g.calvin weston / Blog




G CALVIN WESTON With KARL E H SIEGFRIED + TODD RUNDGREN/THIJS VAN LEER/JOHN MEDESKI/NIK TURNER/VERNON REID/JACK WALRATH/JAY BECKENSTEIN et al - Of Alien Feelings (ImaginaryChicago 10; USA) Featuring Calvin Weston on drums & synth and Karl EH Seigfried on guitars & basses with Nik Turner, Jay Beckenstein & John Helliwell on saxes, Vernon Reid & Todd Rundgren on guitars (1 track each), John Medeski on organ, Jack Walrath on trumpet and Thijs Van Leer on flute. This has to be the most eclectic line-ups I've seen on one disc in a long while! Who else could tap the talents of Todd Rundgren, Thijs van Leer (from Focus), Nik Turner (Hawkwind), Jack Walrath (Mingus 70's band) and Jay Beckenstein (Spyrogyra)?!?! Only Calvin Weston, that's who?!? Calvin's co-leader here is Karl Seigfried who is involved with the Imaginary Chicago label. Mr. Seigfried is a fine guitarist and bassist, as well as a strong composer. Starting with "The Electric Wizard" the band is off and running and burning through their own version of jazz/rock/funk/prog. Each song is based on an infectious groove or sly construction with short yet inspired solos from Medeski, Seigfried on guitar & bass, Walrath on trumpet... Calvin adds a little synth here and there while Karl plays some lap steel in unexpected places. I can hear bits of P-Funk, the tastier side of seventies fusion and other creative strands. Both big name guitarists, Todd Rundgren and Vernon Reid, each pull off smokin' solos. More than the hot solos though, there is a certain gleeful jam-band vibe feels just right throughout the entire disc. You can tell these guys were having fun since there is a swell atmosphere bubbling underneath. Thanks Calvin & co., you just made my day! - Bruce Lee Gallanter.Downtown Music Gallery


G CALVIN WESTON With JOHN MEDESKI/ELLIOT GARLAND/MARINA VISHNYAKOVA + DANNY BLUME/BENJAMIN KARP/TYRONE WILLIAMS - Play Out Loud (GCW; USA) Featuring G. Calvin Weston on drums and most compositions, John Medeski on keyboards, Marina Vishyakova on violin, Tyrone Williams on sax, Danny Blume & Benjamin Karp on guitars and Elliot Garland on bass. Master drummer Calvin Weston has worked with Ornette Coleman, James Blood Ulmer and the Lounge Lizards in the past but has become even more prolific in recent times leading several of his own bands/projects. After a few scattered dates as a leader, he just released three new discs and each one is strong inits own way. This is a studio date and Calvin's drums have a powerful, impressive sound. The first piece is a drum solo and it is an incredible intro. "7-Up" has an infectious, funky groove with Medeski playing some swell clavinet-like keyboard. The interplay between the tenor sax, guitar, violin, electric keyboard and smoking rhythm team is completely smokin'! The great John Medeski add his own great, greasy electric keyboards to all of these songs and sounds consistently inspired. I know Danny Blume from the time he was also in the Lounge Lizards, but the other guitarist, violinist and sax player are new names for me and all three are strong musicians, each taking a number of great solos throughout. Bassist Elliot Garland is yet another new name and one bad MF on the bass as well. This disc is nearly an hour long and Calvin does a swell job of keeping the troops focused and engaged throughout. Whether your a fan of the better jam-bands or you just dig some inspired jazz/rock/funk jamming, this disc is for you! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery


G CALVIN WESTON With ELLIOTT LEVIN/DAVID DZUBINSKI/ROBERTO CERVI/MARIO MAZZENGA - Cosmic Miles (GCW; USA) G. Calvin Weston on percussion pads and trumpet, Elliott Levin on tenor & soprano saxes & flute, Roberto Cervi on guitars & keyboards, David Dzubinski on keyboards, Mario Mazzenga on bass and David Galleher on steel drums (two tracks). I caught both of Philly's finest, Calvin Weston & Elliott Levin, last night (8/14/12) at The Stone with Bob Musso. Calvin you should no doubt know from his work with Ornette Coleman, Blood Ulmer and the Lounge Lizards. Elliott Levin is a longtime sax legend from Philly who has played with a large array of heavies like Marshall Allen, Cecil Taylor, John Sinclair, besides co-leading New Ghost and the Interplay Ensemble. This disc is quite different from the other two discs mentioned today. Calvin Weston plays drums pads and trumpet instead of a regular drum set. I believe that this was inspired by Miles Davis, hence the title and surprisingly, Calvin does sound like Miles at times in spurts. The overall vibe does sound like some of those later electric Miles sessions when Miles was playing those brooding organ sounds. Calvin sets up some great, hypnotic rhythms on those pads and adds some of that Miles-like muted trumpet squirts. Each pieces deals with a different (and often) sly mood and/or groove. I like the way either Calvin on his pads or the keyboard player changes the vibe with different exotic samples like a gamelan, chimes, tablas or other shrewd, quirky sounds. The last few Miles records featured Marcus Miller creating all of the music for Miles to play on top of. This disc sounds like those sessions somewhat with the trumpet and sax added after the moods and grooves were recorded. There is a certain magical and mesmerizing about the way this sounds. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery


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Play Out Loud (feat. John Medeski, Elliot Garland & Marina Vishnyakova) has been finalized for digital distribution and is now in queue to be delivered to our digital partners.