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Steve Tibbetts - Yr CD (album) cover


Steve Tibbetts


Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.22 | 27 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars This album came to me out of nowhere around the time of its release and remains a landmark album for me in that it helped push boundaries of what we like to call "world music." This virtuosic multi-instrumentalist from Minneapolis had the gall to compose an album of songs that have forever defied categorization on this self-produced album for the pristine sound of the ECM label. Though his followup albums continued to explore similar hybridizations of jazz, rock, folk, and Indian music, none have the power and draw that this one: even though it is made up of eight separate songs, I could never help playing the album start to finish once I'd put the needle down on song one.

1. "Ur" (4:43) sets the tone in a jaw-dropping MICHAEL HEDGES kind of way. (10/10)

2. "Sphexes" (3:49) follows "Ur" with what feels like is going to be an aggressive song before hand drums and other tuned percussives fill a soft lull, but then, yes, multiple guitars burst forth and tear it up for a few seconds. Then another lull of multiple percussives and spacey acoustic guitar play fill the sonic waves (lots of engineered effects) (9.5/10)

3. "Ten Years" (7:48) kalimbas, three or four of them! weaving together to open the song (bled over from "Sphexes") before talking drum and guitar harmonics and unfretted notes work their way in. Then suddenly at the two minute mark, an acoustic guitar jumps in an hijacks the song, making it all Indian folk sounding. But wait, enter two tracks of a searing electric lead at the three minute mark before settling back into a medieval folk sound. So weird and unexpected. Return of the searing electric before it all breaks down into all percussion and weird synth and harmonic effects. Astonishing! Did I mention this man's virtuosity on the guitars? (9.5/10)

4. "One Day" (2:27) opens for its first minute as a little acoustic guitar dittie like The Beatles's "Blackbird," but travels around many corners into different and, of course, unexpected territory. This guy has a sense of music making that is so foreign to my own. (9/10)

5. "Three Primates" (5:07) another multiple acoustic guitar opening before hand percussions and bass join in. Slowed down bridge at the one minute mark before heading into the second verse. At the end of the second minute electric guitar enters and makes a strong presence in the "chorus." Another bridge before the song enters a section of GENESIS-like picking and chord progression. Nice! Solo guitar starts off a rondo of fast arpeggi, joined by other guitar tracks, bass and tambourine. Another bridge, this time of harmonics and fast changing fast strumming chords is joined by tabla and 12-string to end. Cool! (9/10)

6. "You And It" (7:24) opens as a kind of Windham Hill thing before going Metheny "New Chautauqua" with Mellotron! and then going ape-crazy with some blistering electric lead and then ending with tablas and 'Tron! (9.5/10)

7. "The Alien Lounge" (3:42) opens with acoustic guitar kind of like the beginning of Led Zeppelin's "Lady" before morphing, (of course) into some very different directions of feathery guitar play. Near the halfway mark enter multiple tracks panning around with electronic guitars and synths and you have another uncategorizable sonic experience. (8.5/10)

8. "Ten Yr Dance" (3:20) dynamic acoustic guitar play (multiple guitars) with more searing electric weaving in and out from behind while the acoustic guitars dance frenetically with each other. Wow! Gorgeous and impressive! (9/10)

One of the all-time landmarks of world music, East-meets-West integration. This was 1980, people! Five stars, without hesitation!

BrufordFreak | 5/5 |


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