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Jonas Hellborg, Shawn Lane and Jeff Sipe: Personae

Jim Santella By

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Recorded during a live appearance in Mainz, Germany and composed by bassist Jonas Hellborg with Shawn Lane, the program asks the question, "Is modern music really a universal language, or does one musical persona differ too much from the next?"

How do hard rockers fit into a Jazz scene? How do Country & Western or R&B singers manage? Can sidemen feel somewhat comfortable in any situation? Hellborg, a veteran artist with over 20 album releases, wanted to explore this topic. Since his music consists of improvised Jazz Fusion, the solution seems obvious. Just about any talented musician should be able to roll up his shirtsleeves, listen to the others, and share. We know all too well that it doesn't always work out that way. The key ingredient is in—listening to the others.

The trio's contemporary brand of fusion stretches out. One track is over 20 minutes long. Another runs for eleven and a half. Each of the three artists contributes in his own way. Hellborg seems to enjoy what he does. It's as if he were singing through the bass. Both guitarist Lane and drummer Jeff Sipe (who is also known as Apt. Q 258) have hard-core Pop Music credentials. The title track places lingering melody over a syncopated New Orleans shuffle rhythm. You can bet the audience was rockin' in their seats. It's one of those landscape albums, where the whole is greater than any particular instance. In other words, the three musical personae have melded into one.

Track Listing: Time is the Enemy; RAG B/B; Personae; Heretics; Hell Is Other People; Rice With the Angels.

Personnel: Jonas Hellborg: electric bass; Shawn Lane: electric guitar; Jeff Sipe: drums.

Title: Personae | Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: Bardo Records

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