Posts Tagged ‘Tony Levin’

BOULEBLOG 100! WE CELEBRATE THE MILESTONE BY GIVING UP!

November 22, 2019

The seventh studio album from Peter Gabriel, UP, deals with the delightful topics of birth, life and death.

You are reading the 100th blog post at BouleBlog. Thank you for your support. In celebration of this milestone, I want to present this Friday Flashback-style review of an album that meant a great deal to me when it came out as I am somewhat the death hag. So when an artist like Peter Gabriel comes out with an album aimed at the topic of death, named UP, I am all on board.

But when I played the album (over and over, I might add), I began to have some subversive thoughts enter my mind. Why, I was making music all wrong! The arrangements, the sonics, the patches and voices of the synthesizers, the processing of the drums, my methods were all outmoded.

Leave it to the guy in Genesis who bailed out right as the band hit their artistic peak to show me how it’s done…

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ROXY MUSIC- A LOOK AT THE PREMIER PROG-GLAM BAND WITH THE VIDEO STORY MORE THAN THIS

July 21, 2018

Gaze upon the glam! You can with the DVD More Than This, The Story Of Roxy Music. Photo courtesy of Amazon

My long time mentor back in the 80’s (Storkasaurus Maximus) had introduced me to one Brian Peter George St John le Baptiste de la Salle Eno, RDI, mostly through his Ambient works. If you feel like you are harried, unravelling, uncontrollable, put everything you have aside and just listen to any of his Ambeint series, Music For Airports is a particular pulse calmer. A more commercial route to Avant Eno would be his Music For Films, Vol. 1. There are shorter “songs” with equal amounts of signal-mutation, time-altering melody mangling but in three to five minute increments.

So Imagine my shock when I saw my first Roxy Music video (Virginia Plain) and I was hooked. Then, as the shots hop around the band FOLY FUCK THAT’S ENO! A long blond-ish-colored hair, heavy glam make up, and an outfit to rival future co-conspirator, the late David Bowie. And if that weren’t enough, and by gawd it ought to be, every time the song comes to the measure or so of rest, it’s Eno raping a synthesizer unaccompanied!

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OFF THE RECORD: FRIPP/SYLVIAN CAUGHT LIVE, BUT WITHOUT DAMAGE!

July 3, 2018

This is what you want if you want to hear some alternate versions of Sylvian/Fripp songs from the live CD ‘Damage’.

Robert Fripp and David Sylvian collaborated in the 2000’s to bring us two albums, The First Day, and the follow-up live disc Damage. Those are the two commercial releases that the combo put out. However, we have our hands on an off-market release called “Live From Massey Hall” from our supplier of all things off-market, Live Gig Recordings (look for their link later on in this review).

The history between Fripp and Sylvian initially didn’t progress as Fripp would have liked. At that point Fripp had asked Sylvian to join another (double-trio, six person) version of King Crimson (it appears as though he’d been seeking to usurp Adrian Belew from his long-standing role as lead vocalist and front person for King Crimson for a long time, only having done so within the past couple of years, filling his shoes is Jakko Jaoidsgfilsuxghfp). Sylvian already had a reputation as his own artist and felt he would only be able to collaborate so far under the Crimso moniker. So they settled for a remarkable collaboration that resulted in one of the most catchy prog songs ever recorded (“Jean The Birdman”, with a close second to “God’s Monkey”). We’ll delve into those songs when we get there.

First, I have something to say about the removal of Adrian Belew from King Crimson. Belew claims to be good with it, Fripp claims his status is the honorary 9th member of the new, eight member, three drummer configuration of King Crimson, as Tony Levin was during the Trey Gunn years in the early 2000’s. Belew is not idle by any means. His power trio just played the Irridium in NYC , and he is part of the David Bowie tribute act that is casually touring the world. I do see Fripp’s point about Belew as the front person. The fact is, he was too cheery, too happy in demeanor for the usually dower music that is/was King Crimson.

Returning to this project, the album’s cover photo for The First Day shows Sylvian AND Fripp having ridiculous, laughing smiles on their faces. No issue, they had a positive working relationship. Fripp has one with Brian Eno too, I don’t see them touring No Pussyfooting, or Evening Star, or Equatorial Stars, or Cotswald Gnomes, or…

A rare sight for the period. Robert Fripp laughing in a photograph.

Sylvian remains a solo artist. A fascinating one at that. Someone I hope to get more familiar with in terms of his work, straight away! Fripp is lumbering about with King Crimson. Two guitarists, a bassist/stick player, a keyboardist, a wind player, and three drummers. The samples I have heard from one of their many live performances sounded stiff, uniform and stilted.

