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

Dylan Howe: Subterranean: New Designs on Bowie's Berlin

Sammy Stein By

Sign in to view read count
For the past 20 years or so drummer Dylan Howe has been a presence on the British music scene. He grew up in North London and when he was 13 he went to Ronnie Scott's to see drummer Buddy Rich and decided he wanted to be a jazz drummer. As the son of Yes guitarist Steve Howe music perhaps came easily to Howe but although he had some lessons he is largely self taught. Howe has been a window cleaner, shop assistant and played with various bands but in 1988 he began playing music regularly. After spells as a session musician he joined The Blockheads in 1997 and stayed until 2001. He plays with the Wilko Johnson Band and has had his own jazz quintet since 2003. The double CD Subterraneans: New Designs on Bowie's Berlin (Motorik Recordings 2014) revisits the instrumental cuts from David Bowie's 1977 albums Low and "Heroes."

The album opens with the title track—a strong line delivered from the start by the bass. Howe's drums are light, airy and ethereal. "Weeping Wall" is waltzy and there is some terrific interaction between the bass and drums. There is a lovely piano solo from Hodgson in the middle section followed by a discourse between Allen's sax and the drums, Howe's drums build and fade regularly until the track finishes. "All Saints" starts with a bass solo before building into a driving rhythm set by the drum and bass with ethereal sounds from the synthesizer drifting over the top. Then suddenly a swing section evolves from the ether with a gorgeous sax solo from Allen before the tune changes down a gear again, then back to wing— this is a highly inventive arrangement of the piece and huge fun. There is interplay in sections between the synthesizers and drums and changes of rhythm. Around the 6 minute mark the bass comes into its own, delivering a strong rhythm behind the other musicians before coming to the fore. The drums finally get a free rein towards the final section of the tune and then drums, bass and sax finish the track in controlled mayhem.

The rest of the tracks including the gentle "Some Are," "Neukoln Night," "Art Decade" and "Warszawa" follow and blend naturally into each other. The sax solo on "Warszawa" is superb and this is an atmospheric piece with the interplay between the sax and drums making compelling listening. The final track "Moss Garden" is enhanced by Steve Howe on the Koto—a Japanese stringed instrument—which adds an eastern essence. This is a first class album and Howe's arrangements are clever and innovative. He has also chosen a band of musicians who seem to be able to interpret his visions for the tracks and interact with each other to create seamless joins and interplay. Howe is generous in his arrangements, giving each musician plenty of solo time yet the album also demonstrates his consummate abilities as a drummer. A delight and surprise.

Track Listing: Subterranean; Weeping Wall; All Saints; Some Are; Neukoln Night; Art Decade; Warszawa; Neukoln Day; Moss Garden.

Personnel: Dylan Howe: drums; Mark Hodgson: double bass; Ross Stanley: piano; Julian Segal: saxophone; Brandon Allen: saxophone; Nick Pini: double bass; Steve Howe: Koto.

Title: Subterranean: New Designs on Bowie's Berlin | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Motorik Recordings

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Without You CD/LP/Track Review
Without You
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 19, 2018
Read Internal Combustion CD/LP/Track Review
Internal Combustion
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: December 19, 2018
Read Chant Triptych II CD/LP/Track Review
Chant Triptych II
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 19, 2018
Read Oasis CD/LP/Track Review
Oasis
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: December 19, 2018
Read Les Oiseaux de Matisse CD/LP/Track Review
Les Oiseaux de Matisse
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 19, 2018
Read Drum Solos For Dancers Only CD/LP/Track Review
Drum Solos For Dancers Only
by David A. Orthmann
Published: December 18, 2018
Read "Murals" CD/LP/Track Review Murals
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 21, 2018
Read "Wishing On The Moon" CD/LP/Track Review Wishing On The Moon
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 13, 2018
Read "Family Feeling" CD/LP/Track Review Family Feeling
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 7, 2018
Read "Yes, and...Music for Nine Improvisers" CD/LP/Track Review Yes, and...Music for Nine Improvisers
by Jerome Wilson
Published: August 2, 2018
Read "New Angel" CD/LP/Track Review New Angel
by Geannine Reid
Published: June 3, 2018
Read "Journey Moments" CD/LP/Track Review Journey Moments
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: July 8, 2018