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Tony Levin - Double Espresso CD (album) cover

DOUBLE ESPRESSO

Tony Levin

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.56 | 22 ratings

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SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
3 stars Back in N.Y.C.

Tony Levin is best known for being part of King Crimson in the 80's and 90's, but he has also played with Peter Gabriel, Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe, and others. Here he is performing live with his own band, The Tony Levin Band, the line-up of which also includes Jerry Marotta on drums, Jesse Gress on guitars, and Larry Fast on synthesizers. The latter is perhaps best known for his work with Nektar and for his own project Synergy, but Fast has also previously worked with Levin in Peter Gabriel's solo band. Leven himself plays bass and the Chapman Stick (among other instruments).

The set list featured on this double live album draws heavily from the then current Levin solo album Pieces Of The Sun, on which Fast, Gress, and Marotta all played. The Fifth Man, Phobos, Ever The Sun Will Rise, Apollo, Ooze, Tequila, Dog One, Silhouette, Geronimo, and the title track are all from that album. Personally I prefer the studio versions of most of these songs. This is especially true of Apollo which is an excellent composition but that sounded better on the studio disc. But these live versions are enjoyable too. Utopia and Pillar Of Fire are from Levin's previous solo record Waters Of Eden.

To represent Levin's days with King Crimson, they perform two songs that he co-wrote and performed with that band. These selections are Elephant Talk from 1981's Discipline and Sleepless from 1984's Three Of A Perfect Pair. While Sleepless is alright I have never been able to enjoy the annoying Elephant Talk, and this version does not change that.

A couple of covers are included in Genesis' Back in N.Y.C. and Led Zeppelin's Black Dog. They also play a version of Peter Gunn (also performed by Emerson Lake & Palmer) on which the California Guitar Trio appear as guests. Finally, L'Abito della Sposa is a song that (according to the spoken introduction) Levin co- wrote with an Italian musician. Apparently, Levin himself sings this one in Italian language! The second disc also includes a studio track called Belle.

Overall, this is an interesting and mostly enjoyable live album, but it is generally not as good as the Pieces Of The Sun studio album.

SouthSideoftheSky | 3/5 |

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