Friday, September 7, 2012

Mike Linden - Bubble & Squeak (2012)

1 Megajumbo 6:41
2 Mutant Butterfly 4:56
3 Paper Planes I: Kites 5:29
4 Paper Planes II: 1903 5:48
5 De Vuelta a Casa 7:32
6 Killer Robots 5:00
7 The Adventures of Uncle Penny Bags 3:51

Mike Linden on Facebook
The Super Pilots on Facebook

Okay, time is short as it always seems to be, and I'm trying to catch-up on about 17 blog entries in 1 night.

But this is a delayed review of this excellent debut album from Mike Linden, a young guitarist from Apple Valley, MN who met some-of and formed the Jazz-Fusion group The Super Pilots a couple of years ago while at school in Boston at Berklee College of Music.

And the players involved on this, his solo record (by-name) are The Super Pilots guys.

But as far as this album, it's a really well crafted and produced, jazz-fusion record of sorts. Most comparable to Return to Forever and perhaps a little Al Di Meola. But for example the Paper Planes suite/epic really reminds me of Marillion (the 2nd part 1903, I swear I hear "Runaway" from Brave at various times) or Pink Floyd.

Also the last piece "The Adventures of Uncle Penny Bags" is a bit country or bluegrass-like. I almost think of The Galactic Cowboy Orchestra when hearing that one.

Overall, every piece the writing and playing is excellent. From the drum fills and cymbal work from JP Bouvet, to the mood setting piano of Dave Mackay, to even some of the funky basslines of Jason Weiss, and Mike's outstanding shifting tones, this record works repeatedly. Very much less-is-more.

These guys are a young band, however, the membership may change depending on circumstances with location (2 members are from Minnesota, 1 from England, and 1 from out East I recall). But, having missed their show in 2011 with Brice Plays Drums, I was thrilled to catch Mike and The Super Pilots twice a few weeks ago. And Mike's supposedly staying here and will play more live, with perhaps some other musicians. The 2nd show in Burnsville "Art and All That Jazz" festival, they covered the likes of Pat Metheny, Chick Corea and even Destiny's Child. Like many Jazz groups, they excel even more live.

But for those unable to see Mike or The Super Pilots, I'd highly recommend giving the Bandcamp page a stream or 2.