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The Levin Brothers
thelevinbrothers.com
CD Reviews
The Levin Brothers
Review by Gary Hill
Is this album progressive rock? No.

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Audio of this interview is available in our members area.
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Stick Men - Absalom
Review by Grant Hill

Stick Men is a unique power trio. Founded by legendary and still cutting edge bassist / Chapman Stick artist, Tony Levin, Stick Men continues to expand the horizons of modern progressive music.


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Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman and Howe - Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman and Howe
Review by Gary Hill
In the late 1980’s Jon Anderson broke away from the Trevor Rabin dominated version of Yes to reunite with his former band mates, Bill Bruford, Rick Wakeman and Steve Howe to produce Yes type music.
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Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman and Howe - Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman and Howe Brother of Mine / Vultures in the City CD single
Review by G. W. Hill

This single from Anderson, Bruford Wakeman and Howe is out of print, of course, but these days, it’s not that hard (or sometimes expensive) to get your hands on something like this.


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Various Artists - Back Against the Wall
Review by Gary Hill
There are few people who haven't at least heard of Pink Floyd's The Wall. I would hazard to say that those who have never heard the album are in the minority as well.
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Peter Gabriel - Back to Front: Live in London BluRay
Review by G. W. Hill

Fans of the So album will especially want to pick this up.


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King Crimson - Beat
Review by Gary Hill
Of the trio of studio albums originally released by this version of King Crimson, this was the middle child. It was also a little less adventurous than either of the other two.
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Danny Brill - Better Late Than Never
Review by Gary Hill

Old school prog fans should find plenty to like here. That said, modern progressive rock aficionados will probably like it, too. .


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Bruford Levin Upper Extremities - BLUE Nights
Review by Gary Hill
This recording chronicles the live performances of Bruford Levin Upper Extremities from 1998. The disc showcases the band's unique blend of jazzy modes with Crimsonesque textures and, occassionally, just plain weirdness.
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Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman and Howe - Brother of Mine / Vultures in the City (vinyl single)
Review by G. W. Hill

This single from Anderson, Bruford Wakeman and Howe is out of print, of course, but these days, it’s not that hard (or sometimes expensive) to get your hands on something like this.


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Bruford Levin Upper Extremities - Bruford Levin Upper Extremities
Review by Gary Hill
The musicians on this disc are Bill Bruford (Yes, King Crimson), Tony Levin (King Crimson; Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman and Howe; Bozzio, Levin, Stevens; Liquid Tension Experiment), David Torn (Mark Isham, Bill Bruford), and Chris Botti(Paul Simon, Blue Nile).
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Steve Thorne - Crimes & Reasons
Review by Alison Henderson

Steve Thorne is one of the great unsung British prog heroes, a veritable one man band who has released a series of consistently well-crafted and thought-provoking solo albums, Crimes & Reasons being his fourth.


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Stick Men - Deep
Review by G. W. Hill
I really like Stick Men. Sometimes their music can be hard to describe, though.
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King Crimson - Discipline
Review by Steve Alspach
These were interesting times for Robert Fripp, ye olde scholastic of the progressive rock scene. In 1978 he had released Exposure, an album that he described as "A Day in the Life" for that period.
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California Guitar Trio - Echoes
Review by Gary Hill
California Guitar Trio are certainly well known for creating unique progressive rock instrumental pieces.
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Specimen13 - Echosystem EP
Review by G. W. Hill

This is an EP that’s tied to a graphic novel.


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Steve Thorne - Emotional Creatures - Part One
Review by Gary Hill
What a pleasant surprise this album is! I had never really heard of Steve Thorne before, but you can bet after this one I'll be keeping track on him.

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King Crimson - Eyes Wide Open DVD
Review by Bill Knispel
Following two plus years as a “double trio,” and nearly two years of fractionalization through a series of ProjeKCts, King Crimson returned to active duty in 2000 as a streamlined quartet with the album The ConstruKCtion of Light. A second album in this newer “double duo” format titled The Power to Believe, followed in 2003.
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Tony Levin - From the Caves of the Iron Mountain
Review by Gary Hill
This album is an incredibly unique work, beautiful and very difficult to categorize. The musicians on the album are Tony Levin, Jerry Marotta and Steve Gorn.
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Alice Cooper - Goes to Hell
Review by Gary Hill
This was the second Alice Cooper album as a solo performer (rather than the front man of Alice Cooper the band).

