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...

10

ROVO and System 7: Phoenix Rising

Glenn Astarita By

Sign in to view read count
Fabled British progressive rock guitarist Steve Hillage was a pioneer back in the 1970s via his work with Gong. His morphing of far- out, psychedelic guitar licks with cutting edge prog stylizations became highly influential. Moreover, the guitarist's solo albums during this time fused electronics with dreamy soundscapes, sturdy backbeats and memorably melodic comps. Moving forward, Hillage and fellow Gong alumni, keyboardist Miquette Giraudy formed System 7 in 1989, shifting focus to the house beat, ambient electronica and space-rock art-forms. Here, the duo aligns with the Japanese progressive rock /jam band ROVO, where techno, streaming synths, pumping rock grooves and Hillage's psycho guitar riffs extend the ensemble's call of duty into a fluidly evolving wall of sound.

True to form, the musicians elevate the techno aspects way beyond the typical dance and party music institution. They give this medium a college education of sorts, as stellar musicianship has always been a staple of System 7's nomenclature. The dual ROVO drummers rev it up during the band's power-packed rendition of the classic Mahavishnu Orchestra jazz-fusion piece "Meeting of the Spirits, where violinist Yuji Katsui and Hillage go toe-to-toe, knocking the high-impact theme into the stratosphere. However, the album as a whole presents a group- focus that while democratic by design, is not dominated by any single musician. There are passages that contain improvisational elements and driving pulses, treated with layers of electronics, used as a polychromatic-like vehicle. Ultimately Phoenix Rising breeds copious entertaining attributes, but tenders a portraiture framed on expert musicianship, sustainable compositions and spot-on camaraderie among the players. Hence, the musicians capitalize on their strengths, yielding an extensive musical panorama that beckons repeated listens.

Track Listing: Hinotori (Album Version); Love for the Phoenix; Meeting of the Spirits; Cisco (Phoenix Rising Version); Unbroken; Simo Dub (Phoenix Rising Version); Unseen Onsen.

Personnel: Steve Hillage: guitar, programming; Miquette Giraudy: synthesizer; Yuji Katsui: electric violin; Seiichi Yamamoto: guitar; Yasuhiro Yoshigaki: drums, percussion; Yoichi Okabe: drums, percussion; Jin Harada: bass guitar; Tatsuki Masuko: synthesizer.

Title: Phoenix Rising | Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Purple Pyramid

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

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

Related Articles

Read Nexus Album Reviews
Nexus
By Jakob Baekgaard
May 23, 2019
Read The Second Coming Album Reviews
The Second Coming
By Daniel Barbiero
May 23, 2019
Read Luminária Album Reviews
Luminária
By John Sharpe
May 23, 2019
Read Jazz Band/Rock Band/Dance Band Album Reviews
Jazz Band/Rock Band/Dance Band
By Jerome Wilson
May 23, 2019
Read When Will The Blues Leave Album Reviews
When Will The Blues Leave
By Karl Ackermann
May 22, 2019
Read Infinite Itinerant Album Reviews
Infinite Itinerant
By Geno Thackara
May 22, 2019
Read Pulcino Album Reviews
Pulcino
By Nicholas F. Mondello
May 22, 2019