Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

289

L'Image (Mainieri/Bernhardt/Spinozza/Levin/Gadd): 2.0

John Kelman By

Sign in to view read count
It may seem odd to take nearly 40 years to release a debut, but in the case of L'Image it's definitely a case of never-too-late. A collective formed by vibraphonist Mike Mainieri in the early 1970s, L'Image generated considerable buzz for its live shows before, on the cusp of recording its first album, circumstances forced the group to dissolve. Mainieri reunited the group in 2008 for a Japanese tour and to record 2.0, and for fans of an era that delivered groove-happy groups like Stuff, and the funk-driven fusion of The Arista All Stars and its two Blue Montreux (Arista, 1978) LPs, it's a welcome opportunity to revisit a time when easy-on-the-ears jazz had yet to morph into dispensable smooth stuff.



Not that 2.0 is retro; the group sounds thoroughly in the new millennium, even as it revisits a couple of 1970s Mainieri compositions, in particular the eminently singable title track to Love Play (Arista, 1977), here combined with Mainieri's knotty but Latin-esque "Coming Home." Mainieri's tunes, which comprise half of 2.0's eight tracks, straddle the fence between easy-flowing accessibility and beneath-the-covers depth, in particular the tone row-driven "All in a Row," where Tony Levin's Chapman Stick gets a workout beyond the confines of the progressive rock arena in which he's been more often than not found since hooking up with King Crimson and Peter Gabriel in the late 1970s. 2.0 is, in fact, a rare opportunity to hear Levin return to jazz, his deep arco creating a robust foundation for Mainieri's "Reunion," an otherwise atmospheric track where David Spinozza's nylon-string guitar and Mainieri's vibes gracefully combine. Levin proves that just because an artist doesn't, it needn't mean they can't.



The same can be said for drummer Steve Gadd, whose jazz cred is amply proven on seminal albums by Chick Corea, Larry Carlton, and Joe Farrell, despite a career largely spent as a session and touring musician with pop/rock artists like Eric Clapton, Paul Simon and James Taylor Quartet. Gadd's Stuff was a soulful and unassuming alternative to powerhouse fusion back in the day, and that same relaxed but unerring groove is all over 2.0, especially on keyboardist Warren Bernhardt's opening "Praise," a lengthy, gospel-tinged tune featuring lively solos from Mainieri and Spinozza. And if Gadd's sense of swing was ever in doubt, there's Mainieri's "Gadd-Ddagit!," which features Bernhardt's strongest piano solo of the set, and Spinozza in flat-out Wes Montgomery mode.



Spinozza and Bernhardt may well be 2.0's biggest treats, if only because they're so under-represented compared to the more visible careers of Levin, Gadd, and Mainieri. Spinozza, in particular, demonstrates a compositional acumen as strong as his playing on three tunes, notably the ambling but deceptively change-heavy "Doesn't She Know By Now?" and spare yet visceral blues, "Hidden Drive."



The best players check their egos at the door, and with L'Image completing a fall 2009 run at New York's Iridium and a live CD/DVD in the works, 2.0 is the long overdue introduction to a group with nothing to prove and everything to say.


Track Listing: Praise; Reunion; Gadd-Ddagit!; Doesn't She Know By Now?; The Brat; All in a Row; Hidden Drive; Love Play/Coming Home.

Personnel: Mike Mainieri: vibraphone; Warren Bernhardt: keyboards; David Spinozza: guitars; Tony Levin: basses, Chapman Stick; Steve Gadd: drums.

Title: 2.0 | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: NYC Records

Tags

Watch

comments powered by Disqus

Like Someone in Love

Like Someone in Love

Mike Mainieri
Crescent

The Brat

The Brat

Mike Mainieri
2.0

Don't Break Step

Don't Break Step

Mike Mainieri
Twelve Pieces

Book Excerpts
Album Reviews
Interviews
Album Reviews
Take Five With...
Album Reviews
Read more articles
 

Rain Makers

Point of Departure, WMPG-FM
2011

buy
2.0

2.0

NYC Records
2010

buy
Crescent

Crescent

NYC Records
2010

buy
Twelve Pieces

Twelve Pieces

NYC Records
2009

buy

Upcoming Shows

Shop

Start your shopping here and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Correlations Album Reviews
Correlations
By Peter Hoetjes
March 19, 2019
Read Schizophrenia: The Yang Project Album Reviews
Schizophrenia: The Yang Project
By Roger Farbey
March 19, 2019
Read Zyklus 1 Album Reviews
Zyklus 1
By Mark Corroto
March 19, 2019
Read Apotheosis Album Reviews
Apotheosis
By Chris Mosey
March 19, 2019
Read Silverthorne Album Reviews
Silverthorne
By Glenn Astarita
March 19, 2019
Read Absinthe Album Reviews
Absinthe
By Mark Sullivan
March 18, 2019
Read Chi Album Reviews
Chi
By John Ephland
March 18, 2019