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Time is the Enemy was assembled during a particularly productive period for the trio of Jonas Hellborg, Shawn Lane, and Jeff Sipe. It was recorded live at various unidentified locations around the world during 1996. Other recordings surrounding this original 1997 release, now remastered, include the live Temporal Analogs of Paradise , also recently remastered. As a set, these two recordings document the brilliant improvisatory empathy held by these three fusion experts. Sadly, the remastering and release of Time is the Enemy coincides with the unfortunate death of guitarist Shawn Lane.
The late Lane finds himself in superb form, playing in every style imaginable. "Heretics" is a molten, corrosive Southern shuffle, complete with a finger-slapping solo from Hellborg. Darker rhythms with cave chords to complex polyrhythms and rock bottom bass characterize "Space Time Continuum," and the diamond funk of "The King's Letter" intoxicates with its precise guitar work by Lane.
This trio was making fusion fun and interesting again. I do not suspect that Hellborg will find another Lane for a long time, if ever. While Time is the Enemy, as well as Temporal Analogs of Paradise, could be viewed as live power trio orgy and excess, that in itself has it place. This music is virtuosic and stays true to the bare essence of jazz: totally improvised and totally honest.
As a kid, my mom told me I'd like jazz. I thought she was nuts. Then I went to hear Cannonball Adderley (with Nat Adderley, George Duke, Walter Booker, Roy McCurdy and Airto) and everything changed. Yeah, mom knows best.