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


Bruford Levin Upper Extremities


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.98 | 66 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Dan Bobrowski
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Hmmm, Bruford Levin. The two names alone can cause tremors throughout the prog establisment with ease. Two musicians who have become synonymous with their chosen instruments. Tops of the game. They enlist one of the most creative guitarists to grip a plectrum, David Torn, and he puts forth an adventurous effort. Suave jazz man, Chris Botti, fills a role very unlike the sensuous smooth flavors of his solo discography. He takes the Mark Isham parts in my collective memory, but plays with a toyful exuberance that caught me by surprise.

This is experimental music. From the strange "Drumbass" interludes that appear throughout the disc, to the kitchen sink approach of "Presidents Day," these guys play tricks on your ears. They mix Lousiannna swamps with dark thrumming gutteral bass notes, then scrape the stratosphere with piercing tenor notes.

The strength of this recording is the symbiotic undercurrent of the bands namesakes. Bruford and Levin combine as one fluid backdrop for Torn's imaginative stinging assault or ambient meandering and Botti's sexy horn. The music strikes many contrasts. A balance of light and dark, pain and pleasure.

"Cracking the Midnight Glass" surpasses the latter day Crimson in powerful dynamics. Torn's squalls better than Fripp on this Kasmiresque track. My facorite moment overall on this album. "Original Sin" grooves snake-like under Botti's melodic wanderings. Torn's guitar seems to exude strangeness and wah-wah drenched timbres. "Thick with thin Air" draps the sonic walls with humid Deep South textures. "Cobalt Canyons" throbs with power. The rhythm section is relentless, while Torn grooves with restrained fury. "Deeper Blue" gives Botti some space to lull the listener into a relaxed smiling ease. Peaceful and sweet. "Presidents Day" could have appeared on an Earthworks album, but Torn's atmospherics take to a different plane.

This disc is a MUST HAVE for Crimson fans, but will appeal to those who enjoy sponteneity in their ears. If you love bass, drums, guitar or trumpet, this is the direction to travel. A supergroup hitting the tens.

Dan Bobrowski | 4/5 |


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