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Peter Primamore - Grancia
Review by Gary Hill
This is an intriguing CD. It does a nice job of straddling the fence between jazz and progressive rock.
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King Crimson - Happy With What You Have To Be Happy With
Review by Bill Knispel
Happy With What you Have to be Happy With was the second consecutive EP release from King Crimson, and presented a look at additional material that would, along with the instrumentals presented on the Level Five EP, form the majority of the band’s (at the time) forthcoming studio album The Power To Believe.
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King Crimson - Heroes EP
Review by Gary Hill
This new EP from King Crimson is intriguing. It's bookended by their take on a David Bowie classic (the full version and a single edit). 

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King Crimson - In the Court of King Crimson written by Sid Smith
Review by Steve Alspach
Few bands in progressive rock have a more colorful past than King Crimson. As Sid Smith says in the preface, the history of King Crimson is the "triumph of spirit over adversity. And sometimes the triumph of adversity."
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Levin Minnemann Rudess - Levin Minnemann Rudess
Review by G. W. Hill

In the early parts of 2013 I was kind of under-impressed with the music coming out.


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Tony Levin, David Torn, Alan White - Levin, Torn, White
Review by Gary Hill

There is certainly something to be said for truth in advertising. Looking at the group name and the album title, really sets the stage for the music within.


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Liquid Tension Experiment - Liquid Tension Experiment
Review by G. W. Hill
This album by Tony Levin (King Crimson, Peter Gabriel, Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman and Howe), Jordan Rudess (Dregs, Rudess Morgenstein) and Mike Portnoy and John Petrucci (both of Dream Theater), much like the Black Light Syndrome CD by Bozzio, Levin, Stevens was written and recorded over the course of six days (with the exception of some keyboard and guitar overdubs).
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Liquid Tension Experiment - Liquid Tension Experiment 2
Review by Gary Hill
If you are into prog, and buy only one album this year, by all means, make it this one. The first Liquid Tension Experiment album was wonderful, and this one is even better.
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Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman and Howe - Live at the NEC October 24th, 1989
Review by G. W. Hill

I saw Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman and Howe on this tour and it was purely magical.


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Paul Simon - Live From Philadelphia DVD
Review by Gary Hill
Let’s get one thing out of the way right off the bat. If you are a Paul Simon fan and own the Live at the Tower Theater DVD you have this.
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Peter Gabriel - Live in Athens 1987 DVD
Review by G. W. Hill
So, I’m going to go about this backwards. Normally I talk about the main course of a DVD release first and then look at the bonus stuff.
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King Crimson - Live in Birmingham, England in September 2015
Review by John Pierpoint

I had never seen the mighty King Crimson play live before - not surprising, as I was only ten years old when the band last played my home town in 1974!


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Stick Men - Live in Buffalo, New York, October 2011
Review by Grant Hill

The excellent “Two of a Perfect Trio” tour was a well-publicized and equally well received series of concerts featuring the bands of King Crimson legends Tony Levin and Adrian Belew.


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King Crimson - Live in Chicago
Review by Gary Hill

King Crimson has one of the most interesting and complicated histories in all of progressive rock. The lineup is one of the most dynamic, too.


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Tony Levin - Live In Chicago, 2002
Review by Gary Hill
Have you ever seen the Tony Levin band live? If not, what are you waiting for?
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Bruford Levin Upper Extremities - Live in Chicago, December 9, 1998
Review by Gary Hill
This was the last show of the latest leg of BLUE`s tour. If this band makes it back on to the road again, do whatever it takes to see them.
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Tony Levin - Live in Chicago-June 23rd, 2000
Review by Gary Hill
Tony Levin and company did two shows for Chicago on June 23rd. The set consisted mostly of material from his new release Waters of Eden.
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Liquid Tension Experiment - Live in Downey, CA, June 2008
Review by Michael Bader

Downey, California is best remembered for the spacecrafts, fighter jets and B-1 bombers built there over the past three or four decades.

