Get this crazy baby off my head!


Michael Shrieve

Michael Shrieve - Fascination - 1994 - CMP Records
Progressing with guitarist Carlos Santana from his early Afro-Cuban rock and pop-based successes to his experimentation with jazz fusion, drummer Michael Shrieve subsequently released a string of fine solo recordings of his own. This one features guitar hero Bill Frisell and the ever-inventive organist Wayne Horvitz for a rather divergent set featuring ethereal soundscapes, loose grooves, and crunching opuses. Here, Shrieve provides sturdy backbeats to coincide with some nicely placed fills and his acute implementations of the dynamic. This effort highlights Frisell's wily and rather slithery guitar work, enhanced by the glowing sonic characteristics of the production, when viewed upon as a whole. The band is apt to soar skyward via climactic overtures in concert with a crash-and-burn methodology. Needless to say, this affair represents a potent concoction of jazz fusion melded with folksy themes and an avant-garde-type swing vamp, evidenced on "The Glass Tent." Yet, after a string of enterprising solo outings, Shrieve's solo career quieted down to a near whisper during the late '90s and into the new millennium. © Glenn Astarita © 2011 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/album/fascination-r207208

In the November of 1993, Michael Shrieve emerged at the Bob Lang Studios to record yet another solo album. This time, he planned a session with his two friends: the guitarist Bill Frisell and the organist Wayne Horvitz, both experienced and imaginative musicians. William Richard "Bill" Frisell, born on the 18th of March 1951 in Baltimore, Maryland, began to play clarinet in his youth and later took up the guitar. Soon enough, he discovered jazz and in 1971, he moved to Boston's famous Berklee College of Music. His unique sound developed through the next years, he experimented with the guitar sound, using various amp processors and guitar set-ups. In the late 1970s he moved to Belgium, where he met Manfred Eichler, the founder of ECM records. Since then, he has become the house artist of the label and released many solo albums, sophisticated, yet accessible. In the 1980s he moved to New York and in the 1989 to Seattle. By the end of the 1990s he was one of the most well-known jazz musicians in the world. His collaborations include names as Ginger Baker, Marianne Faithfull, Elvis Costello, John Zorn, Tim Berne and Gavin Bryars. Bill Frisell is a unique jazz guitarist, his abilities do not lay in the quickness of his fingers, but rather in the exploitation of various colours of the instrument's sound. He is one of the master guitarists for creating moody soundscapes, because sometimes the sound his guitar lets out does not sound like a guitar at all. This asset is well shown in Fascination. Wayne Horvitz was born in 1955 in New York, he was classically trained on piano and guitar as a child, but it was the blues that made him take up the piano again later. He has made a breakthrough in the 1980s working with some of the most prominent artists of the New York experimental jazz scene, such as Bobby Previte, Butch Morris, Fred Frith, Elliott Sharp, and John Zorn (Horvitz was a member of his Naked City band). He has also led his own formations: the President, the Horvitz/Morris/Previte Trio, and Pigpen, and recorded solo albums on various labels. Like Frisell, Horvitz has also later moved to Seattle (in the mid-1990s) and he became a member of a band called Zony Mash (with Timothy Young on guitar, Keith Lowe on bass and Andy Roth on drums). Their music is largely organ-based and groove-oriented, but not avant-garde. Horvitz' Hammond organ style is understandably much closer to jazz than to rock, he is able to produce the most surprising sounds when needed. Needless to say, Horvitz' playing style fits very well with Shrieve's and Frisell's and the trio produces really amazing music. The music on this album is totally electronica-less, the instrumentation is always Hammond, electric guitar and drums. There are seven shorter and three longer tracks. Although the instrumentation is narrow, the musical style of Fascination ranges from surreal dreamy soundscapes and jazz ballads to rocking pieces and something that can even be described as progressive rock. Needless to say the album, especially the drums, is recorded in a crystal clear sound which adds much to the listening pleasure. The opening track, "Sam The Man", apparently dedicated to Michael Shrieve's son, begins with two drum tracks - one, the basic rhythmic track, is on the surface, while the other, with Michael playing the drums like conga, is beneath the surface and adds something like a bass line to the tune. Over this background, Bill and Wayne improvise - one plays a solo and the other supplies him with a rhythmic background play. The main theme coming out of Bill Frisell's guitar reminds me of the theme from James Bond movie "The Man With The Golden Gun". As the track progresses, Wayne Horvitz plays a