Herring Lavitz Heywood Gradney - Endangered Species

Year of Release: 2001
Label: Tone Center Records
Catalog Number: TC-40202
Format: CD
Total Time: 50:06:00

With Magna Carta being one of the leading labels for progressive rock and Shrapnel records one of the main labels for everything metal flavoured, then Tone Center has to be the label for everything fusion, governed by the mighty hands of guru Mike Varney. So do expect loads of instrumental fusion material larded with tons of great solos and superb musicianship. Take the holy foursome led by Jimmy Herring and you have indeed a collection of "Endangered Species!" Whilst opener "Headstrong" has been written in the Brand X backyard, the roaring sound of the Hammond organ sometimes places their music close to that of Niacin, yet due to the swinging bass playing, there's always a funky tone as well, whilst the weird chords on piano and guitar equally give way to jazz.

The piano which sits at the very beginning of "Slowlo" is oh so reminiscent of vintage Steely Dan you simply have to love it and it gets even better when piano and organ climb the scales together as musical Siamese twins! Having played with the Allman Brothers, guitarist Jimmy Herring comes close to the feel of ?Brothers And Sisters? on this T Lavitz penned tune, incorporating a little dash of country along the way. Cool stuff dude! Having been a member of none other than the famous Dixie Dregs, it's no wonder this respected musician has chosen the best people around him, and that's something you the listener benefit from, from the very first second to the very last! This guy did sessions with Steve Morse, Jeff Berlin, Rod Morgenstein, Bruce Hornsby, Mothers Finest, Jefferson Starship, Billy Cobham, Bill Bruford, Nils Lofgren and Pat Benatar, to name only a few. Together with his buddy, guitarist Jimmy Herring, T has also recorded Jazz Is Dead, an instrumental exploration into the music of the Grateful Dead. Add to this the talented Little Feat rhythm section of drummer Richie Hayward and bass player Kenny Gradney, and you get a perfect mix of all these wonderful styles, just as you get the best results in the kitchen when you mix loads of different herbs and spices. Man, this is finger licking music which continues to scream for more and more every time you put this on!

The acoustic nature of "Lockwood Folley" forms a nice counterpart with the rest of the material, placing the pure jazzy piano in Chick Corea style next to the exclusive sound of the Hammond. The main guitar melody is also very strong, taking the rest of the band in it's slipstream. The combination of shuffle and honky tonk piano kind of introduces a New Orleans atmosphere in "Camel Lope" which sounds like a combination of Dr. John and the Neville Brothers, creating what can be called "swampy fusion." The box of tricks is nearly empty with just one track to go. "The Gospel Truth" is a laidback ballad where the snare sadly sounds a little too dry, too clinical, as opposed to delivering a healthy dose of soul. It's like Jimmy Smith is playing his best stuff in a smokey joint hidden in a back alley. Regardless of where that alley is, you can now find it courtesy of Tone Center Records.

Headstrong / The New Berkley Park / Slowlo / Pickled Hearing / Lockwood Folley / Justice / Cats Out Da Bag / Camel Lope / The Gospel Truth

Jimmy Herring - guitar
T Lavitz - organ, piano
Richie Hayward - drums
Kenny Gradney - bass

Endangered Species (2001)

Genre: Fusion-Jazz Fusion

Origin US

Added: November 25th 2001
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website:
Hits: 687
Language: english


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