More (and larger) photos from this concert are available in our members' area.



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Tony Levin - Live in Madison, WI, March 23, 2003
Review by Gary Hill
This band never fails to deliver a smoking show! They came into Madison on a mini-tour for their Double Espresso live album.
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Various Artists - Magna Carta Guitar Greats – Volume I
Review by Gary Hill
These Magna Carta sampler discs serve as a great way for people to sample a number of their releases without having to shell out the cash for each and every one of them. I'd have to say that as these things go, this is one of the better ones – and they are all quite good.
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King Crimson - Meltdown - Live in Mexico
Review by Gary Hill

This is truly an amazing set. Looking at just the product itself, without even considering the performances will tell you that.


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King Crimson - Neal and Jack and Me DVD
Review by Bill Knispel
King Crimson’s ‘return to the throne’ in the 1980’s must have been viewed with a degree of skepticism. The band made a name for themselves in the 1970’s with their dark blend of symphonic grandeur and intense heaviness, mixed with an improvisational spirit that would drive them to push every song and performance into parts unknown.
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Stick Men - Open
Review by G. W. Hill

Anyone who has heard anything from Stick men will know what to expect here.


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Steve Thorne - Part Two: Emotional Creatures
Review by Gary Hill
Steve Thorne's first Emotional Creatures CD was a masterpiece of melodic progressive rock. Well, this one is, too.
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Tony Levin - Pieces of The Sun
Review by Gary Hill
Tony Levin consistently puts out musically strong, artistically driven albums, and this one is no exception. Pieces of The Sun does differ in some ways from his previous releases, though.
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Mike Portnoy - Prime Cuts
Review by Gary Hill
Mike Portnoy now has his own entry in the Magna Carta Prime Cuts collection. This disc, as the rest of the series, features selected tracks from albums that the artist has contributed to, presented here as sort of a slice of some of the best of the work from him.
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Jordan Rudess - Prime Cuts
Review by Josh Turner
Jordan Rudess is "technically" the best keyboardist in the business. When you limit this contest to progressive rock, it's a no-brainer.
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Yes - Re (Union)
Review by Gary Hill
When Yes released Union it was a hodgepodge sort of album.
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Pat Mastelotto - Recidivate
Review by Grant Hill

This double CD compilation is an interesting and unique collage of multiple percussive styles given to a wide palette of genres and colors therein.


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Jonathan Elias - Requiem For the Americas
Review by Gary Hill
I’ve wanted to review this CD for a while. The problem is, it’s been out of print.
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Tony Levin - Resonator
Review by Gary Hill
In terms of releasing consistently strong material, Tony Levin is one of the best musicians out there.

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Simon Apple - River to the Sea
Review by Gary Hill

So many people these days give lip service to this charity or that, but you really have to admire the people who put their money (literally) where their mouth is. Such is the case with Simon Apple as they are donating a portion of the sale of each CD to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.


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King Crimson - Sleepless – 12-inch Single (Vinyl)
Review by G. W. Hill

It used to be a rule at MSJ that if something was out of print we didn’t cover it.


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Various Artists - Songs of the Century: An All-Star Tribute To Supertramp
Review by G. W. Hill

I am a big fan of pretty much anything Billy Sherwood is involved with and I love Supertramp, so when I heard Sherwood was in charge of assembling an all star tribute to Supertramp, I was excited.


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Vapourspace - Sonic Residue from Vapourspace
Review by Steve Alspach
Here's an interesting concept - take songs from various releases from a progressive rock record label and let the music be transformed by a techno mix until it's nearly unrecognizable from the original source.
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Willie Oteri - Spiral Out
Review by Bruce Stringer
Produced, recorded and mixed by Ronan Chris Murphy, "Spiral Out" is an extension of the improvisational outings that made acts like John McLaughlin's Mahavishnu Orchestra and Tony Williams Lifetime, King Crimson and even Frank Zappa the uniquely memorable experience that made musical history.
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Stick Men - Stick Men + - Midori
Review by G. W. Hill

This is a double disc set. I believe that it was also released at one point in time as two single disc sets.