tasty Hammond solo and then Bill Frisell breaks in with a bluesy solo. It is great to listen how the musicians supplement each other on this track as it ends in a dreamy fade out. "Tell Me Everything" is a balladic song, beginning with a fantastic Hammond/guitar introduction, that reminds me of Gabor Szabo. Bill Frisell is the main person here, as he plays a wonderful soft solo where tones come out of nowhere. This sad and moving solo is supported by Michael's soft cymbals and a few quieter breaks and by Wayne's Hammond in the background. Really great track. "Circus! Circus!" hits the note harder again starting with a repetitive circus-like Hammond theme, faster drums and Bill Frisell's guitar solo. Frisell and Horvitz then switch the roles for some time and Frisell shows that he can handle the initial theme very well too. His subsequent solo gets more and more rocking, the tone on his guitar is still more and more distorted and it leads to some exquisite guitar pyrotechnics in front of the Hammond drone and excited drums. "The Glass Tent" is a drum-based track. Michael sets a fast rhythm and all three musicians freely improvise over it. Their interplay is very good and they lead the long drum run through various moods. The whole track feels like running in a maze. However, it suddenly ends and does not fade out, so it seems the exit has been found. The title track, "Fascination", continues in the mood of "Tell Me Everything", but it is less elegic and more bluesy. Michael drums in a faster tempo than on "Tell Me Everything", Wayne only plays long chords in the background and Bill Frisell provides a Gabor Szabo-like jazz guitar solo. "One Nation, Invisible" starts with some distorted guitar effects and Hammond drone before the drums break in. This fast running song has plenty of changes and is dominated by heavy drums and equally heavy distorted guitar. Given this, the organ acts as a rhythmic instrument only. The sound gets angrier and more urgent until the music suddenly stops. "The Great Ambassador" is a mysterious soundscape, dominated by Hammond organ and drums. Michael sets up the tempo and Wayne plays an interesting solo that invokes feeling of fear and suspicion in me. Bill Frisell produces some sound effects in the background for a long time until suddenly the fear and apprehension built up by the first five minutes of the track break at full power in an accusatorial guitar scream. The rest of the track is a loose jam with fantastic soloing by Bill Frisell and harder, rockier Hammond playing by Wayne Horvitz that does not calm down until the very end of the tune. "Living With The Law" is the only cover tune on Fascination. Its original version (with lyrics) can be found on the 1991 album of Texan blues-rocker Chris Whitley that has the same title as the song. "Living With The Law" is in my view the most relaxed track on Fascination. All three musicians are clearly enjoying themselves on this nice bluesy tune. "Jig Saw" is another of the drum-based tracks on this record. Michael Shrieve again plays the prominent role and embarks on a long drumming showcase. Frisell and Horvitz improvise over the superb drum track in a similar way they did on "The Great Ambassador". After some two minutes, the track gets into a repetitive theme with Wayne Horvitz' Hammond flying above it and then the tune calms down to be built up again. Then, after five minutes, the track leads into a soft and meditative remergence of all sounds with some very impressionistic echoed guitar by Bill Frisell, soft Hammond drone by Wayne Horvitz and no drums at all. This sounds very cosmic. The climax of the song is a fantastic two minute drum solo by Michael Shrieve. The final track on Fascination is another lengthy soundscape entitled "Soundings In Fathoms". It keeps a very slow tempo, if any, through the whole eight minutes of it and it is a perfect peacefully sounding track for relaxation or falling asleep. The main theme of this one is a strange guitar riff that sounds like a weird clockwork. After the brief introduction of the riff that appears one various places all through the track, we are presented to a short Hammond solo. The next part is another space music passage. At around four minutes into the song, the soft percussion breaks into a guitar/Hammond swirl. At this time, the track feels like floating into the outer space and slowly fading out of the hearing of the listener. The tenth track is an amazing finale for an amazing record that is a hidden moody jazz masterpiece. What always makes me wondering is that all this complex music is produced by a mere trio of musicians. Listening to the record, the players first showcase their abilities in jazzy jamming and then embark on a cosmical tour in the last two tracks, where the way they handle their instruments is very unconventional, innovative and pleasing. A great example of how magical experimental music can be produced on electric guitar, Hammond organ and drum kit. © Jan Grinc, May 2004 http://flamesky.bravehost.com/Fascination.html

