Exposé Online banner

Joe Deninzon & Stratospheerius — Live Wires
(D-Zone 822207043938, 2004, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2005-09-01

Live Wires Cover art

Count me as a supporter of the proposition that the world needs more hot electric violinists playing jazz-rock fusion. Jean-Luc Ponty has moved on to other things, and someone has to take up the cause. Joe Deninzon is a credible candidate. His playing is fluid, though with more grit to his tone than Ponty. He also has a bit more of the blues in his style. As for the material, Deninzon is definitely funkier than Ponty ever was, and also throws in some Middle Eastern touches to keep things interesting. He takes advantage of electronic devices to alter the sound of his instrument (echoes, distortion, etc.), sometimes building up a wall of crazed noise before cutting it off and getting back to the funk. The rhythm section of Ron Baron (bass) and Luciana Padmore (drums) keep the proceedings moving along, though haters of finger-popping on the bass will find occasional fault. Deninzon’s foil in the lead role is the electric guitar of Jake Ezra (or Alex Skolnick on a couple of tracks). Deninzon’s singing is perhaps not the equal of his violin playing, though not bad enough to detract too much from the instrumental fire. A spirited cover of Zappa’s “Magic Fingers” is the best vocal tune. Another non-original track, a wild take on the theme from The Simpsons, is a lot fun. Luckily the vocal parts are only a temporary distraction from the fiery instrumental majority. And in spite of the high level of technique, I’m never overwhelmed with ostentatious wankery.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 32, 2004 releases

Related artist(s): Stratospheerius (Joe Deninzon)

Latest news

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more

2020-05-14
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santan, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more

2020-05-06
Florian Schneider RIP – Florian Schneider, one of the founders of the pioneering electronic group Kraftwerk, has died at the age of 73. Co-founder Ralf Hütter announced that his bandmate had passed away from cancer after a brief illness. » Read more

2020-04-23
Shindig Festival Goes Lock-Down – Here's what they're saying: It's A Happening Thing! The Shindig! Magazine Lockdown Festival. In our days of no large gatherings of people, maybe it's still possible to have a music festival. Shindig! Magazine is giving it a go with a multi-artist streaming extravaganza on Saturday April 25. » Read more

2020-03-24
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Musicalia - Magicorò – Once in a while comes a disc that is surprising by its nature. Magicorò is issued on the Italian Kaliphonia progressive label, but it is a gripping work of chamber music and singing, much...  (1995) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues