Exposé Online banner

Tony Levin — Waters of Eden
(Narada 72438-49132-2-9, 2000, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2001-03-01

Waters of Eden Cover art

Over the last half dozen years, King Crimson bassist Tony Levin has produced a small but impressive body of work on his own Papa Bear Records, including World Diary (1995), a collection of collaborations with players such as Bill Bruford, Jerry Marotta, Shankar, and many others, and From the Caves of the Iron Mountain (1997), an atmospheric project involving Levin with drummer Jerry Marotta and flutist Steve Gorn, recorded in the location of the title. Levin's latest effort is released not through his own label, but New Age independent Narada, known more for meditative acoustic guitar music than progressive rock. But fear not. While Waters of Eden is prettier and more meditative than King Crimson, it is by no means lacking fire. The closest comparison is to Levin's work with Peter Gabriel, and this recording in fact reunites the core of Gabriel's band of the late 70s and early 80s: Levin with drummer Jerry Marotta and synthesist Larry Fast. A couple of tracks ("Bone and Flesh" and "Pillar of Fire") feature Fast's expansive synth pads and Marotta's throbbing toms. Think of what might have happened in a rehearsal for Security when Gabriel wasn't around and Levin decided to take the lead. This core trio is augmented by some special guests. The California Guitar Trio joins in for the title track; David Sancious provides keyboards and a credible virtual soprano sax on "Icarus;" guitarist Jeff Pevar soars over many cuts. Throughout, the melodic lead is centered on Levin's sensitive playing, on fretless electric, electric upright bass, and electric cello. In general, the music is fairly simple, sweeping melodies with chordal accompaniment, but the passion and craft of the players lifts it above mere New Age drivel.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 21, 2000 releases

Related artist(s): Tony Levin, Jerry Marotta, Larry Fast (Synergy), David Sancious, California Guitar Trio, Pete Levin

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...

Gong - Continental Circus – Reissued late last year without much fanfare, this was recorded by an early version of Gong circa Camembert Electrique, and was the score to the film by Jerome Lapperrousaz by the same name, about a...  (1996) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues