Early comments about "Playing With Fire"
As some of you know, I've done extensive interviews with Trey and Selva and admire their output. So, it's a huge pleasure to hear these guys playing together on this album. It's as diverse an effort as you'd imagine from people that have been involved in projects that combine myriad influences. The worlds of rock, Indian classical music, jazz, ambient, and drone all come together on it.
Jason is the key visionary, leader and bassist of the group that also features Radhika Iyer and Rachel Nesvig on violin, Anil Prasad (no relation) on tabla, Aleida Gehrels on viola, and Phil Hirschi on cello.
A lot of you are going to want to investigate this. Artwork is by Jerry LoFaro.
Listen and buy here: https://deepenergyorchestra.bandcamp.com/
By Anne Carlini
For those not in the know, Deep Energy Orchestra is bassist/composer Jason Everett (Mister E), prog-phenom Trey Gunn (King Crimson), and both Indian percussion master Selvaganesh (John McLaughlin, Masters of Percussion), and 7-string violinist Radhiker Iyer combined with a Seattle-based classical string ensemble.
Indeed, Playing With Fire, out October 19th, 2017 via 7d Media, is their first ever live recording.
1. 'The Return' (4:56)
2. 'Awakening' (8.00)
3. 'Mysterious World' (5:16)
4. 'The River' (7:56)
5. 'Lotus Feet' (10:16)
6. 'Resole / Improv / Caravan' (19:49)
7. 'Honor / Amazing Grace' (4:34)
This super-group performs the eclectic compositions of world-jazz bassist Everett, along with Indian, Prog Rock, and Classical orchestrations to take the listener on a journey of exotic soundscapes.
Everett's ability to weave Indian-style melodies together with complex, funky, odd-meter grooves is deceptively natural. Perhaps none more so than the foot tappin' beauty that opens the album up, 'The Return.' Wow, what a great way to begin your musical experience here, truly. Funky, trippy, soulful and imaginative to the core, it's a unique blend that flows freely throughout the entire album.
Another is 'Awakening,' a track that, if you close your eyes as it opens, you would swear you were in the East, the sun about to break through the morning clouds above. Stirring, haunting even in places, the guitar work here is beyond incredible from start to finish.
Featuring seven brand new tracks all lovingly incorporating vibrant rhythms and endless moments of genuine hipsway, Playing With Fire is, quite easily, one of my Top 5 albums of 2018. Another of my favorites is the delightful, lite, breezy closing track, 'Honor / Amazing Grace,' a track that just makes you smile.
Carrying you away on a bevy of beautiful, lush melodies, Deep Energy Orchestra are a musical force second to none in this genre of combined orchestration's.
Furthermore, these performances were recorded live over a two-day recording session at the Jack Straw Center in Seattle, WA as part of an Artist Residency award.
“I was surprised how easily these pieces flowed out of us when rehearsing and recording. It is a clear testament to Jason’s writing that music this challenging felt so natural. Sitting inside Selva and Jason’s pocket is like a warm bath of milk and tumeric.”
~ Trey Gunn
"The progressive rock band, Deep Energy Orchestra is a revolving door of world-class musicians, led by bassist Jason Everett. The latest release from the band titled "Playing With Fire" features the work of Trey Gunn (King Crimson) and Indian percussionist Selvaganesh (Shakti) and was recorded live over a two day period at the Jack Straw Cultural Center. The new release features only four-tracks, beginning with "The Return," which highlights Gunn's new 12-string Warr Guitar, which gives off a piano-like sound. The Indian-infused rhythm of "The Awakening" and the Egyptian strings of "Mysterious World" showcase this group's expert worldly vibe. Deep Energy Orchestra close out their new album with the nearly twenty-minute epic piece "Resolve Improv Caravan," which is centered around the steady bass work of Jason Everett. To find out more about Deep Energy Orchestra and their latest release "Playing With Fire," please visit deepenergyorchestra.com." ~ JP's Music Blog
"So I just finished listening to this and as the title suggests, it's PURE FUCKING FIRE. I don't often review, but I logged in just to give this a giant thumbs up. This album seriously just punched me in the neck and handed me the keys. Fantastic interplay between Trey, Selvaganesh, Mr. E. and other players and Resolve/Improv/Caravan especially is proof of a worthy concept. Wow, jaw on the floor! Do not delay - Check this out! And I had no idea that Anil Prasad could play tabla! And how! Favorite track: Awakening." ~Dustin Wall
"The three tracks I've heard are excellent! So engaging, accessible and deep." ~Mark Yachnin
"Having personally known the talent of Mr.E in previous incarnations, I was not surprised at how tremendously intense and beautiful this project turned out to be, and i am overjoyed that it has finally come to my ears, and, through them, to my very soul!" ~Zeke