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...
The band moniker, Days Between Stations is named after Steve Erikson's 1985 novel and perhaps intimates an ongoing musical transition set forth by Southern California-based multi-instrumentalists, Oscar Fuentes Bills and Sepand Samzadeh. In Extremis is the duo's second release following its self-titled 2007 album. Here, the artists employ fabled progressive-rockerskeyboardist Rick Wakeman, bassist Tony Levin, XTC vocalist Colin Moulding and the Angel City Orchestra among others. This production also features some of guitar virtuoso Peter Banks' (Yes, Flash) final recordings before passing on March 7 2013.
With the traditional prog-rock style keys, synths and polyrhythmic forays, merged with sinewy time signatures amid a bevy of dips and spikes, the alternating ensembles instill an artistic schema outlined on meticulously executed arrangements. Prime examples of these attributes are evidenced on "Eggshell Man." Commencing with Samzadeh's discreet acoustic guitar phrasings and drummer Billy Sherwood's yearning vocals, Bills shadows the warm climate with a sense of antiquity via his musty Mellotron progressions and Wakeman's balmy Mellotron flute lines. The band aligns classic British prog with multiple fabrics, treated with Banks' streaming textures, leading to sturdy back beats and thundering grooves.
The group raises the pitch during the bridge and opens the floodgates as Wakeman executes a lyrically resplendent Minimoog solo, preceding the wistful opening theme revisited during the closeout. Indeed, Days Between Stations nestles an artsy approach into its repertoire, often contrasting the soloists' tenacious yet purposeful excursions, and seeded by the leaders' wide-ranging agenda.
Personnel: Oscar Fuentes Bills: piano, Rhodes, Mellotron, synthesizers and electronic percussion; Sepand Samzadeh: rhythm guitar, acoustic guitar and Tar; Peter Banks: guitar textures and rhythm guitar; Ali Nouri: Tar solo; Billy Sherwood: vocals and drums; Rick Wakeman: Mellotron flute and Minimoog solo.
I was first exposed to jazz while learning to play chess with my uncles. They would play smooth jazz, and then switch up to more standard types of jazz. But, when they played Kind of Blue by Miles Davis, I was
hooked and I haven't looked back.