Sunday, February 10, 2013
Although bassist Tony Levin has played on countless albums since the early '70s, he did not get around to issuing his first album until the late '90s. Perhaps to make up for lost time, Levin has cranked out solo releases on a consistent basis since his 1996 solo debut, World Diary. 2002 saw the release of his fourth solo outing in six years, the double-live disc Double Espresso. Credited to "the Tony Levin Band," the album sees Levin joined by synth player Larry Fast, and a pair of guitarists/vocalists, Jesse Gress andJerry Marotta. Included are renditions of Levin solo tunes, tracks that Levin has played on by other artists, and also non-related covers performed just for the heck of it. Standouts include a cover of Led Zeppelin's "Black Dog" (in which Levin replaces Robert Plant's sex-crazed vocals with his bass, of course), as well as readings of King Crimson's bass showcase "Elephant Talk," Genesis' "Back in NYC," and a few moody Levin solo tracks, including "Silhouette" and "Utopia." If you couldn't have already guessed from any of the exceptional live DVDs by King Crimson or Peter Gabriel that he's appeared on, Double Espresso proves once and for all that Levin has no problem replicating his bass mastery on-stage as a band leader.