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Bruford Levin Upper Extremities - Blue Nights CD (album) cover

BLUE NIGHTS

Bruford Levin Upper Extremities

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.60 | 24 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars This double live album from BRUFORD LEVIN UPPER EXTREMITIES was released the year after their only studio record in 2000. The same lineup of course with Bruford, Levin, Torn and Botti bringing us more of that atmospheric, experimental, and at times heavy brand of music that certainly contains the spirit of KING CRIMSON. Torn on guitar is so impressive with his guitar expressions that create atmosphere and noise. He's always interesting anyway and having Botti's trumpet as part of this adds a unique flavour. Levin and Bruford are well...Levin and Bruford. All of the songs from their studio album are here except for one.

Disc one opens with "Piercing Glances" which opens with drums only and the crowd applauds Bruford 2 minutes in as he continues to play. A change 3 minutes in as deep experimental sounds come in and it starts to build a minute later. It settles back then the trumpet joins in at 6 minutes as sounds continue to come and go. It blends into "Etude Revisited" where the tempo picks up right away. Intricate sounds and atmosphere standout here. Great sound 2 1/2 minutes in when it becomes fuller. The guitar is ripping it up before 4 minutes and the trumpet starts to blast. "A Palace Of Pearls" is atmosphere and reserved trumpet as the percussion joins in. This is laid back. It turns fuller after 3 1/2 minutes. "Original Sin" builds slowly with bass and drums while experimental guitar sounds helps out. Trumpet after 4 minutes as it settles back. The trumpet turns passionate and when Botti finishes the crowd applauds.

"Dentures Of The Gods" is impressive with those heavy guitar expressions. Powerful stuff as bass, drums and trumpet continue. It's insane after 4 1/2 minutes then it settles back. "Deeper Blue" is laid back with trumpet and atmosphere. The trumpet becomes more aggressive but then settles back again. "Cobalt Blue" opens with some nice bass then the drums join in. The guitar starts to make lots of noise then the trumpet comes in after 1 1/2 minutes. It settles with trumpet then picks up again later. Great sound 6 1/2 minutes in.

Disc two begins with "Fin De Siecle". Bass and guitar to start then it kicks in with trumpet and drums. Check out the guitar before 2 minutes ! "Picnic On Vesuvius" opens with atmosphere and melancholic trumpet. It's very laid back here. Bass and drums after 2 1/2 minutes then the guitar replaces the trumpet making some noise. The trumpet is back then it kicks in heavily before 6 1/2 minutes. Dissonant trumpet too. It turns spacey after 8 minutes. "Cerulean Blue" opens with atmosphere then the bass joins in and drums after 1 1/2 minutes. It's heavy with guitar 2 1/2 minutes in. Love the guitar throughout this track, it's dangerous. "Bent Taqasim" is an experimental piece that blends into "Tom Drumbass". It continues to be dark and experimental. Acoustic guitar then a beat a minute in. Trumpet before 2 minutes and it's still laid back.

"Cracking The Midnight Glass" is dark with bowed bass then it kicks in heavily before 2 minutes. This is KING CRIMSON-like. Nasty ! "Presidents Day" features trumpet and a catchy beat. A nice heavy sound before 3 minutes with trumpet. Avant sounds 5 minutes in to end it. Now when this song ends Bruford speaks to the crowd saying that about this time in the concert they like to do a track off of "Cloud About Mercury" from David Torn's solo album that both Bruford and Levin played on. Anyway I didn't know Bruford was so funny as he says : "You did mix the drums didn't you David on that one ? Or did you just not get around to it ? I see the rhythm section was a tad quiet bit I understand it was a time restraint...nothing personal then ?" David shouts "It wasn't me !" Hilarious stuff. This song is a definite highlight and it's called "3 Minutes Of Pure Entertainment". Just a great sound to start with the bass, drums and guitar then the trumpet joins in. This is restrained power and I love it. It does kick in after 5 minutes and doesn't settle back until before 8 1/2 minutes as the crowd cheers. "Outer Blue" ends it with interesting sounds with those deep pulses along with the trumpet and experimental sounds.

A great recording to be sure but I actually prefer the studio album. Still it's easily 4 stars and well worth tracking down.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |

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