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And the Rest of the Band...

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Joined: 10 Sep 2004
Posts: 2783
Location: Chino, CA

PostPosted: Sat Feb 05, 2005 11:19 pm    Post subject: And the Rest of the Band... Reply with quote

Now it's time for us to talk more about the other guys in the band: Seth on bass, Pete on drums, and Zak on sax for the Fellowship. I tell you, every one of these guys are great players on their own and this is akin to a superband, but the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. These guys aren't merely supporting what Guthrie does on top but fitting in like a piece of a puzzle that forms an amazingly tight and cohesive musical ensemble. I've seen a lot of great bands perform here and elsewhere and they're all great in their own ways, but I can't say I've seen another ensemble as tight as a unit and that played with each other with almost telepathic type of interplay.

Seth isn't a flashy player although he can really rip into the bass when required; Seth plays a supporting role of an airtight rhythm section. The way his lines interlock with Pete's kick drum was uncanny. It was a rock solid canvas on which Guthrie and Zak could roam free and render their sound paintings - from abstract to the sublime. Seth's role cannot be overestimated in the big picture of what Guthrie is doing. He is a major cog in the machine that is the Cakeship (as Guthrie likes to call the combined unit). Seth is the pillar that holds it all upright.

Pete is an absolutely amazing drummer. I've seen some amazing drummers go through here and elsewhere and I can honestly say that Pete is one of the best I've seen or heard. Again, Pete plays within the context of the bigger picture like Seth, but Pete has more leeway in adding rhythmic variations and color. Pete advised me that when touring with Keith Emerson, he was really given a lot of freedom to really let loose and that must have been something to see if you know what Carl Parlmer was like with ELP.

What I really dug about Pete is his great versatility and his way of combining "finesse" jazz drumming, power rock drumming, and "progressive" chops drumming, if you get the drift. There was this really nice balance to everything Pete did in comparison to a bunch of other guys who would have a predominant style of drumming that'd be apparent throughout their performances. Pete would be solid, powerful, flashy, finesse all at the same time, complementing Guthrie's style and Seth's rock solid underpinnings splendidly. Pete has definitely become one of my favorite drummers overnight.

Now, onto Zak. This unassuming super nice guy is like a Guthrie version of the sax. Shocked Laughing I'm serious. The way Zak can effortlessly blow with such technical command and soulful phrasing is an amazing thing to behold. Zak and Guthrie's telepathic musical communication when they solo together and trade fours and twos and ones, etc., is one of the greatest musical wonders I have ever witnessed. Zak is another guy who definitely deserves wider recognition - just an amazing sax player who, like Guthrie, is just going to get better and better and better...

As amazing as each individual in this band is, I can't emphasize enough that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. This isn't your typical All-Star sort of a unit. This is a complete "team" where each member knows his role in the band - no egos and individual agendas. It's about guys who all genuinely love the music they're playing and understand their individual roles within the band and the context of the music that's being played. Man, I just can't wait to have these guys back here... You guys in UK who haven't seen them yet need to do yourselves a service and check them out. Drive how many hours it takes and book a night in Chelmsford if you have to. Go check them out!
Ed Yoon
Certified Guthrie Fan-atic
BOING Music LLC - Managing Partner
.strandberg* Guitars USA
Ed Yoon Consulting & Management
Guitar Center Inc.
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Joined: 13 Sep 2004
Posts: 1100
Location: Chelmsford/Arachnipus

PostPosted: Sun Feb 06, 2005 12:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As a guitarist, I turned up at the bassment to check out Guthrie, who I'd been hearing about since I was 17 going to college with people who went to the school Guthrie went to.. and friends at the college. First couple of weeks I was totally knocked over by Guthrie.. in the subsequent months I've found nights where I listen to Zak or Seth or John or Pete or Guthrie.

When I've played stuff to other musicians they've all zoomed in on their own instrument to begin with, here are some comments:

I swear there are two bassists playing there (about the bass solo in B.N.H)

Sweet Jesus! (about Zak's playing on the live CD)

Yeah... Sad (somewhat jealous and mornfully about Pete Riley's drumming..)

I find Zak's playing really takes off when you listen to it.. stood next to Guthrie who's looking very focussed and who's hands are shooting all over the fretboard and who's feet are directing pedals and stuff.. Zak makes his playing look effortless but it really soars Wink
Fabulous powers were revealed to me the day I held my magic Suhr(d) aloft and said "by the power of great scale!"

I have the power!
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