I still contend Fripp is losing the plot…

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The Silence Of The Hands That Made The Most Wonderful Sounds… Allan Holdsworth, April 16, 2017

April 16, 2017

Holdsworth doing what he loved with those he loved. Photo courtesy of MoonJune

I didn’t want to get into doing obituaries. But when we lose a talent of the likes of Allan Holdsworth, words must be expressed. I was first fully exposed to Holdsworth’s amazing playing was through his work with the band Bruford. This exposed me to Jeff Berlin (the other Jeff B,) keyboardist Dave Stewart and when Holdsworth was not able, “the unknown” John Clark would fill in.
I had been on a steady diet of King Crimson, I was at the point where I was digging into King Crimson members solo efforts (this was the early 80’s incarnation, Fripp, Belew, Levin, Bruford) when I came across the Bruford albums. Had them special ordered from out of the country. The old completist “had-to-have-them” ethos.
Well when the very first notes from Holdsworth came through, I, as a guitarist changing styles from pop to prog was dumbstruck. The athletic strides of the notes coming from the fretboard, utterly, and totally amazing!! I had never heard a player like him in all my years.
Doubt I will again…
From the desk of MoonJune Promotions, who handled Holdsworth’s promotion:
###
Dear Friends in Music
Today is a very sad day for me.
R.I.P. Allan Holdsworth (August 6, 1946 – April 16, 2017).
There is no greater measure of a life well lived than the amount of people he had impacted, and by that measure the artist Allan Holdsworth lived a very good life. This man took a plank of wood, a few strings, and some wires and transformed people’s lives in a way that few others have. The ultimate genius of the rarest kind. One of THE greatest musicians ever lived. So much history with Allan between 2001-2016.
You will be missed forever, Allan – Yo Ol’ Geezer, i love You.
Rest In Peace.
​​​​​​​My deepest condolences go to his daughters Emily and Louise, his son Sam, and his granddaughter Rori, and everybody else who loved this truly unique man.
Nardini
All right then, then….
Can I Get You Another One While We Are Waiting?
Leonardo Pavkovic
MoonJune Music, New York
###
I really am trying to avoid being the blogger of death, but it seems to keep rearing its ugly head. I have many fears for 2017, the Mets winning the world series (for a true Met fan, all this means is the further commercialization of the team), nuclear war from Jung-Un, Trump, Putin, even the domestic effects of Trump. But my biggest fear? We will have a repeat of 2016 and there will be more, wholesale, devastating passings to deal with.

THE KING IS DEAD, LONG LIVE KING CRIMSON! KING CRIMSON LIVE IN ARGENTINA 1994

October 1, 2015
King Crimson Live In Argentina 1994 from the Thrak tour. Photo courtesy DGMLive.

King Crimson Live In Argentina 1994 from the Thrak tour.

I don’t much care for revisionism. Yet I get sucked into it time after time. I posted on the accompanying Facebook page for this blog, https://www.facebook.com/groups/bouleblog/, that the there will be changes on this blog. Well here they are. I tried to ‘play nice’ as the saying went. I tried to appease all the people who submitted work for me to review. I found myself watering down my utter loathing for certain acts and more importantly I was allowing my disdain for certain acts to dictate my rate of reviews. Yet after making promises to people to review music outside my comfort zone, and having those people demand edits, the not bother to repost my efforts in an effort to promote a show for these people, I’M OUT!

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THE DEATH OF ROCK AND ROLL AND PROGRESSIVE PART TWO

April 22, 2014
This is King Crimson 2014: Left to right, Tony Levin, Bill Rieflin, Gavin Harrison, Jakko Jakszyk, Robert Fripp, Mel Collins and Pat Mastelotto.  It is what it is.  Photo courtesy DGM.

This is King Crimson 2014: Left to right, Tony Levin, Bill Rieflin, Gavin Harrison, Jakko Jakszyk, Robert Fripp, Mel Collins and Pat Mastelotto. It is what it is. Photo courtesy DGM.

Trust me, I am aware of the implication and ramifications of resurrecting that title. But I have been ruminating about the current state of King Crimson and I have some theories about how this band split into two separate factions.

Let’s catch up first…

Those of you who are faithful to this blog may remember me sticking my size 11 shoe in my mouth when I quoted text from Robert Fripp’s blog claiming he is done with King Crimson because Adrian Belew scheduled dates with his power trio during a Fripp-imposed blackout period to reserve those dates for a possible KC tour on the West coast (so all those TOOL sycophants can make unjust comparisons). This was around April 2009 or so.

