Bruford Levin Upper Extremities, recorded live in Japan and the USA during 1998 and released in 2000.
This recording chronicles the live performances of Bruford Levin Upper Extremities
from 1998. The disc showcases the band's unique blend of jazzy modes
with Crimson-esque textures and, occasionally, just plain weirdness.
Many of the tracks become looser jams in the live performance. For those
who saw this tour, the disc will be a great memento. For those who
didn't, it will serve as a shining example of what they missed, and
encouragement to be more careful not to pass up subsequent tours. The
band is Tony Levin, Bill Bruford, Chris Botti, and David Torn. Levin is certainly one of the greatest living electric bass players, and the disc shows that fact off in fine fashion. Bill Bruford's percussion work comes across as both very creative and quite impeccable. Trumpeter Chris Botti calls to mind Miles Davis at times, while carving out his own particular style. The last link, David Torn,
has a style that is nearly indefinable, combining strange guitar
textures with loop work for an art form that is almost peerless. And the
whole of this group, despite each member's separate abilities, is so
much more than the sum of the parts.
On this record, these guys find new ways to expand the consciousness of
the listener. The combination of the poly-metric blending of time
signitures between the bass/stick and drums, the weird and sometimes
eerie Tornian soundscapes, and the lonely Miles inspired trumpet takes
fusion somewhere I've never heard it go. While the studio record they
did was interesting, this record is visceral and alive and at times
totally breathtaking. I want to be in this band.
This is a 2 CD set taken from live club shows in 1998. The sound is
very good and there is very little audience noise. It sounds like the
audiences were very small, like the concerts were done in half filled
clubs. The first disc is 48 minutes and the second disc is 58 minutes
with the addition of a bonus track from the original release. The
packaging is fairly cheap looking.
This is jazz fusion. Some of
it is discordant, especially the opening track. Mostly the music is
lively, entertaining but very rough and hard. It is along the lines of
what King Crimson was doing at the time, only more accessible. With
Chris Botti playing on trumpet, much of the music sounds like a harder
version of Miles Davis.
This band came together right after King
Crimson was in it's "Projecks" and "Thrak" stages. Both Bill Bruford
and Tony Levin were in King Crimson at the time. King Crimson was a
sextet at the time and doing all kinds of experimentation with different
combinations of the members of the band. They put out a number of CD's
where any "C" in the title was replaced with a "K". The music was hard
and metallic. Much of it was pure noise with members of the group just
going off in any direction. Some of it was very interesting.
think that Bruford and Levin take all that experimentation with King
Crimson and evolve it into something much better. David Torn on guitar
sounds like Robert Fripp under control. And the trumpet really adds a
new dimension to the music.
Levin is always a very interesting
artist. Another album to check out is his Double Espresso, which is
more traditional fusion and new wave jazz. I think his best album
(besides the 1980's King Crimson material) is Levin, Bozzio, Stevens
Blacklight Syndrome. That is a CD to search out and cherish.
So to speak, it's a double live version of B.L.U.E. Including some other
& a bonus track, of course. As for me, I'm fond of studio version
more rather than this live one. But it's great that some tracks from
studio are extended for live play. & some tracks are improvs or
jams. Higly recommended for guys & girls who like each or at least
one of Bill Bruford,Tony Levin and David Torn. These three good
performers gathered once before at Torn's excellent work "Cloud about
mercury". Though I haven't experienced any other Chris Botti, he is
good especially at "Original Sin". By the way, Torn doesn't play
impressively in this project to me.
1. Piercing Glances (7:54)
2. Etude Revisited (5:24)
3. A Palace Of Pearls (5:58)
4. Original Sin (8:14)
5. Dentures Of The Gods (6:25)
6. Deeper Blue (6:32)
7. Cobalt Canyons (7:30)
1. Fin De Siècle (5:46)
2. Picnic On Vesuvius (9:28)
3. Cerulean Sea (7:03)
4. Bent Taqasim
5. Torn Drumbass (5:40)
6. Cracking The Midnight Glass (6:53)
7. Presidents Day (6:47)
8. 3 Minutes Of Pure Entertainment (10:54)
9. Outer Blue (6:06)
Total Time: 103:14
Line-up / Musicians
- Bill Bruford / drums, percussion
- Tony Levin / basses, stick
- David Torn / guitars, loops, oud
- Chris Botti / trumpet