He may have ultimately become best-known in the progressive rock world for his ongoing work with King Crimson, Peter Gabriel, Stick Men and the Crimson ProjeKct, but 68 year-old bassist and stick player Tony Levin has no shortage of jazz credentials, playing with everyone from Gary Burton and Mike Mainieri to Chuck Mangione and Buddy Rich from the late '60s through the early '70s. Classically trained like his younger sibling, brother Pete has stayed more decidedly in the jazz world for most of his career, recording with everyone from Gil Evans and David Sanborn to Jimmy Giuffre and John Scofield ...read more
For a first crack at a fresh idea for Lazy Bones Records--three well-known musicians brought together to create improv-based music with a minimum of planning--Levin Torn White (2011) was a set that, beyond finding common ground amongst bassist/stick master Tony Levin, guitar sound sculptor David Torn and drummer Alan White, also proved, unequivocally, that White is capable of far more than he's demonstrated recently with his longstanding membership in the overly inflated dinosaur of Yes. But Levin Minnemann Rudess is an even better outing, if for no other reason than the two musicians associated with Levin this time around are ...read more
Pity poor Alan White. The British drummer had racked up plenty of street cred playing on projects by then-ex-Beatles John Lennon and George Harrison, Joe Cocker and Free's Paul Kossoff, when progressive rockers Yes came knocking in 1973, looking to replace Bill Bruford, who'd departed, on the cusp of massive commercial success, to join up with the more improv-heavy King Crimson. Forty years later, White is still working in a group that struggles for relevancy in the 21st century--still relying predominantly on music from its glory days of 1970-1977, despite releasing new albums like the tepid Fly From Here (Frontiers, ...read more
With over 60 releases by the end of 2010 on his own Duns Limited Edition label, reedman Paul Dunmall has been trying to slow down. That yet another new issue turns up regardless is testament to the quality contained therein. Derived from yoga teachings, the title Mumuksuta translates as a burning desire to realize the Self within. While it's hard to say whether the participants have succeeded in freeing themselves of earthly desires, they certainly manage to perform without ego. Such liberation manifests itself musically as a freedom from preconceived structure, achieved through disciplined restraint. Alongside Dunmall ranges a cast ...read more
Aki Takase, John Edwards, Tony Levin / Keith Tippett, Paul Dunmall, Paul Rogers, Tony LevinThe VortexLondonOctober 11, 2010 When pianist Keith Tippett's young daughter was asked at school what her parents did, she replied: they're mujicians! That conflation of magic and music neatly sums up Tippett's method. Initially the name was applied to his solo work, but latterly to the long running all-star quartet of saxophone colossus Paul Dunmall, bassist Paul Rogers, and drummer Tony Levin, alongside the pianist. Over the 22 years of their existence the aptness of the moniker in relation to the ...read more
While he's often (and understandably) considered the creative force behind perennial art rockers King Crimson, cofounder/guitarist Robert Fripp is, in fact, a far more democratic leader than he's given credit. Bassist/Stick man Tony Levin--one of the fundamentals behind the 1980-'84 and 1994-'97 incarnations of Crim, recently returning to the fold after a hiatus during the group's 2000-'03 years--makes clear his contributions to the ever-expanding Crim with Stick Man.
Then again, it may well be a case of chicken and egg. Levin has released a small discography over the years, but other than the largely recorded on ...read more
A pre-eminent bassist and proponent of that oddly-tapped guitar/bass hybrid called the Stick, Tony Levin began his musical life in the late '60s as an in-the-pocket jazzer, playing with artists including vibraphonist Gary Burton and early incarnations of the groove-centric band Stuff. But he's since moved on to become one of the most in-demand session players in genres including rock, pop, and progressive rock... many of the various subgenres that have emerged over the past 35 years, in fact. He is likely best known for his ongoing work with various incarnations of King Crimson, as well as being Peter Gabriel's ...read more