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Jonas Hellborg - Octave Of The Holy Innocents (with Buckethead And Michael Shrieve) CD (album) cover

OCTAVE OF THE HOLY INNOCENTS (WITH BUCKETHEAD AND MICHAEL SHRIEVE)

Jonas Hellborg

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.14 | 21 ratings

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Dick Heath
Special Collaborator
Jazz-Rock Specialist
5 stars There are two jazz rock albums of the 90's which I rate highly: 'Octave of The Holy Innocents' and the difficult to find 'Save The Robots' by Conrad Schrenk's Extravaganza.

'Octave' was recorded in the early 90's, when Hellborg was crossing and recrossing many music boundaries, in his musical experimentations and fortunately many ended up on record. Hellborg here is joined by the original Santana drummer Michael Shrieve, (by this time having had 15 years as an independent musician), and a young, then unknown, Buckethead (a connection no doubt made because of Hellborg's collaborations with Bill Laswell - e.g. check out Praxis).

What makes this a very special jazz rock album, is the unusual combinations of instruments: acoustic bass guitar (Hellborg) and acoustic guitar (Buckethead). Both guitarists will pleasantly shock with their sheer speed of attack and complex playing - this is both an essential album for acoustic shredders and those who desire to know what one of the best acoustic bass guitarists in the world can do. And Michael Shrieve - always an individual drummer - his playing is a delight, complimenting Hellborg and Buckethead perfectly.

Hellborg wrote the following to describe the reasons for writing and recording this album, and the anger clearly expressed in the words with be heard clearly expessed in the playing:

"In a World of premeditated mass murder by governments, of rampant pedophilia, of values turned inside out by media tycoons in order to make money, of torture and unchecked genocide. Who is innocent? Who will protect the innocents? And who will stand up and face the grotesque explanations of why a 10-year-old girl walking to buy bread is shot in the back by a soldier, why parents molests their own children. How can a soldier who is somebody's brother rape.

Why can people be annihilated in the name of God the merciful.

Is it a consequence of these peoples evil? Are they aware that they are evil? Is their evil maybe only somebody's perception? Are they maybe just defending their own truth against somebody else's evil or truth. Who is pure? Who is innocent? We need to protect innocence. Not only individuals rights to be innocent but also innocence as a source of beauty, creativity and wisdom."

This is one of my rare 5 star albums.

Comment must be made of the remix/remaster "Represented" version of 'Octave', released 11/12 years after the original. Hellborg on the Bardo Records site states: "When looking over the tapes of these sessions I discovered tracks that I did not use the first time around. So there are no extra songs on this reissue, but a fundamental reworking of all the compositions of the first release. Some new light on this music that I did with 2 of my absolute favorite musicians". Personally vocals of sorts find their way into the background, seemingly randomly, while not annoying can be distracting and do not add to the original release of the early 90's; (hence I rate this version 4 star).

Dick Heath | 5/5 |

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