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Tony Levin - Double Espresso CD (album) cover


Tony Levin


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.49 | 29 ratings

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3 stars Getting opportunity to buy a 4.50 Euros second hand Tony Levin Band "Double Espresso" 2002 2CD live album, I was a little bit afraid of what it has supposed to be. Technical fireworks of bass guitar skills and solos, some King Crimson unpleasant and unmelodic discipline thrakwork, or Peter Gabriel prog pop? Fortunately, "none of the above"! I got some nice, elaborate, accessible, controlled and melodic (mostly fusion) concert, diverse repertoire, two or three surprises, and equal contribution of all of four excellent musicians (billed as Tony Levin Band), without solo exhibitions (Larry Fast on synthesizers and Jerry Marotta on drums worked with Peter Gabriel in the first half of 80's, and Jesse Gress on guitar worked with Todd Rundgren in the 90's).

As it was in the time of Tony Levin's "Pieces of the Sun" solo album, it's normal and expected that ten songs were from that album (of twelve), plus three songs from 2002 "Waters of Eden" ("Pillar of Fire", "Utopia", "Belle"). The rest are covers of some expected (and unexpected) material. "Elephant Talk" (from "Discipline" 1981) and "Sleepless" (from "Three of a Perfect Pair" 1984) of King Crimson, "Back in N.Y.C." (from "The Lamb Lies down on Broadway" 1974) of Genesis, instrumental version of "Black Dog" (from "Led Zeppelin IV" 1970), rare "Dog One" written by Peter Gabriel and played live in 1982), Chuck Rio's 1958 "Tequila" of The Champs, Henry Mancini's "Peter Gunn" with members of California Guitar Trio, and as surprise, a Italian singing Tony Levin in "L'abito della sposa" ballad (from Ivano Fossati "Macram'" 1996, where Tony Levin was co-author). Two of mentioned covers are on "Pieces of the Sun" album ("Tequila" and "Dog One").

Neither "masterpiece" nor "excellent addition to prog collection", but unpretentious and a very good concert recording for enjoyment in good musicianship and controlling of abilities, to benefit of audience and home hi-fi listeners. On positive impressions by this album, I would seek out for his two aforementioned solo albums. Just to add that once I was lucky to attend a concert when Tony Levin was in backing band, on Peter Gabriel 2013 Back to Front tour, when album "So" was played in its entirety.

Recommended listen. Oh, and don't forget to make a double espresso!

cedo | 3/5 |


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