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Tony Levin in Deja Vrooom (King Crimson)

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by kernel666, Sep 16, 2005.

  1. Hey there
    Well, I just bought King Crimson's Deja Vrooom DVD and I was watching it... very very nice, awesome performances. There's just one thing I that has me pretty (confused?).. I couldn't help but notice that Tony Levin's playing is not.. how should I say this.. at it's best?... Don't get me wrong, Levin is a great player, but I felt his performance wasn't that great. A quick example for you, on the 6th track, Red, at 4:03, he hits the wrong note (a low F, instead of an A#) and quickly corrects himself. Besides this example, there are some other moments where I felt his playing wasn't that good.
    Now I know you might think I'm being too picky, but, hey, I mean, it's Tony Levin with King Crimson!
    Anyways, correct me if I'm wrong with this, or post your thoughts...

    BTW, this is my first post, I'd just like to say hi!
  2. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    Hey, nobody's perfect. Tony Levin's not infallible. Everyone can have an "off" night and feel that they never quite get into the groove. Those nights you could always try to play it safe and rely on routine, but that's not what King Crimson's about... they take chances, and let everyone see and hear their mistakes.

    Perhaps you try something at one point during the gig that doesn't quite work out, and you just can't stop thinking about it. Say you try to improvise a fill, and happen to play a sharp 4 where you meant natural. Nobody else but you noticed, but that sharp 4 plays in your head all night and you can't get away from it. And because of this, your playing might suffer the entire gig.

    I've seen Tony Levin fumbling on the stick when he was with Liquid Tension Experiment. I've also seen Chick Corea confused when he was doing improvs with Bobby McFerrin. You have to take risks to play great (and not just "solid"), and sometimes you slip.

    And hello to you too! Welcome and enjoy your stay! :hyper:
  3. Well, that's one way to put it. Thanks for the input!
  4. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    I love the imperfections.

    it's more..... what's that word..... OH YEAH.... real! :cool:

    I understand what you are getting at, they are pros and all. I hear perfect on most studio releases... when watched / heard live, I want to see sweat, I want to see fun and I don't mind clam here or there.

    Oh and welcome to TB!
    (I've had "Frame By Frame" "Red" playing most of the evening myself)
  5. I know there are some parts in Vroom where he hits some bad notes during the interludes, but mostly, I really enjoyed that DVD.
    There are a number of mistakes on their 1984 video "Three of a Perfect Pair" but part of the fun is seeing them recover from them.
  6. While it may be unrelated, I saw Tony play about two years ago. Truly, the whole band was a bit off. Never hit a real groove at all. (They didn't do much Crimson.) Not to be an ass, but I was thinking he might have preferred gigging with Phil Collins than doing originals.

    I was hoping to see more of the Chapman stick was my only true disappointment since I guess you cant expect every player to be ON every night.
  7. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    That's crazy. I think of Tony Levin as inhuman. King Crimson really would push anyone to their musical limits though.
  8. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    His intonation is definitely hurting on the beautiful bass part in "VROOM". I love that bass part. Nice DVD.
  9. Lackey


    May 10, 2002
    Los Angeles
    One thing to consider is that Tony splits time between bass guitar, upright, and the Chapman stick (as well as singing!). Not to imply that he's a "jack of all trades - master of none", but it is worth considering that his chops on each respective instrument might not be that of say, a Gary Willis, a Trey Gunn, or a Dave Holland.

    I agree that he makes mistakes (not as many as me, hehe), but I really dont care. Tony has great feel on whatever instrument he plays, has contributed to some of my favorite songs/albums, and seems to be one of the most humble musicians out there.