Phillips, Simon - Another Lifetime

Year of Release: 1999
Label: Magna Carta
Catalog Number: MA 9033-2
Format: CD
Total Time: 58:01:00

Drummer Simon Phillips' Another Lifetime is a different style from the usual Magna Carta release - this is jazz rather than the crunchy prog metal that dominates the label's releases. Yet, fans of more recent releases like Liquid Tension Experiment or Bozzio Levin Stevens, will enjoy this release just as much. This isn't smooth jazz, this jazz-rock.

It's Phillips' show, having written all of the tracks (the others are written with guitarist Ray Russell), but the other musicians in this band are equally skilled and Phillips allows them enough room to explore.

I first heard of this release on CDNow's site while searching for the latest Magna Carta releases. Having played a couple of sound samples, I knew I had to hear more. On the first listen of the disc - which is happening right now - I knew it liked it after, nay, during, the first track.

Wow, can these guys play. To say I didn't have doubts, I did. None of the names were familiar to me, not even Phillips'. Of course, I was forgetting that Magna Carta are more than a "get the product out" kinda label - take one of the majors and maybe this would be just radio fodder. But hey, this is a progressive rock label, with a great track record.

Anyway, for those who even occasionally listen to jazz, in a way, I'm reminded of John Scofield, Al DiMeola - not surprising I guess, as, according the liner notes written by Phillips, he and bassist Anthony Jackson met while playing with DiMeola.

In the liner notes, too, Phillips mentions an illness that kept him from playing, and that recovery was slow. You'd never tell from this recording. While not always in the spotlight, his powerful presence is felt, helping to drive each track forward. For example, there is some spectacular playing in "Kumi Na Moja." Or take "ESP" - impressive!

The energy level and amount of interplay is almost like a live performance, with a crispness, clarity, and polish only available in a studio setting.

Rounding out Phillips' band are Andy Timmons on guitar (also), Jeff Babko on keyboards, Wendell Brooks on saxes, and Peter Michael Escovedo on percussion.

Knowing I like it quite a bit now, imagine how much more on repeated listenings. Which is what I'm off to do - kick back and just listen. Highly recommended.

Jungleyes (8:05) / POV (5:53) / Freudian Slip (6:43) / Eyes Blue For You (5:39) / Kumi Na Moja (8:10) / Mountain High (5:37) / ESP (6:07) / Euphrates (6:33) / Another Lifetime (6:34)

Simon Phillips - drums
Andy Timmons - guitars
Ray Russell - guitars
Anthony Jackson - bass
Jeff Babke - keyboards
Wendell Brooks - saxophone
Peter Michael Escovedo - percussion

Protocol (1988)
Force Majeure (1992)
Symbiosis (1995)
Another Lifetime (1999)
Out Of The Blue (1999)
Vantage Point (w/Jeff Babko) (2000)

Plus numerous appearances on others' work - see his website

Genre: Fusion-Jazz Fusion

Origin US

Added: April 10th 1999
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website:
Hits: 1011
Language: english


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