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


Bozzio Levin Stevens


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.81 | 113 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Terry Bozzio relates in the liner notes how this band was created. I'll pass it along in my words and also in Terry's own words. Terry typically ran out of funds by late winter because his drum clinics ran Spring and Fall. So his manager came up with the idea of making an album with some well known musicians to make some extra cash.Terry's wife suggested Steven Stevens (Billy Idol, THE ATOMIC PLAYBOYS etc.) and he certainly fit the bill for being well known but Terry knew nothing about him personally. Steve met up with Terry at one of his drum clinics and soon found out he loved the way Terry played including his compositions. The next day they went to Steve's house and Steve showed him his stuff. Terry says "I was impressed, overjoyed and excited...he demonstrated a profound sense of melody, harmony, virtuoso technique, stylistic sensibility and philosophical tendencies which immediately revealed to me that this was going to be much more than a commercially- driven "studio project"." They needed a bass player though not only with the "name" but also with "the same creative, individualistic, expression to the project Steve and I could bring". In making sort of a dream list Tony Levin was put at the top only half-heartily because they never thought he would be interested or have the time. Well he was interested in playing with these two guys and he had 4 days he could squeeze in January 26-30 to do the record. The ground rules were to have "unconditional acceptance of each others ideas- to spontaneously compose in an improvisational manner and use editing or overdubbing to flesh out basic tracks". Only four days though !? Well all I can do is tip my hat to this talented trio. Man this is so good. I like it even better than their follow-up where they had much more time to make that record. Magic was in the air when these three guys got together to record this album.

I'll give a brief blurb on each track. "The Sun Road" is one of those tracks that I love driving to. It's so enjoyable and laid back. Stevens comes to life 2 1/2 minutes in. Nice bass / percussion section 5 minutes in and I like the drumming 10 minutes in. Flamenco guitar too. "Dark Corners" has a cool sounding guitar intro. Some huge bass 2 1/2 minutes in. It turns experimental then kicks back in at 6 1/2 minutes. "Duende" opens with Flamenco guitar as intricate drums follow then it's Levin's turn.

"Black Light Syndrome" turns powerful after 2 minutes. Bass and drums only before 3 minutes. It's building before 5 1/2 minutes then the guitar solos a minute later. "Falling In Circles" has this great heavy sound as the guitar plays over top. Some voice samples as it changes. It's heavy again after 4 minutes.The tempo picks up before 6 minutes as they let it rip. "Book Of Hours" opens with Flamenco guitar as bass and drums support. It's reserved but powerful. Just a pleasure to listen to this. "Chaos / Control" has this wild guitar intro and random drum patterns. It settles with chunky bass. More killer guitar later.

Easily 4 stars for this instrumental album.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |


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