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Bozzio Levin Stevens - Black Light Syndrome CD (album) cover

BLACK LIGHT SYNDROME

Bozzio Levin Stevens

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.80 | 108 ratings

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JazzFusionGuy
4 stars Yes, yes, yes!! Sweet! This CD grows on ya fast. I have listened to this CD over and over and over and hear new treasures! This is the cool stuff that instrumental rock is meant for, no filler, no flash, just free-form, inspired majesty. This power trio has famous roots and they've brought it all together masterfully. First cut, "The Sun Road" starts off like a tune off of David Gilmour's first solo album and then vanishes into a driving power chorded, surge of soulful rock. Remember those tunes where the vocalist shut up and then the band started a finale jam that the lame DJ would fadeout just as you were getting into it? This cut picks up and takes off where the great jams quit too soon. Next "Dark Corners" is a heavy, PHAT, rocker that pulls you under its powerful whirlpool of guitar, bass, drummed frenzy. MAN!! Turn it up!! Stevens tortures the guitar into absolute submission without ANY predictable riffs. What soul, what fire, what honest rock! Levin looms everywhere and Bozzio flows in a polyrhythmic jungle. Fine interactive tension and execution everywhere. This stuff goes way beyond King Crimson's "Red" days and what a ride.

"Duende" opens with flamenco guitar firebursts, and slowly builds into a decent Spanish flavored piece. Not my favorite but well done. Next is the title cut, "Black Light Syndrome", which is obviously a play on "Bozzio Levin Stevens". It is a slower paced dirge but BIG, WIDE, and filled to the brim with a variety of well executed riffs, bass lines, and drum tech. This tune took me right back to the heyday of instrumental rock and filled me with sweet nostalgia.

"Falling in Circles" is an early Floydscape dotted with Ronnie Montrose leads, a ballad of driving determination and resolve. Floods of Satriani, Wishbone Ash, Alvin Lee, Fripp, Buck Dharma, and more are ALL there and even that Duane Allman tone. "Where does Stevens pull this up from?" Fascinating!!!

"Book Of Hours" took me right back to Wheels of Fire's "Pressed Rat and Warthog", rainy-day dreamy afternoons with a fresh pot of designer coffee. Pure relaxation and finesse. Levin, Bozzio, and Stevens play off of one another precisely as one mind. It stretches nicely into an up beat jam of hot acoustic guitar work that finally sails away.

Last cut, "Chaos/Control" kicks some serious hindparts!! I find my headbanging ways slippin' up on me from behind. I heard that "E7 breakdown" from Hendrix's "Midnight" on War Heroes and then a very jazzy boogie in classic Frank Marino style is laid down. Stevens is a guitarist with a wide range of dynamics and "feels" in one song but he always brings you solidly back home to that original foundational rock.

I can't say I've ever come across an album like this with such diversity and it clearly "nails it" for me. I have to confess I am one nit-picky reviewer yet I hope to hear more from this power trio. I'm glad to have "discovered" Steve Stevens. Bozzio and Levin have been well recognized and praised for years. This collaboration was excellent!! Great job guys.

JazzFusionGuy | 4/5 |

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