Papabear Records is truly a homegrown company - started in Woodstock, New York, by bassist and stick player, Tony Levin. Tony began studying classical music, but found his way into jazz, rock and progressive music. A full member of King Crimson and Peter Gabriel's studio and touring band, Tony has been the bassist of choice for such musical luminaries as John Lennon & Yoko Ono, Paul Simon, Pink Floyd, ABWH, Joan Armatrading, Laurie Anderson, Mark Knopfler and Dire Straits, The Roches, Robbie Robertson, Carly Simon, David Torn, Black Light Syndrome, Liquid Tension Experiment and many more.
Levin Torn White/Levin Torn White ....import CD $24.99
A collaborative beat down of original progressive rock instrumentals by three legendary musicians: Tony Levin - Bass and Chapman Stick (Peter Gabriel, King Crimson, Liquid Tension Experiment, John Lennon, Pink Floyd; "Tony Levin is one of the world's best bass players, if not the best." - Peter Gabriel); David Torn: Guitar and Textural Events (Jeff Beck, David Bowie, John Legend, B.L.U.E.; Two-time Grammy winner and three-time Guitar Player Magazine Readers Poll winner); Alan White: Drums and Percussion (YES since 1972, Plastic Ono Band, George Harrison, Joe Cocker; Grammy winner and Lifetime Achievement Award Guitar Center). Levin Torn White is sure to appeal to those who appreciate King Crimson, Torn's wild guitar work, and classic Yes. The album, one year in the making, was recorded in Seattle, WA, Woodstock, NY, and New Plymouth, New Zealand. It is produced by Scott Schorr and Tony Levin.
The Stick Men/Soup ....CD $15.99
King Crimson alumni Tony Levin and Pat Mastelotto join with Chapman Stick master Michael Bernier in this unique album featuring multiple Sticks. Levin, noted for the unique Stick opening riff of "Elephant Talk" on the Crimson album Discipline, is a premier player of the instrument. Here the band showcases 56 minutes of hard-edged progressive rock, including an ominous rock rendition of Stravinsky's "Firebird Ballet." Tracks include: Soup, Hands Pts. 1 - 3, Inside the Red Pyramid, Fugue, Sasquatch, Scarlet Wheel, Firebird Suite Pt. 1 - 4, Relentless.
Bruford Levin Upper Extremities/Upper Extremities ....import CD $18.99
With this CD, Tony Levin and Bill Bruford present music unlike any you've ever heard. It begins with the thundering rhythm section of progressive rock band King Crimson and adds the avant garde guitar riffs and distant planet loops of David Torn. Mix in the cool jazz sound of Chris Botti's trumpet - turn it upside down in a blender, and you've got Bruford Levin Upper Extremities - a CD that breaks through boundaries, nearly defying description.
Bruford Levin Upper Extremities/BLUE Nights ....import double CD $24.99
Having recorded the Bruford Levin Upper Extremities CD, the band toured Japan and the U.S. recording all their shows. As you would expect from these musicians, the live shows featured not only compositions from the album, extended for live play, but wild improvs, jams that turned into pieces, and compositions that turned into jams. Far too many good pieces to squeeze into one CD, so it had to be a double. If that's not enough, there's a bonus track - a remix by engineer SplatterCell using elements of the live playing in an unusual juxtaposition with techno remixing - perfect for this band. The CD booklet contains Tony Levin's web road diaries (and photos) from the tour, as well as some audience photos.
Bill Bruford is a longtime member of King Crimson and has been a member of the influential groups Yes and ABWH. Bill also tours and records with his own group, Earthworks. On BLUE Nights you hear Bill at his wildest and most expressive. The CD starts, as did the live shows, with Bill playing alone on stage. There are a few other drum solos, some improvised pieces where he shines, and a couple of Bill's compositions from the earlier BLUE CD.
Tony Levin plays all his basses on this CD: the Chapman Stick, NS Electric Upright with and without a bow, and the Music Man bass. There's some featured Stick playing, a bowed bass solo intro and some featured wierdness from the Funk Fingers (with ring modulation!).
David Torn is well known for his own albums and soundtracks, plays guitars - but that doesn't describe much of the unique element he brings to this music. Unearthly loops, electrou oud, bouzouki...things like that give you a better idea of how he sounds in the group. Also here is one of David's better known compositions, 3 Minutes of Pure Entertainment, from his classic Cloud About Mercury album. That release had Bruford and Levin on it which led to the group doing 3 Minutes... as an encore piece (it lasts closer to 9 minutes now!).
Chris Botti on trumpet provides the lead voice for the group. His own releases on the Verve Forcast label are more jazz oriented than the playing with BLUE. Here Chris gets pretty wild with the other players, but at many times pulls things together with a great melodic sense and sparse playing. Some of the tracks feature duo sections with Chris and guitar which weren't on the studio CD, but developed into audience-moving episodes as the tour progressed.
Tony Levin/Stick Man ....CD $15.99
This cd, Tony Levin's 5th solo outing, is a breakthrough in numerous ways. It features the Chapman Stick (in addition to his basses) in ways it hasn't been heard before. With 17 tracks, 58 minutes of music, it's a prodigeous release - three tracks have Tony's vocals, the rest are unique sounding progressive instrumentals. Most of the drumming on the CD is by King Crimson drummer Pat Mastelotto, and Crimson fans will hear some tracks here that are reminiscent of the group. "Stick Man is a step in a new direction for me. Or perhaps in an old direction, because, from what listeners are telling me, it's come out quite Crimson-like. That could be because of the great participation by Pat Mastelotto on drums and percussion - also I was aiming at more raw, playing-oriented tracks. Backing off from the composition based writing I'd done recently, I've tried to feature not only both sides of the Stick, but some unusual bass techniques and sounds. There are a lot of tracks, (17) and it's mostly instrumental (especially if you consider my shouting not to be a song!). As you might imagine it somewhat features my playing of the Chapman Stick. And sparser instrumentation than my last few releases - drumming mostly by King Crimson's Pat Mastelotto, and a whole lot of Sticks, basses, cellos, vocals and even a little digeridoo, by yours truly." - Tony Levin
Tony Levin/Resonator ....CD $15.98
The iconic bassist has rightly earned his place among the most respected and sought-after musicians of our time. Garnering a Grammy nomination for Best Rock Instrumental Performance on Apollo from Pieces Of The Sun, Levin has now emerged brilliantly as a solo artist. The Crimson-esque mix of tunes on Resonator spotlights Levin's technique and eclectic songcraft which have made him a legend among prog rockers and fans of seriously wicked chops the world over.
Tony Levin Band/Double Espresso ....double CD $16.98
ALL the music from the band's live shows, including King Crimson's Sleepless and Elephant Talk; