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The Levin Brothers

The Levin Brothers

Review by Gary Hill

Is this album progressive rock? No. However, it’s included in the prog section of Music Street Journal because one of the Levin brothers is Tony Levin and he’s generally a prog musician. This is a jazz set and quite a cool one at that. Pete Levin handles the keys, while Tony lays down the bass. They have a number of other musicians rounding out the arrangements. This is great stuff overall.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2014  Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Bassics

Percussion leads it out, and then a rather rubbery bass line emerges. Piano comes over the top of that after a short time and we’re under way. This works through a number of changes in a classic jazz style.

Brothers
Organ features prominently on this piece. It’s a fun feeling, old school jazz kind of number.
Mysterioso

This is a killer jazz groove. It has a lot of retro elements and is just packed with magical sound. I don’t know about it being mysterious, but it is dramatic.

Not So Square Dance
I love this cut. It’s energetic and just so much fun.
Jumpin Jammies
This has a great vintage jazz sound. I love the driving bass line, but the whole arrangement just works exceptionally well. It’s a classy and classic sounding piece of music.
Cello in the Night

More of a balladic piece, this has some great moments.

Havana
As the title suggests, there is definitely a Latin vibe to this. It’s a fun cut. There is some scat singing on this.
Special Delivery
Here’s another where the organ adds a lot to the musical texture. It’s a retro styled number that’s energetic and entertaining.
I Got Your Bach
With a lot of organ in the mix again, this is another retro sounding piece. It’s also another fun one.
Matte Kudasai
This is a cover of King Crimson. I love this jazz treatment. There is enough of the melody and general sound to recognize it, but this is a whole new life for the piece. It’s quite a pretty one.
Ostropolya
Quite an energetic and powerful piece, this is some great jazz. It’s one of my favorites of the whole set, really.
Gimme Some Scratch

And here we get more energized retro jazz. It’s got that great organ, but Tony Levin’s bass really shines here. This one has some great shifts and changes.

I Remember
The primary elements here are bass and piano and this is great composition.
When Sasha Gets the Blues
A much more classical piece, I tike this one a lot. It has a lot of beauty and a bit of a sadness to it.
Brookline Boyz
Here’s more of an energized retro textured jazz romp. It’s a lot of fun. I love the guitar work on this one.
Fishy Takes a Walk
This has a very magical groove to it. In fact, despite this being a bonus track, it’s one of my favorites here, really.

 

 
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