Not of it's era
andrew ward | Bellingham, WA. USA | 05/24/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Mid-80's is its home:
So many jazz (based) CD's from the 80's just sound awful when played back today, due to Synth-percussion or Keyboard programming and a myriad of other tragedies related to that musical era. This CD suffers from none of the above, the acoustic guitar sound (12 string) is very nice and the percussions are layered and powerful.
Certain CD's can be played while doodling around the house or playing chess or drawing or sadly even while reading. This CD however falls into a category specifically relegated to pure listening, perhaps Wine whiskey or scotch in a glass can accompany headphones but that's it. This (statement) is true for a few reasons, mainly because the electric guitar is frequently beautifully obnoxious (fingernails on chalkboard) all variety of feedback and pick-sliding in conjunction with over the top distortion and compression. Frankly, I love it but it cannot be on the player whilst attempting anything else (other than the afore mentioned scotch).
Some of the highlights scattered about the disc are very cool 12 string guitar washes and intense percussion breaks well crafted quiet moments and full throttle attack revolving around "on again off again" guitar mayhem. This is a unique musical experience in that his playing regularly borders on "self-serving showmanship" only to be followed by haunting little acoustic interludes that if not focused on can slip by almost unnoticed (the opposite of self-serving) in that they serve only to expand the mood or enhance the song groove. Tibbetts playing is enigmatic and this CD is worthy of its high praise."
Engine Summer put to music
david ryan | Lakeport, CA | 06/25/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have never in print seen any mention or acknowledgment of 'Engine Summer' by the author John Crowley [also author of the wonderous 'Little,Big']. as the original source of, or at least the titles, [of most of the songs] 5 0f 9 are clear references to the early 80's underground masterpiece. As a little Background to the Tibbetts album; Engine Summer takes place in a post-Electric America [it would seem] with people rather pleasantly living of the gleanings of 'civilization' now beyond living memory. While there is not, as is usual in post-civilization type works any 'mad-max', 'Terminator', or 'Postman' type violence to be found, the Story centers around a boy who wishes to explore, to find lost 'secrets', and bring them back to his community, Little Bel-Air. As he wanders through the countryside, as much in search of a girl from his youth that went off with a gypsyish group called if I remember correctly 'Dr. Boots List'.While my precis does little to illuminate one of the most well crafted and well written stories I have ever had the pleasure to encounter, it may explain a little of the references to follow.Below are a few comments relating Tibbbett's titles to the Book, I havn't read it in quite a fwe years though I have read it at least a few times.Track 1 Name Everything - In Engine Summer, many bits of remaining Technology and Brick-abrack are given humorous and often insightful histories, the residents of Little bel-Air did indeed like to 'name Everything, when they could. They also were patient with mystery.2 Another Year - the through the course of the story we see the change of seasons and it's effects first hand, just as one might expect from a group of people inhabiting an ancient mall!3 A Clear Day and No memories -
A reference to the strange device of Dr. Boots list that their community centers around, I think I finally understood this on the 3rd read, but that was probably 7 years ago or so you will have to give it a go yourself.4 Your Cat - Lots of cats in Dr. Boots list. Big ones.And the people are like them to much to Rush that Speaks' bafflement. 5 Metal Summer - A reference to at least the tile of the Book, if not to something more specific, which I don't recall. Oddly enough, Tibbets, in bringing to life of this book, or some aspects of it, uses his darkest and heaviest pallette yet.
To my mind, Big Map idea would actually have made a better 'soundtrack' but hey, I will take a Tibbets album anyway I can! His music is so refreshing a change from any 'Genre'. While Northern Song, Big Map Idea and 4/5th's of Safe Journey could be at home on the Windham Hill label; Exploded View and THe Fall of us All [and 2 tracks on Safe Journey] are more reminiscent of a flawless and uncliched Improv of the Grateful Dead meets Yes' War section in the Gates of Delerium.For the first time Tibbets uses voices to bring yet another range of emotions and colours to a near flawless performance.The only nitpick I can offer is an annoying keyboardish sound [almost certainly not one!] in 'Forget'. Not necessarily what I would reccomend as a first Tibbets disc. Safe Journey would probably be that, unless you want to skip the radical knife edged guitar-work altogether, then I would say Big Map Idea, but one that every fan of progressive music should get around to sooner or later.Enjoy them Both!"
According to the dictionary.....
applewood | everywhere and nowhere | 12/23/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
""EXPLODED VIEW; n. An illustration or a diagram of a construction that shows its parts seperately but in positions that indicate their proper relationships to the whole"If you're reading this review you probably already know Tibbett's is an amazing guitarist, and composer; he plays his heart out but does so within a conscious structured composition. The experience is beyond words....like your car careening on a mountain road, sliding, plunging unexpectedly, inevitably, over the edge, and before and after the terrible crash there is peace, reassuring, tempting and fleeting...and then it all happens again.I like all his recordings but this is the one I reach for most often."