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Tony Levin - Tales From The Widow Jane Mine VHS
Review by Gary Hill
When Levin chose to record an album in the unusual venue of an old cave, it seemed a very strange choice. This video chronicling the process of creating that music goes a long way to making it look pretty obvious.
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King Crimson - The Collectable King Crimson, Vol. 3: Live in London, Pts. 1-2 1996
Review by G. W. Hill
I’ve never had the chance to see King Crimson live. I really regret that.
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Xavi Reija - The Sound of the Earth
Review by Gary Hill

While this is released under Xavi Reija's name, the full lineup here is full of exceptional musicians. Reija handles the drums while Tony Levin delivers bass, standup bass and Stick.


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King Crimson - Thrak
Review by G. W. Hill

When King Crimson reformed after the 80s period, there were definitely elements of that period still present in their sound. 


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King Crimson - Three Of A Perfect Pair
Review by Gary Hill
When King Crimson reformed in the 1980’s to create the Discipline album the sound they presented was quite different from the classic Crimson of the 1970’s. While I liked all of the discs from this Belew, Bruford, Fripp and Levin lineup, I still preferred the “old school” stuff.
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Steve Hunter - Tone Poems Live
Review by G. W. Hill

This live album is pretty great. .


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Tony Levin - Tony Levin Band - Double Espresso
Review by Gary Hill
Tony Levin and his band tour fairly frequently, bringing their unique show to enthusiastic fans on a regular basis. It wasn't until recently, though, that those fans could have a musical documentation of that group at home.
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Yes - Union
Review by Gary Hill
The great experiment - at the time of this album's recording there were essentially two versions of Yes out and making music. The first was the Trevor Rabin "Yes West" lineup (consisting of Rabin, Chris Squire, Alan White and Tony Kaye - Jon Anderson had left the group, but been working his way back into the fold) and Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman and Howe (the splinter group of one of the most classic lineups).
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Vantomme - Vegir
Review by Gary Hill

Vantomme is named for its founder Dominique Vantomme. He is a keyboardist, producer and more.


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Jerry Goodman - Violin Fantasy
Review by G. W. Hill

This album is fully instrumental. It’s a great disc, too. Some of the music here has appeared elsewhere (although most of the time in different arrangements)


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King Crimson - VROOOM
Review by Bill Knispel
10 years following the dissolution of King Crimson following a trilogy of world and gamelan influenced albums, the band quietly rejoined forces in a small studio in Woodstock New York to create a new band and a new sound.
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Steve Hackett - Watcher of the Skies
Review by Gary Hill
Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett has assembled a wide variety of musicians to rework many classic Genesis songs. The end result is quite interesting.
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Tony Levin - Waters of Eden
Review by Vivian Lee
Since the age of ten, bassist/stick-player Tony Levin has been a chameloid powerhouse in the world of music, having played with artists like Seal, Peter Paul and Mary, and Andy Summers; or with supergroups like King Crimson, Bruford Levin Upper Extremities and Liquid Tension Experiment.
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Alice Cooper - Welcome to My Nightmare
Review by Gary Hill
To many this classic album represents Alice Cooper at his theatric best. It is a loosely knit concept album that at times is a bit weak, at times a bit over the top, but in many ways a spooky masterpiece.
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California Guitar Trio - Whitewater
Review by Gary Hill
The first thing that I feel compelled to say is that I love the cover of this disc. It is arguably the best album cover of the entire year.

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California Guitar Trio - with Tony Levin and Pat Mastelotto-Live At The Key Club
Review by Steve Alspach
On February 3, 2001, the California Guitar Trio played in Hollywood's Key Club. Fortunately, they also had the stellar rhythm section of Tony Levin and Pat Mastelotto to accompany them.
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Tony Levin - World Diary
Review by Gary Hill
Featuring a large number of diverse musicians, this album is a considerably varied work. Released in 1995, jazz, art rock, and world textures dominate in this unique and intriguing CD, Tony Levin`s first solo album and the first release on his Papa Bear label.
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True Nature - You Shouldn't Have To Shout So Loud
Review by G. W. Hill

I’ve placed this one in the progressive rock section of Music Street Journal.


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Dewa Budjana - Zentuary
Review by G. W. Hill
This album has some vocals, but they are world type things, more as instruments. 

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