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:
Mike Gordon and Phish Announce Summer 2016 Tour
Deftones to Release New Album 'Gore' on April 8th - Listen to Their First Single Here
Tech 21 Introduces the Bass Fly Rig
James Taylor’s Shipping Container Echo Chamber
ModernBeats Releases 'Trill Boyz' Trap Loops
GIK Acoustics Expands Alpha Wood Series
Crowdfunding: Book of David Burge's Keyboard Magazine Lessons
Beatles Gear Author Andy Babiuk on the Fab Four's Best Keyboard Stories
Elton John, "Wonderful Crazy Night" Album Review
Rodrigo y Gabriela Announce Their First-Ever Musical Adventure and Retreat
The 12 Most Influential Guitarists of All Time—and Their Signature Styles
Signe Anderson, Jefferson Airplane Founding Singer, Has Died at 74
Watch Disturbed’s David Draiman Join Breaking Benjamin for “Under Pressure”
Silence the Messenger Premiere New Song, “Face Off (feat. Upon This Dawning’s Dani Nelli)”
Interview: Jasen Moreno on Being Drowning Pool’s Frontman
History of the Blues in 50 Guitar Riffs
Expand Your Melodic Colors with 9th Arpeggios
John Entwistle's Isolated Bass Track from The Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again" at Shepperton Studios
Copyright ©2016 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