Get this crazy baby off my head!


Jonas Hellborg With Shawn Lane and Kofi Baker

Jonas Hellborg with Shawn Lane and Kofi Baker - Abstract Logic - 1995 - Day Eight Music

The billing implied that Abstract Logic was to be a blowing session, especially given Shawn Lane's performances on the MVP recordings Centrifugal Funk and Truth in Shredding. Surprisingly, this recording tends to be dark, with the players utilizing a fair amount of space. Lane sounds positively demonic on "Serpents and Pigs" and "Throwing Elephant and Wrestling"; however, his intensity is not consistent. He seems to have been going through an Allan Holdsworth stage at this point, which is very disappointing considering he is one of the more original metal/fusion players to have emerged during the '90s. Despite Lane's identity conflict, his playing is demented, original and exciting. From his Cecil Taylor-influenced piano solo "Pluie de Etincelles" to his diverse bass solo "Layla Attar," Lane remains creative and interesting throughout. If he sounds like anybody, it would probably be Michael Manring, although the two seem to have influenced each other. He is obviously comfortable playing a number of different styles and sounds good in all of them. Drummer Kofi Baker (Ginger Baker's son) gets a chance to display his impressive technique on "Put the Shoe on the Other Foot." This is a very good recording, but the Holdsworth sound from Lane is a bit distracting. © Robert Taylor © 2012 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/album/abstract-logic-r216669/review

Depending on who you ask, Shawn Lane was arguably the greatest guitar player who ever lived. I first heard Shawn on the 1991 MVP - Centrifugal Funk album, then through bootleg tapes I acquired while a student at GIT in 1992. He floored me completely. In my opinion, his chops and musicality remain unparalleled to this day (sadly, Lane passed away in 2003). Lane's first solo album, Powers Of Ten, was released in '92 as well. He came to GIT in February of '93 and played an infamous gig which I was lucky enough to attend (my friends and I also got to meet and hang out with Shawn backstage after the show). Powers Of Ten was a very commercial-sounding album. Similar in vein to the instrumental work Eric Johnson was doing at the time. It appeared back then that Lane's future work would follow along the same lines. Then he met bassist Jonas Hellborg. Hellborg met Lane in 1994, and turned him on to the Indian and Pakistani influences he was exploring. Hellborg's 'Abstract Logic' album, recorded in December of 1994 with 17 year old (!) Kofi Baker on drums, marked their first collaboration. Hellborg has re-mixed, re-mastered, and re-released this landmark fusion album with 2 previously unreleased songs included. When you hear the music on this CD, it's hard to believe it was only 2 years earlier that Lane released the Powers Of Ten album. By comparison, the music on Abstract Logic is radically different. The writing and playing here is rich with various non-western influences. This album marked the beginning of a whole new direction for Lane. The new mix sounds crisper than the original. There seems to be more separation between the instruments. It's sounds louder as well, more raw. The album art is new also. The opening track, 'Serpents And Pigs', is a good example of what Hellborg's collaboration with Lane would sound like for years to come. The main parts of the tune are pretty exotic. Lane sings along with the main melody, which he did in many future recordings and live performances (sort of like an Indian-music version of George Benson). Then, for the solo section, Hellborg and Lane trade off for a bit before Lane starts his solo over a grinding 4/4 shuffle groove. If you've never heard this track before, the lick Lane plays about 3 minutes in may cause uncontrollable convulsions in the listener. You've been warned. Some of the songs are longer than they were on the original release. The most interesting example of this is shown in 'Throwing Elephant And Wrestling', one of my favorites from the original. The version here is almost a full minute longer than the originally released version. There's a long bass solo in the middle of the tune. The solo is periodically broken up by a short motif played in unison between the guitar and bass. In the original, the same motif comes around a few times before the groove changes and Lane's solo begins. In the re-released version, that same line is played, but so is a whole new line that did not appear on the original release at all. They go back to that a few times as well before the guitar solo, which ends up extending the length of the tune. Hellborg must have edited the song down for the original, and now he's giving us the whole performance. 'Rice With The Angels' is another great track. This song became a Hellborg/Lane classic that they played live quite a bit. Each player has a solo spot on the album as well. Lane's is a piano piece entitled 'Pluie D'etincelles'. Most people think of Lane as an incredible guitarist, but he was a highly accomplished pianist as well. What a musician. And the solo drum track, 'Put The Shoe On The Other Foot', makes it's hard to believe Kofi Baker was only 17 at the time of this recording. The 2 new songs are 'A Handful Of Earth', and 'Don't Look Back', both written by Hellborg. The band as a whole doesn't sound as tight on these songs as they do on the others. These 2 recordings were probably deemed too raw or unpolished to make the cut 12 years ago. But that's what I like to see in a reissued album; give me something I don't have yet if I already own the original release (which I do). 'A Handful Of Earth' has a decent solo by Lane, in a cool harmonic minor/phrygian-dominant tonality. 'Don't Look Back' is an odd one. One part has Lane playing these exotic lines with a backwards guitar effect. Another part, however, is a very mainstream-sounding doublestop rhythm part. The question you may be asking is, "If I already own the original release, should I buy this one as well". For diehard Shawn Lane or Jonas Hellborg fans, my answer would be yes. It's worth it to have the 2 new tracks, and to hear the re-mixed originals. If you don't have this album yet, you should absolutely pick this up. Not only is the music incredible, but it's a point of historical significance in Shawn Lane's career, which you will want to experience. The re-issued Abstract Logic is available now through Abstractlogix.com (where'd they get that name I wonder?) It will be released through other outlets on 8/15. [ Review by & © Rich from "Jonas Hellborg - Abstract Logic (Remastered)" © 2004 - 2011 Rich Murray. All Rights Reserved http://www.guitar-channel.com/rich_murray/2006/08/review_jonas_he.html]

