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 Crimson-esque textures and, occasionally, just plain weirdness. Many of the tracks become looser jams in the live performance. For those who saw this tour, the disc will be a great memento. For those who didn't, it will serve as a shining example of what they missed, and encouragement to be more careful not to pass up subsequent tours. The band is Tony Levin, Bill Bruford, Chris Botti, and David Torn.
The Levin-Torn-White album saw the light of day this year (2011) via Lazy Bones Recordings, and comprises fourteen songs that make a total time of 55 minutes, worth of every listen, as you can imagine. The songs are not really long, oscillating from 1:30 to 5:30 minutes. The references to King Crimson or Yes may be obvious due to the musicians in this project, and it does have some moments that will remind you of them, however, the sound is not really what you would think. Here the experimental side of Torn’s guitars produces rich textures that give the music a different style and direction.
By the time of his third album, altoist David Sanborn's popularity and influence was growing month by month. Most of these numbers feature Sanborn with an enlarged rhythm section (with such studio vets as guitarists Hugh McCracken and David Spinozza, Don Grolnick or Richard Tee on keyboards, vibraphonist Mike Mainieri, bassist Herb Bushler and drummer Steve Gadd). However, "Short Visit" is something special, for Sanborn was joined by what was mostly the Gil Evans Orchestra; Evans even wrote the chart. Otherwise, this is a typical Sanborn release with plenty of danceable rhythms and the focus on his passionate alto.