An imaginative and meticulously conceived look at the work of David Bowie's Subterranean!
Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
Covering pop stars in an improvisational setting can at times be the equivalent of melodic Russian roulette, Dylan Howe's version Subterranean takes a more intimate look at the work of David Bowie and with stellar results. While the presentation here is nothing short of left of center, the lyrical execution reinvents the harmonic presentation to show just how much variety can be found within the most basic of executions. Some pop stars have music that simply doesn't translate well to an improvisational setting while others have a lyrical base that can be so rich that a variety of presentations are possible without ever mangling the original intent of the melody.
The lineup is slightly eclectic yet manages to marry their talents into a uniformity of sound. Some of the more notable guests include Julian Siegel and former / current Yes guitarist Steve Howe. As a highly respected drummer, Howe has played with such luminaries a Damon Albarn and Paul McCartney. Bowie as a modal jazz riff? It works...Some of the lesser known originals are given new life through an improvisational exploration that lesser performers simply could not, would not and should not touch.
Not a Bowie tribute as such however Subterranean may be the perfect storm of harmonic possibilities from one of the best popular music geniuses of our time.
Tracks: Subterraneans; Weeping Wall; All Saints; Some Are; Neukoln - Night; Art Decade; Warszawa; Neukoln - Day; Moss Garden.
Personnel: Dylan Howe: Drums; Mark Hodgson: Double Bass; Ross Stanley: Piano - Synths; Brandon Allen: Tenor Sax; Julian Siegel: Tenor Sax; Nick Pini: Double Bass; Adrian Utley: Guitar; Steve Howe: Koto