Lazy Bones Records Tony Levin/David Torn/ Alan White : Levin Torn White (UK,2011)**'
Like a super trio these three musicians compiled 14 tracks for a new album based upon improvisations, which are kept compact. These musicians are Tony Levin (King Crimson, Peter Gabriel, Pink Floyd) on bass and Chapman Stick, David Torn (Jeff Beck, David Bowie, John Legend, B.L.U.E.) on guitar and textural events and Alan White (Yes, Plastic Ono Band, George Harrison, Joe Cocker) on drums. Most often this is played in a ratherheavy way and with lots of use of distortion; their ambitions are often in this loudness. The music itself is a kind of improvised rock, but it never becomes as challenging as they might want it to be, just because rhythmically and structurally all is played in a rather straight forward rhythm groove, the lack of rhythmic transformational challenges and surprise for me makes the music sound less "rich" in content, outside the make-it-rock for the rock music event. There are used a few ambient textures too, keyboard-like even though there are guitars included in these long notes. The improvisations starting from there can be more relaxed, or never the less switches to a louder rhythm. What is clever outside the skills of playing still is, I repeat, that they quickly find compact conclusions so that the jams have something attractive in a more structural sense, which is really fine to hear, and which works well for an album full of tracks like this.
Tony Levin is mostly known for his chapman stick playing. Interesting to know is that he invented Funk Fingers, transmuted drumsticks attached to fingers used to hit the bass guitar strings for funkier sonority. The use of them can be heard just here and there : it gives a less aggressive funky touch to the strings.