Known Johnson

March 9, 2006

The day in pre-emptive purchases

Filed under: Music — Tom @ 9:44 pm

A check ’round of the usual suspect sites revealed that a couple of King Crimson members’ solo albums are being readied for release shortly. First a new Tony Levin album, the wonder bassist for so much music that his portfolio is mind-bogglingly long (seriously – look at this link. If you live in the western hemisphere and listen to non-classical music, I guarantee that you’ve heard this man’s work. He’s backed things artists such as Sarah McLachlan, Peter Gabriel (his most well-known outing,) John Lennon, Pink Floyd, and a billion or so others.) Unfortunately, I’ve found his solo releases to be less than thrilling for some reason. The man lays down some of the absolutely best basslines in the business. I read somewhere long ago that he may be the bassist responsible for that familiar disco bassline. Of course, now I can’t find a single bit of evidence to support that. Anyway, his new album, Resonator is due out April 4, and he reportedly pulled the Stick back out of hiding for this one – it’s about damned time! He’s also singing, but the little of it we’ve gotten to hear in past albums reveals that this may not be a bad thing. Hopefully this’ll be more solid than his other solo albums, which veer strangely into new-age territory far too often for me.

Speaking of Adrian Belew, he is continuing his releases in the “side” project, this time Side Three, which will be out April 18. I have no idea what to expect except more of the same – weirdness. I believe that Primus bassist Les Claypool and Tool drummer Danny Carey will be back for a couple songs on this one, just like on the first one, so it might be slightly more grounded in something approaching typical songs rather than the insanely fun guitar weird-outs on Side Two. And then he’ll be releasing Side Four sometime this summer – a live album, finally, which makes sense following three “sides” of new material.

I also stumbled across the news that saxophonist John Zorn’s already to release the fourth disc of new Masada material – I didn’t even know the third had come out. For those not in the know, Zorn is extremely proud of his Jewish heritage and has decided to dedicate a huge amount of his music to exposing people to the intricate beauty of Jewish music. It’s not all Fiddler on the Roof, people. Zorn has taken traditional Jewish/middle-eastern voicings and given them a fresh start in jazz where they form the basis for some incredible improvisations. It’s some of the most exhilerating music I’ve ever heard, so much so that I have begun to wonder if maybe I have a little Jewish blood far back in my blood, or maybe if by so much exposure to it I’m actually converting to Judaism. Anyway, Koby Israelite’s Orobas: Book Of Angels Vol. 4 will be out April 4. Haven’t heard him outside of clips on Amazon, but it’s slightly more traditional sounding than much of the other Masada material has been – but great fun to listen to.

And finally I decided to check in at guitarist Mike Keneally’s site just to see what was up, and was surprised to see that he’ll soon be releasing Guitar Therapy Live. It’s available for pre-order right now, and if you do that, you get a limited CD/DVD package (for an extra charge, but it’s signed by the man himself, so that’s pretty cool. I hadn’t heard a word about this anywhere, so I’m glad I stopped by. You should too. Mike’s a good guy and a great musician. He deserves your money, and you deserve his music.


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