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Live Reviews

Five Peace Band

By Published: April 7, 2009
McLaughlin is a master of casual intensity. About a year ago, Corea came through Denver with the Return to Forever reunion featuring Al Di Meola
Al Di Meola
Al Di Meola
on guitar. When Di Meola plays, his fingers are separated much of the time, giving them the look of a spider frantically jumping around the fret board. When McLaughlin plays, the fingers on his left hand general stay close together. The visual effect is of someone simply drumming his fingers on a table as multiple cubic yards of notes magically fly out of the guitar.

Maybe it's just the nature of the horn, but Garrett seemed to consistently wring the most emotion from his instrument. Having the only single note (at a time) instrument in the band, Garrett sat out except during the arranged parts of the songs and during solos. But when he did play, he grabbed the complete attention of the audience and his fellow band members.

McBride and Colaiuta were not just beat-keepers, they established an underlying intensity throughout the show. McBride's typical accompaniment was more complex than most bass solos. When he did solo, he displayed a sense of melody not often heard from his instrument. Colaiuta seemed to be an entire percussion section all on his own. He consistently pounded out intricate polyrhythms over, under and around the whole band.

This is a band that was not just going through the motions. They came to play. Their first set went for about an hour. After a short intermission, they came back and played for another 90 minutes. Between the intensity and the endurance, it was a real display of chops. I loved it. What can I say? Too many more concerts like this and I'll have to write Confessions of a Chopaholic.

Photo Credits

Kris Campbell

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