The first time I used that headline (sans the “Part Two”), I had some pretty hefty vitriol towards Belew. He even commented on the old syndication site. It’s still an amazing feeling to hear from your heroes, even if it is to bitch slap you back to your senses. Upon further investigation, I found that the issue with the miscommunication between crimsos originated from the Fripp camp (not naming names, don’t need more death threats).

So when I found out Belew (with Julie Slick) was playing my club hangout in Philly, World Café Live, I made it a point to first, get proper clearance to review the album he had just released, ‘e’, then second make things right with Belew. See the header photo on my blog, the photo of Belew and I was taken after I made my public apology to Belew. Ever gracious, he accepted and was super friendly towards my whole team who was present to document the event. (See the repost of the review on this blog site).

Meanwhile, Fripp was embroiled in a battle with each and every major label whose subsidiaries or main labels and any and all websites who had distributed KC material illegally. Thanks to the tenacity of one Sid Smith, Fripp found himself victorious against ALL of these empires (they even helped to topple one, EMI was sold to Sony/Universal). From four big labels down to three.

Once the settlements started rolling in, Fripp reversed his decision to retire from touring, retire from public life, and retire from King Crimson by announcing their revival!

Oh, the exquisite joy, you are thinking…

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PAINTING WITH GUITAR HAS ADRIAN BELEW GIVING NEW MEANING TO THE PHRASE ONE MAN SHOW!

April 19, 2013
Adrian Belew brings his art and music together in one place, The World Cafe Live.  Photo by Lynn Vala

Adrian Belew brings his art and music together in one place, The World Cafe Live. Photo by Lynn Vala

AUTHOR’S NOTE:  Again, the Friday Flashback reaches deep into our available archives to bring you a groundbreaking review.  There is a sordid history behind this one which will explain some of the mindset when this was composed.  You see, yours truly was involved in a global controversy because when I first started this column thousands of years ago, I used artist websites as a source of information.  I had been scouring both the website journals/blogs of Adrian Belew, Robert Fripp, Tony Levin, Trey Gunn and Bill Bruford (pertinent to this story and King Crimson).  On Belew’s site I gleaned some information.  On Fripp’s site, I gleaned some contradicting information.  Not knowing which was the truth, I presented what I believed was the truth.  Belew became immediately incensed and called me out on the former PREX blog.  I dismissed it as an artist not wanting to be portrayed as “the bad guy”.

Turns out, Belew was correct.

I was offered the truth by Belew’s power trio bassist Julie Slick’s mom Robin.  A respected author in her own right.  I declined.  I had been caught in the crossfire enough and I will forever go down in history as the patsy who took the fall and reported the end of King Crimson.  NOT my proudest moment, and a tremendous personal loss to me.  But as it turns out, Fripp would go on shortly thereafter to retire from public music performance as Bruford had done shortly after the release of his autobiography.

One more tragic note:  There were literally thousands of photographs taken for this show.  Unfortunately, due to the crash of an IBM machine (yeah, fuck you Bill Gates) those photos were lost forever.  They were great shots as well.  One is utilized in the header to this blog and I will not repeat it here.

Also, this was originally presented as four parts (a photo blog) on PREX and a two part blog on the rest of the syndication.  It is going to be condensed into one humongous blog here because, well, I can!  This was the show where I apologized to Belew afterward and I made up for my transgression by reviewing his previously released e disc, as well as the live DVD of the power trio show and Julie Slick’s debut CD.  For the whole story, read on…

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TODD RUNDGREN BRINGS HEALING PSYCHEDELIA TO THE KESWICK THEATER, 9-14-10

March 15, 2013

AUTHOR’S NOTE: This is another entry in our Friday Flashback series which revives and gives a permanent home to blogs previously posted to the syndication websites.  Some have maintained these pages and I not only appreciate that, but will be drawing these historical posts from those sites.  This entry, featuring the Todd/Healing tour from Todd Rundgren is significant for two reasons:  First, this exact show has been released on two separate DVDs.  I would invite you to purchase those DVDs to compare what I saw to what is on those DVDs, but those DVDs are so meticulously edited, what is on the DVDs is NOT what we saw at the show.  The second reason is, in April of this year, Rundgren will release his first studio album of new material in almost five years (five years in September), State.  Here is the review of the original live performance, just be advised this is a consolidation of a two part review.  So grab a lovely beverage and find your most comfortable seat in the house, settle in and enjoy:

Rundgren welcomes you to his psychedelic world.  Photo by Lynn vala

Rundgren welcomes you to his psychedelic world. Photo by Lynn vala

Glenside PA – I will have to explain the two albums being played live by Rundgren and company at the Keswick Theater before we get into the review.  The first is the self titled album Todd.  It remains my favorite album by him to date.  Starting out with some backwards masking (sounds played backward) of a voice asking for a little fanfare, it maintains a non-stop adventure right to the protracted fade of the last track, recorded live with a chorus of audience members from both coasts and mixed together (long before digital signal stretching in Pro-Tools) in one track.