On this album, the late great guitarist Shawn Lane played on a Jonas Hellborg album for the first time. His collaboration with Jonas lasted 10 years, recording 8 albums and playing hundreds of live shows worldwide. This is Grade A jazz fusion played by three magnificent fusion specialists, and is HR by A.O.O.F.C. Try and listen to Jonas' "The Silent Life" album, the late Shawn Lane's "Fission" album, and Lost City's "Watching You" album which features Kofi Baker, Malcolm Bruce on keyboards, and Ric Fierabracci on bass. It would be very worthwhile buying the bonus track edition of this album which is of superior sound quality. For music in the same vein check out Gongzilla on this blog


1. "Serpents and Pigs" 5:08
2. "Rice with the Angels" 8:07
3. "Pluie de Etincelles" (Lane) 4:05
4. "Layla Attar" (Hellborg) 5:49
5. "Abstract Logic" (Baker) 8:49
6. "Put the Shoe on the Other Foot" 6:15
7. "Throwing Elephant and Wrestling" 8:41

All songs composed by Jonas Hellborg, Shawn Lane and Kofi Baker, unless stated otherwise


Shawn Lane – vocals
Jonas Hellborg – bass
Kofi Baker – drums


A wild improviser, bassist Jonas Hellborg leans more toward rock than jazz. Drawing inspiration from Jimi Hendrix, Arabic music, and Lifetime, Hellborg began playing professionally in the mid-'80s. After some session work (including Pil's Album, Ginger Baker's Middle Passage, and sessions with John McLaughlin's new Mahavishnu Orchestra), he released The Word on Axiom in 1991. The album features Hellborg's acoustic bass, drums, and a string quartet. He remained highly prolific throughout the decade, recording most prominently for the Day Eight label. © John Bush © 2012 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/artist/jonas-hellborg-p85737/