Although "Fascination" is attributed to the great Michael Shrieve, it could just as easily been credited to Bill Frisell, or Wayne Horvitz. The three musicians have been involved in hundreds of recordings, and are recognised as three of the greatest names in the jazz rock/fusion/electronica scene. When three artists of this calibre got together to record "Fascination", the result was always going to be something special. This is a great album of jazz rock, progressive rock and fusion and is HR by A.O.O.F.C. Try and listen to Michael's "Stiletto" album, and also his brilliant "The Big Picture" album. Bill Frisell has made many great albums. Listen to his "Blues Dream" album. Wayne Horvitz has also recorded many great albums. "Nine Below Zero" is just one of his exceptional records


1 Sam The Man - Shrieve 4:04
2 Tell Me Everything - Frisell, Shrieve, Horvitz 4:07
3 Circus! Circus! - Shrieve 4:46
4 The Glass Tent - Shrieve 3:40
5 Fascination - Frisell, Shrieve 2:59
6 One Nation, Invisible - Shrieve 3:23
7 The Great Ambassador - Frisell, Shrieve, Horvitz 9:14
8 Living With The Law - Chris Whitley 4:01
9 Jig Saw - Shrieve 8:32
10 Soundings In Fathoms - Frisell, Shrieve, Horvitz 8:05


Bill Frisell - Guitar
Wayne Horvitz - Organ
Michael Shrieve - Drums [Premier Drums, Sabian Cymbals, Evans Drumheads, Vater Drumsticks, Dw Footpedals]


Michael Shrieve (born July 6, 1949, in San Francisco) is a U.S. drummer, percussionist, and later, an electronic music composer. He is best-known as the drummer in Carlos Santana's eponymous band, playing on their first eight albums from 1969 through 1974. His performance at the 1969 Woodstock festival, when he was just 20 years old, made him one of the youngest musicians to perform at the festival. Shrieve's drum solo during an extended version of Soul Sacrifice in the Woodstock film has been described as "electrifying". His name is included on the alumni "Wall of Fame" at John F. Kennedy Middle School in Redwood City, California. He is an alumnus of Junípero Serra High School (San Mateo, California). In 1967/68 he attended the College of San Mateo, California; learned to read sheet music and played in the school's jazz band. Shrieve's first full-time band was called Glass Menagerie, followed by experience in the house band of an R&B club, backing touring musicians including B.B. King and Etta James. At 16, he played in a jam session at the Fillmore Auditorium where he attracted the attention of Santana's manager Stan Marcum. When he was 19, Shrieve jammed with Santana at a recording studio and was invited to join that day. The 2004 two-disc Legacy release of Santana features additional tracks recorded before Shrieve joined the band. On August 16, 1969, Santana played the Woodstock Festival, shortly after Shreive's twentieth birthday, but before the release of their eponymous first album (1969). He would continue with Santana for Abraxas (1970), Santana III (1971), Caravanserai (1972), Welcome (1973), Borboletta (1974) and the live Lotus {1974}. He co-wrote four of the tracks on Caravanserai as well as co-producing the album. Shrieve left the original Santana band to pursue solo projects. He moved to London, England to record the 1976 album Automatic Man with guitarist Pat Thrall, bassist Doni Harvey and keyboardist Todd Cochran (billed as Bayete). While in London Shrieve was part of the fusion supergroup Go with Stomu Yamashta, Steve Winwood, Al Di Meola and Klaus Schulze, releasing two studio albums Go (1976) and Go Too (1977) and the live album Go Live from Paris (1976). He played in the band Hagar Schon Aaronson Shrieve (with Sammy Hagar, Neal Schon, and Kenny Aaronson). Later, he played drums on (former Supertramp member) Roger Hodgson's first solo album, In the Eye of the Storm. From 1979 to 1984, he collaborated as a percussionist in Richard Wahnfried, a side project of Klaus Schulze (another drummer turned electronic composer) while recording with Schulze his own first "solo" album of electronic music, Transfer Station Blue, in 1984. In 1997, he joined former Santana musicians Neal Schon, Gregg Rolie, José "Chepito" Areas, Alphonso Johnson, and Mike Carabello to record Abraxas Pool. He has also collaborated with David Beal, Andy Summers, Steve Roach, Jonas Hellborg, Buckethead, Douglas September, and others. He has served as a session player on albums by Todd Rundgren and Jill Sobule. In 2004, he appeared on the track The Modern Divide on the Revolution Void album Increase the Dosage. The album was released under a Creative Commons license. As of April, 2010 Shrieve lives in Seattle Washington, where he plays in a fusion jazz group, Spellbinder, at TōST in Fremont, Seattle, with Danny Godinez, Joe Doria, John Fricke, and Farko Dosumov. He recently worked as a producer on his son Sam Shrieve's debut album Bittersweet Lullabies. Shrieve has composed music for several films, most notably Paul Mazursky's Tempest and Apollo 13. In 1998 Shrieve was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame for his work with Santana. In March 2011 Rolling Stone Readers picked The Best Drummers of All Time: Shrieve ranked #10. - [from Wiki]


