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MCGILL MANRING STEVENS

Jazz Rock/Fusion • United States


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McGill Manring Stevens biography
After finding themselves working on many of the same festivals and recording sessions, guitarist wizard Scott McGill (FINNEUS GAUGE, HANDFARM), joined forces with monster bassist Michael Manring (ATTENTION DEFICIT) and drummer-percussionist Vic Stevens (ALLAN HOLDSWORTH, GONGZILLA, MISTAKEN IDENTIFIES). They released three albums, the first of which features keyboardist Jordan Rudess (DREAM THEATER, LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT) quite prominently. As you can expect, their music is a complex mix of heavy fusion and jazzy melodies driven by the energy of pure rock.

"Addition by Subtraction", released in 2001 and produced by Grammy-award winner Neil Kernon, sounds like a collection of improvisations although less than half of the tracks actually are so. It offers some jaw-dropping display of technical virtuosity laced with hooks, melodies and odd-time signatures that will no doubt make the delight of any Allan Holdsworth fan. The result of a six-day jam session, the following and extremely bizarre album "Controlled by Radar" (2002) is a two-cd set showcasing the trio's electric or aggressive side (cd 1 titled "Right Brain") and an all-acoustic or laid-back side (cd 2 titled "Left Brain"). A third double CD set "What We Do" is a live recording of largely standards'. The listener is thus treated to a whole gamut of styles, from heavy electric jazz rock ala MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA and BRAND X to the acoustic world fusion of SHAKTI and OREGON; the acoustic works of John McLaughlin, Al DiMeola or Paco DeLucia also come to mind on the second cd. The album was recorded on a 24 bit/96khz recording system with minimal overdubs, and producer Kernon created an outstanding sonic blockbuster that will test any sound system.

The trio have also contributed to A TRIGGERING MYTH's album "The Remedy For Abstraction", following on from an earlier contribution MCGILL and STEVENS made to A TRIGGERING MYTH album "Forgiving Eden".

This trio is a fusion geek's dream come true. If you fancy an adventurous brew of rock, free jazz improv with supple rhythmic structures and terrifyingly complex patterns, sample their audio clips on their website.

: : : Lise (HIBOU), CANADA : : :

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MCGILL MANRING STEVENS discography


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MCGILL MANRING STEVENS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.96 | 4 ratings
Addition By Subtraction
2001
3.77 | 4 ratings
Controlled By Radar
2002
3.05 | 2 ratings
What We Do
2006

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MCGILL MANRING STEVENS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 What We Do by MCGILL MANRING STEVENS album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.05 | 2 ratings

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What We Do
McGill Manring Stevens Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars McGill, Manring and Stevens are all accomplished musicians, who have been active musicians for quite a while.

This is their third release as a band, and as on their previous outings the music offered is fusion.

What sets this release apart, is that on this release, they take 12 quite well known jazz standards, and drag these tunes through their own custom made fusion filter.

What comes out sounds like jazz with an edge, not quite jazz and not quite fusion - but something inbetween; spiced with energetic performance and the odd moment of rock and metal. Jamming, improvisation and exploring themes through repetitions and slight change of playing is a general description of the structure of the individual songs.

On a more or less limited edition of this release, you'll also get a bonus CD, containing a live performance from 2001 where the band play their own tunes. More rock and straight fusion is on offer here, and much more improvisation.

Not quite my cup of tea, but fusion afficinados and jazz fans with a liberal attitude should check this one out.

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 Controlled By Radar by MCGILL MANRING STEVENS album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.77 | 4 ratings

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Controlled By Radar
McGill Manring Stevens Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by jjjlllvr

4 stars This album was very difficult to find here,couse this souds is not very well accept but fortunely i gotta lucky to buy it and listen very carefuly.Well i have the other album and i think a great album,but this it's very good too the compositions get more deepness and sometimes looks like asian music,but so elegant and complex too.It doesn't mean that there is no heavy or break rhythm,absolutely not,this album it's strong too.Sorrow this trio made only these albums,but i hope that's my wrong and sudden i find another album from this amazing and highly recomemded trio.

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 Addition By Subtraction by MCGILL MANRING STEVENS album cover Studio Album, 2001
2.96 | 4 ratings

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Addition By Subtraction
McGill Manring Stevens Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Dan Bobrowski
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Arrrrggg! I really like this album, but I have to admit that it is a hard listen, even for a fusion fan. These guys got phenomenal chops, musician's musicians. Scott McGill, guitarist, was a member of Finneus Gauge with Echolyn's Chris Buzby. Michael Manring, sweet fretless bass, is known to me mainly by his work with the late Michael Hedges and Vic Stevens, drums, has played in Gongzilla among other session work. All highly regarded musicians.

Let me try to describe the music. It is like carrying on a conversation with someone who refuses to complete a sentence. It seems they are just about to say something profound and then the rhythm changes or the phrase ends and it's off into another direction. Imagine taking a handful of sheet music, cutting up the tunes into 4 or 8 bar sections, shuffling them like a Las Vegas dealer and then pasting them back together. Thing is, these guys are good enough to pull it off and make it sound interesting and refreshing.

Not all the pieces are that scattershot. Sile is beautiful. Holdsworthian chording with some tender brush work on the skins and slinky fretless moans. Euzkadi is a solo acoustic piece that, while technically difficult, never quite makes a point.

There is a lot of power on this recording, never metal, but heavy. Holdsworth quotes are all over the place, sometimes even seeming too close to something on an AH album, but this music bubbles, tweaks, bounces and flings itself around the room, or in your head. There is nothing here that will get stuck in your head. No memorable melodies, only blazing solos. Speaking of solos, Jordan Ruddess guests on a few tracks, Conflict Resolution stands out as a showcase of Ruddess' contribution.

Want some adventurous fusion? This is it. Something unlike anything you've heard.

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Thanks to ProgLucky/Dick Heath (May 2010) for the artist addition.

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