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Home » John Paul Jones

Grand Ballroom, Rivercentre, Saint Paul, Minnesota

21 November 2001 2,146 views No Comment

Set list: Zooma, Leafy Meadows, The Smile of Your Shadow, That’s the Way, Sittin’ ‘n’ Thinkin’, B Fingers, Freedom Song, Hoediddle, When the Levee Breaks, Tidal.
Encore: In My Time of Dyin’ intro/Black Dog.

30 years to the day after electric magic first cast its live spell on Mr Lewis at Wembley, the JPJ Orchestra once again fires on all cylinders, picking up further from where they left off since their last performance in the Twin Cities 25 months ago (also to the day). Zooma adds another riff lap of honor. Leafy Meadows grinds Grind, exhibiting Jones’ singular panache for turning passing rhythms into amazing, mind.boggling new riff syncopations in themselves. Then it’s from the 10. to the 8.string to kick off The Smile of Your Shadow, with no less richness than its last performance on bass mandolin.
That’s the Way is a surprising first Zep cover, with Jones showcasing not only his bluegrass prowess on the mandolin, but his heartfelt singing(!), accompanied by Nick on 12.string acoustic and Terl on bodhran–one still wonders why he didn’t receive songwriting credit.
Sittin’ n Thinkin’ is a Buddy Guy/Zep blues which showcases Jones’ latest steel guitar crying tricks. IMHO B Fingers highlights this show as it did the last, with Jones and Bryant adding a truly dazzling maze of new cross riffs and rhythms in absolute, contrapuntal telepathy–talking about packing such a piece to its potential! But just as Jones & co push the envelopes of volume and mass, it’s a testament to his range that he then pushes in the other direction as well: Freedom Song, just JPJ and soprano uke, singing a whimsical escapade love song to Mo over a Saharan field song figure, returning the music to its roots.
Hoediddle continues the ‘small is beautiful’ theme with a display of amazing stringbending and bluegrass hoeing down on a 4.string electric mandolin that should again give Page a run for his money (and credit). Tidal features an improvised scratch bass intro and is even tighter than last time. JPJ brings it back home once again for When the Levee Breaks and the encore, Black Dog, featuring In My Time of Dying as the truest false intro one may ever hear, with lap steel playing shaking the rafters probably no less fiercely than when IV was released 30 years ago this month. Another concert which exceeded already highest expectations and steamrollered any other critique! This is the real new music which beats not only other rockers at their own game, but grant.subsidized ‘serious’ or ‘contemporary’ composers at theirs!
King Crimson followed with a challenging set, highlit by cascading guitars which locked in like Balinese gamelan or West African–progressive Baroque worldbeat music, in a way.
Jay Krasnow

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