† † TONY LEVIN - TONY LEVIN BAND - PROG ROCK and FUSION BASS - "Eclectic Earwig Reviews featured in Progression Magazine." † †



Eclectic Earwig Reviews
E.E.R.


Jazz Fusion Progressive world music
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Artist: Tony Levin Band

Title: Double Espresso (Live) 2CDs

Genre/Style: Instrumental- Rock-Fusion-Progressive-Jazz

Label: Narada-www.narada.com


Bang a good one here!

Website: www.tonylevin.com

Live music does not get any better than this, and Tony Levinís work is some of the very best you will find anywhere in the world. I know I probably have said all this before but I will continue to say it, Levin is the best bass player in the world, and for many reasons. The key word here is genre(s) and style(s) when you talk about such an honored and esteemed artist as Levin. He plays several different types of electric basses with skill and many different styles of rock music with equal exactitude, primarily progressive and jazz-rock fusion. So here we are about to embark (lets hope you do!) on an incredible musical journey with the Tony Levin Band. They bring you an up-close look at a live performance on Double Espresso, an extensive 2 CD set featuring some of their most abundant and expressive work.

From King Crimson and Peter Gabriel to his solo work, Levin and his outstanding band blow through some amazing depictions of songs from the past and the most recent studio outing Pieces of the Sun. Levin is simply amazing; he makes the music so animated with his bass playing, like no other musician I have ever heard before. I missed the live show in Cambridge, Massachusetts a few months ago. Having this recording (autographed by the band thanks to Phyllis Fast, Larryís wife) in my possession is an appeasement for not being able to attend but it is also frustrating hearing just how good one of their shows is! This is one of those bands that play everything live just as good, if not better, than in the studio, now that is saying a mouthful about how much talent we are talking about here. Speaking in general, this is a MUST have for any music lover. Just wait until you hear their version of "Black Dog," oh my does it kick ass. Just get this album, you will be so glad you did, I promise.

Authorís Note: I just completed a review covering Marcus Millerís live album and said much of the same regarding his adeptness with the bass. I did say that I could not think of any active bass player that was better right now, but I should have said "at this very moment." Millerís proficiency and style just blew me away and I did not even think for a moment about Tony, and for that, I feel disappointed. I am not a flake; I am just a music fan that gets into the music so intensely I get lost in the magical moments just as everyone else does, so please allow me this absence of mind. In any event, Miller deserved the kudos I gave him and I was totally immersed in an entirely different style of music than what Levin and his fine band offer.

©"Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck

May 21, 2003

CD 1

1. Pieces of the Sun - 7:15

2. Geronimo - 3:27

3. Silhouette - 4:35

4. Dog One - 5:36

5. Tequila - 5:15

6. Black Dog - 5:35

7. Ooze - 4:33

8. Apollo - 8:44

9. L' Abito Della Sposa - 4:06

10. Sleepless - 7:01

CD 2

11. Pillar of Fire - 6:59

12. Ever the Sun Will Rise - 7:48

13. Phobos - 7:01

14. The Fifth Man - 5:56

15. Back in N.Y.C. - 6:13

16. Utopia - 7:39

17. Elephant Talk - 5:51

18. Peter Gunn - 3:48

19. Belle - 4:28

 

Rating-

The Tony Levin Band:

 

Pete Levin - Keyboards

David Torn - Maccaferi Guitar

Larry Fast - Synthesizer, Drums (Bass)

Tony Levin - Guitar (Acoustic), Bass, Cello, Stick, Vocals

Jerry Marotta - Guitar (Acoustic), Guitar, Percussion, Drums, Saxophone, Vocals

Jesse Gress - Guitar, Vocals

Paul Richards - Guitar (Acoustic)

Bert Lams - Guitar (Acoustic)

Hideyo Moriya - Guitar (Acoustic)


This review ALMOST featured in:
John Collinge's Progression Magazine

PROGRESSION HAS A NEW REVIEW FORMAT!!

Jazz Fusion Progressive world music
Find this CD at Abstractlogix.com for bargain price!

TONY LEVIN Waters Of Eden 2000 (CD): Narada Style: Smooth jazz/ New agey prog-jazz/ soft prog Sound: Composition: Musicianship: Performance: Total rating: 11 (16 is a perfect score) Ah, well this was a surprise for me. Levin is a legend. His bass playing is incredible time and time again on many releases. I expect fascinating things from Levin. But what about this solo release? Well . . . it has its moments. First track called to mind a great 1990 release by Jai Uttal called Footprints. So here we go in a Levin-driven, near-Indian, ethnic raga, smooth-age rock modality. Interesting but after that the rest of the CD lost my interest as it was basically well-done bass techniques woven into Narada/ New Age jams and near-prog. Levin shows he can be very mellow and smooth. Many nice and relaxing, easy-listen, tunes are covered but if you're looking for Levin to crank it up or bottom-out in huge, low-end crunch -- this CD is not that. Expect a very soundtrackish work with the final track easily bringing to mind -- scrolling end-of-film credits after a teen angst/hero worship flick. Overall, a showcase of Levin's talent for mainstreamers "adventurous" purchases. (Your girlfriend might like it.) ~ John W. Patterson

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