The second album is a collection of songs pertaining to the science (?) of psychic healing.  Side one of Healing deals with the voyage of one who is anointed with the power to heal, and the taxation of a greedy society, all clamoring for the healing touch.  Trivia time:  The bonus 7” vinyl that was included with the original 12” plastic waffle release was the single from the album called “Time Heals” and was the 7th original video aired on MTV’s broadcast debut.

There weren’t many videos to choose from then, and Rundgren and MTV are not the best of friends.  Read on for more dish…

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JEFF BERLIN SETS SOME HIGH STANDARDS, HITS SOME LOW NOTES, AND TALKS IT UP WITH JEFF BOULE!

March 1, 2013
Legendary jazz/fusion bassist Jeff Berlin in a promotional picture for his 2010 release "High Standards".  Photo courtesy Jeff Berlin

Legendary jazz/fusion bassist Jeff Berlin in a promotional picture for his 2010 release “High Standards”. Photo courtesy Jeff Berlin

AUTHOR’S NOTE:  This entry is the first in many ways.  It is the first in the BouleBlog Friday Flashback series where we revisit blogs that were originally posted through the syndication.  It was also my first internet based interview.  As it is a repost, the release it refers to is a couple years old, and some of the less timely references have been removed.  Enjoy this first from the BouleBlog Friday Flashback series!

There used to be a blogger I worked with a while ago.  Anthony Medici, whom I admired for his tenacity, work ethic and integrity.  I especially respected him once he started to take on the major jazz publications and took them to task!  He also had some harsh words for a local public radio outlet near his hometown (Washington DC area).  But he knew his stuff about jazz, and were he still working for the blog, I would ask him to review Jeff Berlin’s new disc, and most likely ask him to do this interview.

It isn’t as though I am totally foreign to Berlin’s work.  I was first exposed to Jeff Berlin during his tenure with Bill Bruford’s fusion band, Bruford in the late 70’s.  Having recently purchased the “Bruford  – Rock Goes To College” DVD, I was able to watch a young Jeff Berlin toss around riffs with the likes of Bruford, Allan Holdsworth, among others.

Berlin has come a long way…

So far that, to the uninitiated with his solo career, as I (unfortunately am, but soon to be remedied), this is a gutsy move using bass as a lead instrument, especially on such highly regarded tunes as these.  Don’t worry, he pulls it off!

So instead of reviewing music I really don’t have the foundation to do, why not let the artist himself do it?!?!

The following is a transcription of an email interview between Mr. Berlin and myself:

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MEGA-MAN GARY TANIN COVERS ALL THE BASES AND GETS DOWN TO BASICS WITH HIS NEW/OLD RELEASE “LOVE CHANGES”.

December 12, 2012
Gary Tanin enjoying some rare down time playing a communal piano in Denver CO during a recent run of "A Day For Grace" featuring Sam Llanas and Doug Vincent.

Gary Tanin enjoying some rare down time playing a communal piano in Denver CO during a recent run of “A Day For Grace” featuring Sam Llanas and Doug Vincent.

Dr. Who, South Park, Robot Chicken, all mention it (among others).  But it’s not just a concept in fiction or animation…  It’s real!  What’s that?  Cloning.  Remember Dolly the sheep?  If there was ever someone who could benefit from cloning, it has to be Gary Tanin.  It is amazing to see this person’s body of work as it is, but when you get down to digging into this man’s history, you realize he surpasses the definition of multi-faceted.

Many of you may not have even heard of him, but I would bet the farm you’ve heard his work.  From national JC Penney ads to a Wisconsin based “Who’s Who” of musicians. However I know that won’t satiate you, you still want to know why I am dedicating this column space to someone you consider a virtual unknown.  Yeah, he’s so unknown, my best thing to ever happen to me studied telecommunications, and Gary Tanin was mentioned as part of the curriculum of study.

You don’t get to be part of a major East coast college curriculum by being a nothing.

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