The Spectrum Road show at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco on June 16 was intense. Jack Bruce, Vernon Reid, John Medeski, and Cindy Blackman-Santana channeled something extraordinarily large, loud, dark, and beautiful—and even if Medeski hadn't been playing a Mellotron—which he was—it would still have been one of the heaviest progressive rock performances I've ever seen (the band's Tony Williams tribute origins notwithstanding).
Bruce's timing was extraordinary, with every note occurring at exactly the right moment, be it slightly before, slightly after, or precisely on the beat—and his parts were brilliantly economic yet powerful. Blackman-Santana is truly a force of nature, and her high-spirited and hyper-creative performance would certainly have brought a smile to T. Williams' lips had he been there. Medeski played his B3 in a Larry Young-approved fashion, with all of the taste and rhythmic complexity he is known for, but when he switched to Mellotron he attacked and manipulated it with such psychedelic abandon that it likely triggered flashbacks in many of the '60s-era audience members (which were plentiful). Reid brought a playful energy to his performance, though his parts were often dark and heavy, and his angular, high-velocity solos typically included more notes in a single phrase than most guitarists play in an entire evening.
The show was part of the SF Jazz Spring Season.
Here's video of Spectrum Road performing Tony Williams' "Vuelta Abajo" earlier this year:
Peter Hook Discusses His Live Recordings of Classic Joy Division and New Order Albums (WATCH)
TC Electronic Introduces PolyTune 3- Next Generation Polyphonic Tuner with Built-In Buffer
Rex Brown Announces Debut Solo Album Debuts New Single (LISTEN)
This Week in Free Stuff: Light-Load Plug-in Instruments
Superbooth17 Day One: The Weird and the Wonderful
Puremagnetik K-Station Atmospheres Revives Love for the Kawai K5000S Additive Synth
The Art of Synth Soloing: Joe Zawinul, the Syndicate Years
Steinway Unveils Art Case Piano Celebrating Composer Modest Mussorgsky
Rediscovering LA Synthesis
Tal Farlow: Seven Guitars That Reveal the Jazz Giant’s Vision as an Innovator
Four Chronographs That Put You in the Driver’s Seat
2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT: The Weekday Warrior
We Start Wars—Featuring Nita Strauss—Premiere New Song, "The Animal inside"
While She Sleeps Joined Live by Bring Me the Horizon's Oli Sykes During Hometown Show
Ivan Moody Issues Statement, Will Not Be Leaving Five Finger Death Punch
Eric Clapton: 10 of His Best Under-the-Radar Solo Songs
Don Felder: Five Things We Learned from His New Ernie Ball 'String Theory' Episode
Chris Cornell Performs “Black Hole Sun” on ‘CBS This Morning’
Copyright ©2017 by NewBay Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved. 28 East 28th Street, 12th floor, New York, NY 10016 T (212) 378-0400 F (212) 378-0470