Interviews no image

Published on April 12th, 1998 | by Gerry Galipault

0

Bruford Levin Make a Formidable Team

For 18 years, bassist Tony Levin and drummer Bill Bruford have connected musically as King Crimson’s rhythm section, but session work and other projects kept them from combining forces for their own album.

Until now.

“Bruford Levin Upper Extremities,” available on the Web site for Levin’s Papa Bear Records, is a long-awaited collaboration between the two progressive rock giants. An understated gem of musical textures and emotions, “Upper Extremities” is the perfect platform for their musical ideas, Levin said.

“On the CDs I’ve put out on my own, I kind of avoid having a studio album,” Levin said recently from his Woodstock, N.Y., home, “because what I treasure and what I really have to offer with my music is the special playing that happens among instrumental players. I think there’s great stuff that happens, and I want to be sure the magic of that doesn’t get lost on the records that I’m in charge of.

“For that reason, my first two albums weren’t done in the studio at all. The first, ‘World Diary,’ I did in hotels, people’s houses all over the world, usually duets with interesting players I’ve met. The second one, ‘From the Caves of the Iron Mountain,’ was done in a local cave near Woodstock.

“(‘Upper Extremities’) is the first time I’ve started a project that actually goes anywhere near a studio, and yet I wanted to keep the number of takes down. I didn’t want to go for perfection; I wanted to capture that magic that happens with the first or second take. I also wanted to mix in a bunch of vignettes from around Woodstock.”

“Etude Revisited,” one of the album’s best open-tuned takes, captures the band’s dinner conversation at the Gypsy Wolf Cantina in Woodstock; “DrumBass” finds Levin and Bruford playing the same upright bass made from an American Indian drum, and elsewhere, Bruford’s drumming on a derelict piano in Levin’s garage is used as interludes between the pieces.

It’s a concept that shines because Levin and Bruford, with side players Chris Botti (trumpet) and David Torn (guitar, loops), work so well together.

“We don’t play the same, but we know each other’s playing,” Levin said. “I’m never aware of exactly what Bill’s going to play, he’s totally unpredictable, so I do know that. A good example of that, if I’m writing, I’ll leave the room so he can be himself.

“The first piece on the album, ‘Cerulean Sea,’ I said, ‘What if I play solid 8th notes just almost in a boring way?’ I wouldn’t do that with another drummer because then they would play along with me, and the focal point would be somewhere else. But with Bill, I suspect he would do something surprising. Well, he did, he started almost not playing at all and kind of grew through the whole piece. It’s almost a drum solo, a study of counterrhythms, never once playing the time signature I was playing. He was playing every other time signature possible. It’s classic Bruford.”

BWF (before we forget): More on Bruford Levin, including tour dates, can be found on the Web @ www.papabear.com.

Tags: ,


About the Author

Gerry Galipault debuted Pause & Play online in October 1997. Since then, it has become the definitive place for CD-release dates — with a worldwide audience.



Comments are closed.

Back to Top ↑
  • BEST OF THE WEB

     

    Entertainment Weekly names Pause & Play one of “the 100 greatest Web sites”

  • Album Release Dates

    * Release dates are subject to change due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic

    Jan. 15, 2021 » ZAYN,  Jeff Tweedy, Matthew Sweet, Why Don’t We, You Me at Six, Accept, Peter Schilling, Celeste, etc.

    Jan. 22, 2021 » Bring Me the Horizon, Steve Hackett, Sammy Hagar & The Circle, The Dead Daisies, Jeremiah Fraites, Moon Taxi, Jason Bieler and the Baron Von Bielski Orchestra, Kiwi Jr., Teen Creeps, etc.

    Jan. 29, 2021 » “NOW That’s What I Call Music! 77,” Ani DiFranco, Steven Wilson, The Besnard Lakes, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Martin Gore, Lucero, Selwyn Birchwood, Langhorne Slim, Arlo Parks, The Dead South, etc.

    Feb. 5, 2021 » Foo Fighters, Fleet Foxes, Common, slowthai, A.J. Croce, Deacon Blue, Hounds, John Williams, Aaron Watson, TV Priest, The Telescopes, Sarah Mary Chadwick, John Carpenter, Paul Cardall, etc.

    More New Releases » Feb. 12 and Beyond: Florida Georgia Line, Sia, Pentatonix, Tomorrow X Together, The Pretty Reckless, Robin Thicke, Pale Waves, London Grammar, Jillette Johnson, Edie Brickell & New Bohemians, SG Lewis, Escape the Fate, Mogwai, Hearty Har, The Hold Steady, Alice Cooper, Willie Nelson, Madison Beer, Architects, Bonnie Tyler, Lucy Spraggan, Pat Metheny, Kings of Leon, Chevelle, A Day to Remember, Neil Young, Teenage Fanclub, Jimbo Mathus & Andrew Bird, Visionist, Rob Zombie, The Paper Kites, Butch Walker, Lana Del Rey, Ringo Starr, Loretta Lynn, Sting, Ryan Adams, Steve Earle & The Dukes, Evanescence, AJR, Greta Van Fleet, Escape the Fate, Dumpstaphunk, Del Amitri, Mick Fleetwood & Friends, Gary Numan, and many more.

    More Upcoming Releases » Albums coming in 2020 but yet to be scheduled




    Elton John loves Pauseandplay.comDeals of the DayBest SellersSennheiser MOMENTUM 2 Wireless Over-Ear HeadphonesIE 400 Pro In-Ear Monitors

  • New Merch at Hot TopicSave on Tablets at Walmart.comBand T-ShirtsTurntables & AccessoriesHome Audio SystemsAmazon Tap $40 OffSave up to 90% on Textbooks

    NOTE: Pauseandplay.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. We also participate in other affiliate programs.

  • Love Pauseandplay.com? We do, too … Help us keep it going. (Every little bit helps.) We ♥ u.




  • Recent Posts

  • Connect on Facebook

  • On Twitter