|David Sancious & Tone — Transformation (The Speed of Love)|
David Sancious & Tone — Transformation (The Speed of Love)
Location: Seattle, WA
Album release: July 29, 2014
Record Label: Esoteric Recordings #ECLEC 2458
1 Piktor's Metamorphosis 6:35
2 Sky Church Hymn #9 8:51
3 The Play & Display of the Heart 6:31
4 Transformation (The Speed of Love) 18:10
Ξ Bruce Botnick Producer
Ξ Paschal Byrne Digital Remastering
Ξ Gerald Carboy Bass, Guitar (Bass), Wind Chimes
Ξ Ernest Carter Drums, Percussion, Vocals
Ξ Hugh Gilmour Package Design
Ξ Mark Powell Coordination, Research
Ξ Vicky Powell Project Coordinator
Ξ David Sancious Arranger, Bells, Clavinet, Composer, Fender Rhodes, Guitar, Guitar (Acoustic), Guitar (Electric), Keyboards, Moog Synthesizer, Organ (Hammond), Piano, Vocals, Yamaha Keyboards
Ξ Sid Smith Liner Notes
Ξ 1976 Transformation (The Speed of Love) Jazz Albums #37
Review by Thom Jurek • Score: *****
Ξ Most music fans know of multi–instrumentalist and composer David Sancious as an early keyboardist /arranger for Bruce Springsteen, or his work as a sideman with Sting, Peter Gabriel, Bryan Ferry, Jack Bruce, Erykah Badu, Michael Franks, Santana, Youssou N’Dour, Hall & Oates, Aretha Franklin, Zucchero, and many others. Transformation (The Speed of Love) is Sancious’ second album for Epic. It follows the ambitious Forest of Feelings, produced by Billy Cobham. As fine as that album was, effortlessly combining emotionally open approaches to jazz, rock, funk, and classical music, Transformation (The Speed of Love) is almost exponentially better in terms of composition, arrangement, and execution. Using the same band under the Tone moniker — drummer Ernest Carter and bassist Gerald Carboy — this Bruce Botnick–produced set builds on the strengths of its predecessor. The tracks are longer, ranging from six and a half to over 18 minutes — and there are only four. Sancious plays no fewer keyboards here (Rhodes and acoustic piano, clavinet, synth, organ, etc.), but Transformation (The Speed of Love) is also a showcase for his quite literally astonishing guitar playing — both electric and acoustic — and his deep love for soul and blues as they integrate with progressive rock, funk, and jazz fusion. Opener “Piktor’s Metamorphosis,” with its soaring lead guitar lines, backing vocals, and elegant — if tightly timed — bass vamps and breakbeats, is spiritually uplifting even as it careens from one end of the tone spectrum to the other. “Sky Church Hymn #9,” a tribute to Jimi Hendrix, uses acoustic 12–bar blues played with a slide atop a tom–tom, before becoming a wild ride from funky shuffle boogie to psych, caroming jazz–funk, and back again. It’s executed with drama and a dynamic passion that equates with the phenomenal technique on display. “The Play and Display of the Heart” is a lengthy acoustic ballad where Sancious duets with himself on piano and guitar. Its folk, classical, and Indian modal sounds create a welcome respite after the intensity of the previous two numbers. The title track — with backing vocals from Gayle Moran — takes up the entire second half. Beginning as a nearly martial prog rock anthem, it strikes out for parts unknown with multiple chord and mode progressions weaving to and fro as the rhythm section moves in double time before underscoring labyrinthine, even soaring electric guitar lyricism and funky organ vamps. Carboy’s elastic bassline offers a worthy harmonic foil, with Carter punching in dramatic fashion to wind this jam toward the margins. The trio explores different chromatic elements aggressively but melodically inside each new set of changes, never losing focus. Eventually, the jam discovers inner spaces and undergoes metamorphosis before finding a transcendent way forward in order to close. As an album, Transformation (The Speed of Love) is awe–inspiring, a work of progged–out jazz–rock that’s as iconic as Birds of Fire, Blow by Blow, or Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy, yet stands alone for its artful ambition and emotional commitment.
Ξ David Sancious was born in Long Branch, New Jersey on November 30th 1953 to Jimmie and Stelma Sancious. David’s father was an electronics engineer and his mother a school teacher.
♠ An early interest in music was shown when at 4 years old David was able to pick out a few notes on a small plastic guitar his parents had given him, and play along to a Calypso record his father used to play frequently.
♠ Two years later when the family relocated from Asbury Park to Belmar ,N.J. , a piano was included along with the purchase of the new house. After the boxes and furniture were brought in , his mother sat at the piano and began to play beautiful classical piano selections , much to his amazement. The effect was instantaneous . “Music became the most interesting and beautiful thing in the world to me, and being able to express all that beauty and magic was all I wanted.”
♠ After teaching David herself for the first year, his mother made arrangement for piano lessons with a focus on classical piano repetoire.
♠ Being the youngest of three boys and having a father and mother with very different musical tastes, the house was filled with music of all genres. Everything from Mozart to James Brown on a daily basis.
♠ Early musical influences ranged from the piano preludes of Chopin and Beethoven to the music of John Coltrane and Miles Davis. Folk music , R&B , and Rock were equally influential . The folk music of Odetta and the blues stylings of B.B. King inspired him to take up the guitar at 9 years old. “I played acoustic guitar for a few years and made some progress. Then one day my brother came home with the first Jimi Hendrix album ( “Are You Experienced” ) and instantly I became very serious about the guitar “.
♠ After several years of playing keyboards and guitar in Jazz , R&B , and Rock Bands on the Jersey shore area, David met Bruce Springsteen at the entrance to a club where Bruce was organizing a jam session. The result was an invitation to join a new band that Bruce was putting together. This eventually became “Bruce Springtsteen & the E Street Band”, and after recording three albums and touring the country, with Bruce, he left to form the group "Tone" and recorded several albums.
♠ The first recordings ( “Forest of Feelings” ) in 1975, followed by (“Transformation: the Speed of Love”), ( “True Stories “ ), ( “ Just as I Thought “ ), and ( “ The Bridge “ ) showed David’s skills as a composer for the first time, and led to his being considered one of the most talented and sought after keyboard players in the music industry.” I’ve always been inspired and motivated by the composing aspect of music, and I’ve always thought of myself as a composer who plays well , rather than a person who is just proficient on a given instrument. The recordings attracted the attention of artist the world over. Recent recordings include (" 9 Piano Improvisations "), ( " Cinema " ), and (" Live in The Now ").
♠ Peter Gabriel , Sting , Bruce Springsteen, , Eric Clapton , Jeff Beck, Seal and others, have used his talents as pianist, synthesist, guitarist, arranger, and producer on recording sessions and concert tours, playing an eclectic and diverse range of music.
|David Sancious & Tone — Transformation (The Speed of Love)|