Willie Oteri: Spiral Out (2003)
The nine pieces on Spiral Out all start from a jazzy basis on which each of the musicians build the most different structures. Particularly worth noting the long (23 minutes) "First Light," actually the recording of the very first studio meeting between Oteri and the two King Crimson members. As often happens, as soon as the instruments were in tune a jam session started. This time the session has been recorded and has proved so good to be worthy being included in the record. Anyway, in each piece it is clear that the most part of what we can hear comes from improvisation, maybe not complete like in "First Light" but probably based on a creative idea that has formed the pillar on which the musicians could create what they liked.
Surely Spiral Out is not an "easy" record, and the virtuosities of the band members, even if they fit into each other harmonically, are many and can bore an ear that's not used to soloists' works—or better, to works recorded by an ensemble of soloists like this one. But it stays a work of incredible quality anyway, that anyone who likes even only a bit this genre can’t help appreciating. Some critics go to the point of declaring that Oteri could bring a clear improvement in King Crimson, were he chosen to replace Adrian Belew; even if I do not dare to make such a claim, I affirm that the guitarist’s craft is worth the most celebrated masters of the instrument, both present and of the recent past.
Visit Willie Oteri on the web at www.willieoteri.com .
This review first appeared at www.movimentiprog.net .
Track Listing: 1. Ephraim Walks In - 6:08, 2 .Dark Matter - 7:16, 3. Sundial/Spiral Out - 9:51, 4. State of Things - 2:58, 5. Lamont - 2:13, 6. Not Salad!!! - 0:34, 7. First Light - 23:07, 8. Theme for... - 3:42, 9. Mir - 5:02
Personnel: Mike Keneally: Organ, Fender Rhodes; Tony Levin: Bass, Whistle; Pat Mastelotto: Drums; Ephram Zimolest Owens: Trumpet; Ronan Chris Murphy: Fender Rhodes; Willie Oteri: Guitar.
Record Label: DIW
Style: Fusion/Progressive Rock