It is doubtful that anyone who knows who these guys are would mind my calling them a supergroup. In the classic sense of the term, that is exactly what they are — a traveling supergroup of prodigy-level prog rockers and fusion artists who are each no more than a few degrees of separation from King Crimson drummer Bill Bruford.
A brief review of the players: Allan Holdsworth got my attention some 40 years ago as the New Tony Williams Lifetime guitarist. His style is fluid, complex, and unpredictable. A beer connoisseur, he told a reporter that the U.S. was a beer desert when compared to his native U.K. This may be why he named the private recording studio he is said to have owned here in the 1990s “the Brewery.” Tony Levin is a bassist who was an early Chapman Stick adopter, the Stick being a guitar neck with a dozen strings and no body. A veteran of bands as dissimilar as those of Joan Armatrading and Paul Simon, Levin has created the bottom end for pop hits like “Sledgehammer,” and in a style all his own — nobody sounds like Levin. Modern Drummer magazine once called Terry Bozzio a drum god. After a stint with Frank Zappa, he jazzed with the Brecker Brothers. Best known for founding Missing Persons, Bozzio has a drum kit so massive as to dwarf that of Neil Peart’s or Alex Van Halen’s. Drummer Pat Mastelotto, another prog rocker with heavy-duty credits that run the gamut from headliners such as the Pointer Sisters to King Crimson, is the downbeat that Bozzio plays against.
There’s a new young audience for prog rock and jazz fusion, but I’d be remiss not to at least wonder if this tour is in part a tribute to Holdsworth’s old friend and mentor, the late drummer Tony Williams.
HOLDSWORTH, BOZZIO, LEVIN, MASTELOTTO: Brick by Brick, Wednesday, January 13, 8 p.m. 619-275-5483 . $20 advance; $25 door.