Bassist Tony Grey will release his new album Chasing Shadows on Abstract Logix's recording label. Joining Grey on this release are guitarists Tim Miller, Lionel Louke, and John Shannon. A Berklee College of Music grad, Grey played on John McLaughlin's Industrial Zen album (2006), and is the the bassist for Japanese keyboardist Hiromi. Chasing Shadows is scheduled for an April 2008 release.
The Los Angeles Times' Calenderlive.com site has a great article up regarding the upcoming Return to Forever reunion tour. The piece, written by Don Heckman, has details from one of the band's tour rehearsals and photo sessions. More details on the tour will be announced on March 3rd. For the uninitiated - Return to Forever (featuring Chick Corea - keys, Stanley Clarke - bass, Lenny White - drums, and Al DiMeola - guitar) was one of the most influential jazz-rock bands of the 1970s. This lineup, which has not played together in some 25 years, will be touring the US and Europe this year.
Saw this on Truth in Shredding: Cosmosquad guitarist Jeff Kollman's new instrumental band, THE BOMBASTIC MEATBATS, with Chad Smith (RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS) on
drums, Ed Roth on keyboards, and bassist Kevin Chown, will be playing the Baked Potato on Saturday, March 1st (showtimes: 9pm and 11pm).
In addition, the MEATBATS will be heading to Japan for a club tour in late April; dates listed below. The group`s upcoming 11-song debut CD is finished and mastered. Recorded live in the studio.
Scott Henderson will be touring Europe this spring with John Humphrey on bass, and Alan Hertz on drums. Confirmed dates and locations are below.
5/6/08 Stazione Birra Roma, IT 5/7/08 Blue Note Milano, IT 5/8/08 Blue Note Milano, IT 5/9/08 Treibhaus Innsbruck, AT 5/10/08 Moods Zürich, CH 5/11/08 MeM Live Vicenza, IT 5/13/08 A 38 Budapest, HU 5/14/08 The Note Timisoara, RO 5/15/08 Reigen Wien, AT 5/16/08 Tante Ju Dresden, DE 5/17/08 Quasimodo Berlin, DE 5/19/08 Kulturfabrik Esch Sur Alzette, LUX 5/20/08 Musiktheater Rex Lorsch, DE 5/21/08 Melkweg Amsterdam, NL 5/22/08 Nattjazz Festival Bergen, NOR 5/23/08 De Oosterpoort Groningen, NL 5/24/08 De Boerderij Den Haag, NL
legend Allan Holdsworth is in a class by himself. Not just as a
guitarist, but as a composer and improviser as well. His unique brand
of instrumental jazz-fusion is highlighted by his one-of-a-kind chord
voicings, his otherworldly legato technique, and an improvising
vocabulary that is wholly his own. Though he's never attained as much
mainstream attention as, say, John McLaughlin, many "in the know"
musicians consider Holdsworth to be, pound-for-pound, the best guitar
player in the world today.
I had seen Holdsworth live a couple of times in the past, but
seeing his gig at the small Baked Potato jazz club in Studio City
California on 1/18/08 provided a completely new experience for me.
Joined by long-time band mates Jimmy Johnson on bass, and Chad
Wackerman on drums, Holdsworth seemed more relaxed and jovial than the
previous times I've seen him play. Perhaps this was due to the small
size of the room, or the fact it was the second show of the night.
Whatever the reason, the notoriously self-deprecating Holdsworth was in
great spirits for this performance.
For this gig, Holdsworth used his main Bill DeLap headless guitar
through some Hughes & Kettner amps. He had two KORG volume pedals
on the floor, but he did most of his effects switching by hand, as his
main effects board was sitting near the club's mixing console right
next to him about waist high. The Baked Potato is so small, you could
hear the click clear across the room when Holdsworth would reach over
and push the switch on one of his pedals.
All three musicians played magnificently throughout the entire set,
but the fun these guys were having struck me almost as much as the
music did. For example - at one point in the show, after Johnson took
an emotional solo with his head swaying back and forth, Holdsworth
playfully mocked him by putting on his best "over the top" guitar solo
face. He then made the crowd crack up by starting his solo with a blues
bend (!). It's the most basic guitar solo move in the world, but
Holdsworth never does it, which is why it was so funny.
The set featured several "oldies but goodies" including "Fred" from the Tony Williams New Lifetime Believe It
album (one of Holdsworth's best recordings for the '70s). I've always
loved the contrast of slow-moving chords over a quick groove in this
song. Not surprisingly, Holdsworth 's solo on this tune was unreal.
Another memorable song was the Metal Fatigue classic "Devil
Take The Hindmost." In the middle of the guitar solo, Johnson dropped
out completely and Holdsworth unleashed an atonal "sheets of sound"
barrage, with Wackerman wailing away underneath. After maybe 45 seconds
of this onslaught, Johnson and Wackerman relaunched the solo section's
G minor groove, and Holdsworth fell right back in step with them. It
was a great moment that induced a triumphant cheer from the crowd.
Johnson and Wackerman really stood out on this tune, as well as their
showcase piece "Water On The Brain."
After their "final" song, Holdsworth and Wackerman stood by the
bar, and Johnson returned to his seat (which happened to be right
behind me). After a couple of minutes, they took the stage once more
for the real final song - "Red Alert" (another staple from the Believe It
album). This is a perfect encore tune for this group. It's a fun, heavy
riff that most Holdsworth fans are familiar with, and it gives the
guitar icon a chance to really blow. This is not a song Holdsworth was
playing live until the recent Tony Williams tribute shows with
keyboardist Alan Pasqua (Pasqua also played on the Believe It
album). Those shows must have rekindled Holdsworth's interest in the
tune, as Holdsworth's band closes with "Red Alert" quite often now. The
song works well for the trio format too; I loved the way Johnson
emulated the keyboard parts from the original recording.
I've concluded a small, intimate club such as The Baked Potato is
the ideal venue to see a Holdsworth show. Seeing his incredible solos
up close and personal was really something. Holdsworth will be touring
the east coast and Europe this spring with Wackerman and Johnson. Check
them out if you can.
One of the best shows I attended when I was in the L.A. area for the NAMM show was Brett Garsed & Dirty Martini (Ric Fierabracci - bass, Joel Taylor - drums) at Alva's on January 19th. I know this show was recorded, and I've been hoping some live tracks from this great gig would eventually emerge. Lo and behold, Garsed has posted a live version of his song "Undoing" from the Alva's show on his MySpace page. Also, Garsed posted a second live track, simply called "SlideSoloDirtyMartiniTrio," which is actually from the band's awesome cover of John Scofield's "Sticks And Stones" from the same Alva's show. FYI - the photo Garsed has in the MySpace music player for these tracks was taken by yours truly.