Shawn Lane was a phenomenally talented guitar player who never quite broke out beyond guitar enthusiasts and critics, but will remain influential to players for many years to come. Originally hailed as a child prodigy, Lane joined Black Oak Arkansas as a teenager, and could have been part of the guitar shredder movement of the late '80s and '90s, but his restless musical inclinations led him down a different path. Lane began his musical education on piano and cello at age four, but had switched to guitar by age eight. At ten, he was holding band rehearsals at the house he shared with his grandmother, and since the other bandmembers left their instruments at his house, Lane was free to try them out, and added bass and drums to his keyboard and guitar abilities. By 15, Lane was becoming known in Memphis circles as a guitarist, which led to an audition with Black Oak Arkansas in 1978, who he toured with for the next four years. Black Oak Arkansas was still popular enough to play at Bill Clinton's inaugural as Governor of Arkansas, but the band's heyday was well behind them. After disbanding briefly, BOA was re-formed with a couple of Shawn's high school friends joining the band, and bringing a heavy fusion edge to this southern boogie band. Then, burnt out from touring, Lane basically dropped out of sight in 1982 for a couple years, practiced piano, studied music theory and composition, and did a lot of reading and watching movies (he claims he barely played guitar at all during this period). The mid-'80s saw Shawn returning to guitar: first playing in some bands around the south, then appearing on an album produced by Mike Varney on the Shrapnel label, with a tune called "Stratosphere II" on the U.S. Metal compilation (his first available recording). Shortly afterwards, he formed a band called the Willys, who were the house band at the Peabody Hotel in Memphis. Many touring musicians caught Lane's playing while staying there, and word of mouth led to session work, and eventually to his playing on the Highwayman 2 album with Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson. That high profile work ,and a demo cassette passed to Jim Ed Norman at Warner Brothers led to Lane being signed to Warner Brothers in 1990. Lane spent the next two years at home, creating the Powers of Ten album, on which he played every instrument. Following its release in 1992, Guitar Player Magazine named him "Best New Talent" and he placed second in Keyboard Magazine's "Best Keyboard Player" category. A touring band was assembled to promote the album, and a live recording was made, though it wasn't released until 2001(Powers of Ten Live!). His next project was DDT, a band that also featured Cody and Luther Dickenson, later of the North Mississippi Allstars. The DDT material was supposed to be for Lane's second album for Warner Bros., but the recording never materialized. Also at this time, Lane did production work for other artists, did a couple instructional videos, and developed curricula and taught at several European Conservatories. 1994 would be an important year for Lane, as it marked his first collaboration with Swedish bassist Jonas Hellborg, a relationship that would continue for nearly a decade and produce many releases (mostly on the Bardo label). Lane and Hellborg were perfect collaborators, sharing many of the same musical influences and many other interests as well, and it was playing with Hellborg that Lane really discovered his voice on guitar. They toured with drummer Jeff Sipe over the next several years, developing such a rapport that they were able to play completely improvised sets every night (documented on albums like Temporal Analogues of Paradise and Time Is the Enemy). Concurrently, in 1995, Hellborg and Lane played with Chinese pop singer Wei-Wei, and the Hellborg/Lane/Sipe trio appeared as an opening act at all of Mainland China's largest musical venues. Lane and Hellborg parted ways with Sipe in 1997, allowing Lane to work on the tracks that would become Tri-Tone Fascination, his second solo album in 1999. Also at this time, he and Hellborg began incorporating more Near Eastern and Eastern influences into their playing and improvising (Zenhouse, ). In 1999, Lane and Hellborg began working with V. Selvaganesh, son of percussionist Vikku Vinayakram of Shakti fame, and began pushing the music into more of a South Indian fusion, as evidenced by Good People in Times of Evil. Lane started having health problems in 2001, temporarily breaking off his work with Hellborg. After recovering, Lane started playing with a Memphis bar band called the Time Bandits, but was back with Hellborg and Sipe for a brief tour in 2002. There was also more work with the Vinayakrams, resulting in Icon, a dazzling work of East-West fusion that, unfortunately proved to be among Lane's final recorded works. There was a brief tour of India in February of 2003, but Lane's health problems returned, and on Sept. 26, 2003, Shawn Lane passed away following lung surgery. © Sean Westergaard © 2012 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/artist/shawn-lane-p26629/biography


As the son of legendary drumming icon Ginger Baker, Kofi Baker has a name that’s synonymous with drumming excellence. And Kofi lives up to his name; with his outstanding skills, drive, and dedication he continues the great Baker legacy. Kofi's first live performance was with his father on the UK television show "The Old Grey Whistle Test" - at just six years of age he proved he had inherited more than just his fathers name. In the early 80's, Kofi and his father played drum duets throughout Europe, amazing audiences with complex African polyrhythms. Later, Kofi toured with John Ethridge (Soft Machine), and gigged in London with Steve Waller (Manfred Mann), and with Randy California (Spirit). He also toured Europe with Steve Marriot's Humble Pie. During the 1990's Kofi toured with Jack Bruce in Budapest; signed with Scotty Brothers Records when he recorded the album Lost City; recorded Abstract Logic with Jonas Hellborg and Shawn Lane; and toured extensivley - including more drum duets with Ginger Baker. Kofi is now living in Orange, CA. Press Rat & Warthog is his latest inspiration - a powerful trio that rivals that of Cream. © http://www.kofibaker.com/bio.htm


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


p/w if needed is aoofc

Anonymous said...

A most excellent album by very talented musicians - Hellborg and Lane would continue to play together until Lane's death in 2003, whilst Kofi Baker would be replaced in late 1995 by Jeff Sipe, subsequently the trio's drummer until Lane's death. Hellborg had of course already played with Kofi's father Ginger in 1990 on the album with Bill Laswell, Middle Passage, as well as in 1992 with Ginger Baker & fellow Swede Jens Johansson on Unseen Rain, already posted on this blog. So much talent deserves some follow-up with rare live radio recordings to come from John McLaughlin and Hellborg in 1986; Hellborg, Lane and Sipe in 1996; Hellborg, Lane and the Vinayakram Brothers in 2001; Hellborg and his Art Metal Trio in 2006 and 2009; and the fully-mixed 1990-91 demo version of Shawn Lane's first album, Powers of Ten. Watch this blog! Cheers, Dave Sez.

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

Cheers,Dave & HNY. Watch this guy's posts and comments. Dave's knowledge of great music is always enlightening and I thank him for his immense contribution to A.O.O.F.C. Keep on rockin' in the free world! - Paul