The defining characteristic of any given jazz musician is frequently his sound. The more control a player has over the nature of that sound, the more likely he is to project a distinctive musical personality. For example, a saxophonist has virtually unlimited physical control of the sound that comes through his horn, and therefore a wide range of tonal expression at his command -- which partially explains the disproportionate number of saxophonists in the pantheon of great jazz musicians. On the other hand, few electric guitarists inhabit that realm, in part because the typical jazz guitar sound differs little from player to player. In general, guitarists do not have the same degree of physical control. Without the use of signal processing -- which jazz purists shun -- they're mostly stuck with the generic sound that comes out of their amp. Hence, guitarists have historically tended to "sound" more or less the same. Bill Frisell is a notable exception. Among jazz guitarists, Frisell is unique in his exploitation of variable timbre. Frisell's sound swells and breathes like a saxophonist's (interestingly, Frisell played clarinet as a child). In many ways his sound is reminiscent of a pedal steel guitar. And although his work is steeped in jazz, Frisell is a man of catholic tastes. His music includes characteristics of rock, country, and bluegrass, among various other styles. Such liberality explains his willingness to expand his tonal palette beyond that of the typical jazz guitarist. Where so many conventional jazz guitarists define themselves by how many notes they can play, Frisell has carved a niche by virtue of his sound. His ability as an original, lyrical player of melody combines with a unique (if much imitated) sound to make him one of the most singular musicians of his generation. Born in Baltimore, Frisell grew up in Denver, CO. He began playing the clarinet in the fourth grade and took up guitar a few years later for his personal amusement. He continued with the clarinet, playing in school concert and marching bands. Frisell briefly considered playing classical clarinet professionally. He played guitar in rock and R&B bands as a teenager (high-school classmates included Philip Bailey, Andrew Woolfork, and Larry Dunn, future members of the funk group Earth, Wind & Fire). He discovered jazz in the music of Wes Montgomery and began to study the music. Dale Bruning, a Denver-based guitarist and educator, fed his fascination with jazz. Frisell decided to make guitar his primary instrument. After briefly attending the University of Northern Colorado, he moved to Boston in 1971 to attend the Berklee School of Music. There he studied with Michael Gibbs and John Damian. While at Berklee, Frisell connected with other like-minded players (Pat Metheny was a classmate). He also studied with Jim Hall, who became an important influence, especially in terms of harmony. In the mid-'70s, Frisell began moving away from pure bebop and began fusing jazz with his other musical interests. At about this time he began developing his atmospheric, quasi-microtonal style. He discovered that, by using a guitar with a flexible neck, he could manipulate the instrument's intonation. A combination of experimental techniques and signal processors like delay and reverb gave Frisell a sound unlike any other guitarist. In the late '70s, he traveled to Belgium. There he met Manfred Eicher, the founder of ECM Records. Beginning in the early '80s, Frisell recorded prolifically for the label, as leader and sideman with such musicians as Paul Motian and Jan Garbarek. He continued with the label throughout the decade, earning a reputation as ECM's "house guitarist." Frisell became much acclaimed by critics for his sophisticated yet accessible work. Frisell moved to New York in the '80s, where he worked with many of the most creative musicians active on the city's "downtown" jazz scene. In the '80s and '90s, he would record and perform with a huge variety of artists, not all of them jazz musicians. Collaborators would include rock and pop musicians (drummer Ginger Baker, singers Marianne Faithfull and Elvis Costello), experimental jazz musicians (saxophonist/composers John Zorn and Tim Berne), and at least one classical composer (Gavin Bryars). Frisell composed soundtracks for the silent films of Buster Keaton. His 1996 album Quartet won the Deutsche Schallplattenpreis, the German equivalent of the Grammy. Frisell became an annual winner of various magazine polls for his solo work and recordings. By the end of the '90s, Frisell was one of the most well-known jazz musicians in the world, with an audience and an aesthetic that transcended the boundaries of any given style. It should be mentioned that, while Frisell is best known for his somewhat "ambient" guitar technique, he is a swinging, harmonically fluent jazz player when the occasion warrants. Frisell moved to Seattle, WA, in 1989 and stayed active as the 21st century opened, releasing Ghost Town in 2000, followed by a set with Dave Holland and Elvin Jones in 2001. Blues Dream also appeared that same year, followed by The Willies in 2002. East/West and Richter 858 were both released in 2005, and a set with Ron Carter and Paul Motian in 2006. History, Mystery followed in 2008. In 2010, a trio recording entitled Beautiful Dreamers was released by Savoy Jazz. A collection of covers and originals, it featured Frisell in the company of violinist Eyvind Kang and drummer Roy Royston. Frisell was the featured guitarist on Abigail Washburn's 2011 album City of Refuge, and also released Bill Frisell & Vinicius Cantuaria, a series of duets with the Brazilian guitarist and vocalist, that year. The latter album was produced by Lee Townsend and released on the Entertainment on Disc/eOne imprint. © Chris Kelsey © 2011 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/artist/bill-frisell-p76334/biography


