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Re: David Torn,Terry Bozzio,Tony Lev

  When i first looked at this video, my first impression was: oh no,  
not another NAMM show performance. From several years of making the  
trip to Anaheim one thing is nearly certain for me; musicians no  
matter how established and revered, seem to play  differently in that  
environment, regardless of whether they are playing on the show room  
floor or some after hours Hotel Ballroom gig.  Louder, faster, more  
self indulgent.  We've discussed this before NAMM Show Chops!!!!!   
There are exceptions of course.
   My second impression regarding DT was, man! I wonder how nervous he  
is filling in for AH?  I know I would be. AH is just so far beyond the  
harmonic concept and technique of most mortals, even a guy like DT   
who is nothing short of brilliant in his own right.  But  I was oddly  
unmoved by musicians I hold in the highest regard.  Maybe its just  
that, for me  melody and subtlety  are  more important that dissonance  
and angularity,  but that's just my taste these days.  I know some of  
you out there think this is the shiznit. And I must say I tend to  
dismiss footage I see taken from an I-phone or handheld recording  
device, because they simply cannot give a true impression of the sound  
and atmosphere of the performance,I don't care how good the vantage  
point is.  Also, night shows at NAMM are some of the loudest I have  
ever experienced. its as if everyone including the sound people are  
ear fatigued from  being in the showrooms all day, and they want it  
LOUD!! I applaud all of those guys for getting on stage and winging  
it, but particularly in that environment, it is a risky thing to do.  
You are playing in front of a well lubricated  industry audience that  
is hooting and hollering and practically demanding self indulgence and  
wanting it loud and rocking, as if to say Ok, show us what you got,  
e...... and you are doing pure improvisation. Yikes thats brave!  And  
having four brilliant musicians doing it is no guarantee that the  
results are going to be stellar.  As i witnessed years ago watching an  
Allstar ECM jam it seems that many jazz musicians and jazz rock guys  
seem to equate improvisation with getting exploratory and "taking it  
out", and sometimes when you get so many cooks doing this the results  
can be chaotic, catharsis to some and noise to others.  For me this  
wasn't a great performance, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't want to  
buy a ticket to see them perform if given the chance.