Shaking my head and taking a step back to re-evaluate this stadium rocker. I have to admit that I had some serious doubts about this album prior to putting it into the CD player. I expected simple riffs, three chord rock and roll licks and more squeals/squonks/tweedly weedly leads than any one man could stomache. What I found was a very talented and eclectic guitarist. Duende still ranks in my top twenty all-time instrumental list.

These musicians layed down an incredibly satisfying 7 tunes, over an hours worth of melodies and skillful improvisations in only 4 DAYS. Most bands take that long just decided which tune to record first. Each piece has an ebb and flow, not a solid wall of sound throughout the entire disc. There is plenty of space for each musician to stretch and take his share of the limelight and they seem to flex and weave together without squeezing anyone out of the sonic picture.

There are ideas aplenty throughout, intricate grooves and stunning solos. Take a dive, come up smiling.

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