Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Simon Phillips - 1999 "Out Of The Blue"

Simon Phillips (born 6 February 1957) is an English jazz, pop and rock drummer[1] and producer, best known for his 22-year stint with Toto.

Phillips first started to play professionally at the age of twelve in his father’s Dixieland band for four years. Phillips was the drummer on the 1976 LP 801 Live with Phil Manzanera and Brian Eno. He is also a prolific session drummer, having played for Jeff Beck, The Who, Judas Priest, Tears for Fears, Mike Oldfield and Gary Moore, among others. He was The Who’s drummer in their 1989 American reunion tour. He has released four of his own solo albums. Phillips joined Toto in 1992 after Jeff Porcaro died during rehearsals for an upcoming tour. On January 26, 2014 Phillips left Toto to focus on his own career.
He was inducted into the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame in 2003 
This live set from Simon Phillips' 1998 European tour captures the drummer fronting an electric quintet and producing some of the most exciting music in his long career. Phillips, who has held stints drumming for everyone from the Who to Toto, shows not only his powerful chops and tasteful execution, but also his commanding leadership abilities as he drives this tight group through its paces. From behind his massive drum set, Phillips succeeds in offering his own take on modern electric jazz with a very creative rhythmic base.

Images of Tony Williams' Lifetime, another drummer-led band, come through on epic tracks like the frantic title track and the aptly titled burner "Another Lifetime." Other tracks, like the opening "Kumi Na Moja" and "Jungle Eyes" offer a distinct world music feel that Phillips produces in this live setting by inventively using a variety of sounds and grooves on his colossal kit. The final blowout number "Midair Decision" is a jaw-dropping energetic display that brings the crowd to a frenzy and caps off a first-rate set that shows just what this world-class stick slinger can really do.

 A friend of mine from the "Weather Channel" (Carl Parker...RUSH AT NISSAN 6/23/07) says: "You gotta OWN: Simon Phillips; : "Symbiosis" SO I special order it from "Tower Records" Several years back. RIP Tower.

Phenomenal disc; Amazing Players, (Phillips, Andy Timmons!!!) Chops, Great Mix of Jazz, Fusion, Rock, Excellent Production, Sound Quality. So I am cruising for some "Lukather" and I see the Live in Tokyo/Japan wherever it was; "Out of the Blue" $35.00! OUCH! I am a fan of great instrumentalists as well as genre bending chops and sonic fury done really well...

Warning: Use HOT PADS putting this CD back in the case...sure to cause Re-entry burns! Play it loud on Klipsch, B&W, JBL, Boston Acostics A system that any confesseed Audiophile can appreciate. Well worth it! 

Simon Phillips has very bad hair, a bit like Michael Bolton or Kenny G .... but don't worry about that - he is a mighty fine drummer, a master exponent of the sprawling double bass drummed drumset. If you liked Cobham from way back when, then listen to this and hear a quality recording and a new twist on fusion. This is a live album, but the recording is very good and sounds great on my hifi. The really big plus is the tracks are all so strong and based on great tunes, riffs and drum patterns. The individual instruments; keybds, guitar, sax etc. are all cutting it, and Phillips just pumps out a solid groove for them to work round - when he solo's though he is awesome. If you have heard his earlier album like Protocol, this is much more musical and far better. I would not restrict my recommendation soley to drum fans (though its a definite purchase for you Mr. Sticksman). If you like 'Jazz' on the Rocky side, played with balls and a hint of 'spandex', then this is for you. Nice work Mr. Phllips ..... now get a hair cut (loose the Leo Sayer look please).

Starting with technical aspect of how this live album is cut: I personally just love it. I enjoy to have not just the music back to back, but - and in this aspect the album is fantastic - the whole band introduction.
Yet, this is the only time the listener is distracted from the great performance of Simon Phillips and the accompanying band members. To name either of them would be equally unfair to all the other. One can hear that they trully have fun at what they are doing, and they are doing it well. The album does bring a lot of the live athmosphere, without some of the bitter side effects of disturbing(!) noises.
If you enjoyed either Protocol, Symbiosis or Another Lifetime, this is an album to buy. 

Courtesy "Original uploader"

Track Listing

  1. Kumi Na Moja
  2. Out Of The Blue
  3. Eyes Blue For You
  4. Band Introductions
  5. Jungleyes
  6. Isis
  7. Indian Summer
  8. Roads Untravelled
  9. Another Lifetime
  10. Midair Decision
  11. Freudian Slip


Simon Phillips - Drums
Andy Timmons - Guitar
Jeff Babko - Keyboard
Wendell Brooks - Sax
Jerry Watts - Bass


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