Wayne Horvitz took piano lessons briefly as a child. At 13, he received a few classical guitar lessons; he found the style unsuitable and quit. A year later, influenced by the records of blues pianist Otis Spann, he took up the piano again. From that point, he was largely self-taught. Horvitz made a name for himself in the '80s by playing with some of the leading lights on the downtown New York-based experimental/improv scene, including Bobby Previte, Butch Morris, Fred Frith, Elliott Sharp, and others. His most famous association was with saxophonist/composer John Zorn as a member of the latter's band, Naked City. Horvitz-led ensembles included the President, the Horvitz/Morris/Previte Trio, and Pigpen. By the mid-'90s, Horvitz had moved from New York to the Pacific Northwest; his primary band became the Seattle-based Zony Mash (Horvitz; Timothy Young, guitar; Keith Lowe, bass; Andy Roth, drums). Their organ-based, groove-oriented music incorporates some "outside" elements, but largely avoids the avant-garde tendencies characteristic of Horvitz's New York work. Besides Zony Mash, Horvitz continues to perform in other contexts, leading the Four Plus One Ensemble (Horvitz; Eyvind Kang, violin; Julian Priester, trombone; Reggie Watts, keyboards; Tucker Martine, electronics and live processing) and Ponga (Horvitz; Bobby Previte, drums; Skerik, saxes; Dave Palmer, keyboards). Horvitz has also recorded for the Songlines, Knitting Factory, Elektra/Nonesuch, Sound Aspects, and Black Saint labels. © Chris Kelsey © 2011 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/artist/wayne-horvitz-p87921/biography


A.O.O.F.C said...


p/w aoofc

ratso said...

I never knew Maitreya Michael Shrieve had a career outside of Santana. Thanks for this Mr Fingal. Much appreciated.

A.O.O.F.C said...

Howzitgoin' ratso? Santana is only one of many slices in this guy's musical cake. He has some great stuff on disc, just like the other two musicians on the album. TVM,ratso....Catch you later...P

Anonymous said...

NIce Nice Very Nice!!!!!!!!


A.O.O.F.C said...

Thanks,Ambrosia. Keep in touch...P

rintesh said...

Thanks for the post!

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi,rintesh. THANK YOU! I like your blog. Keep in touch...P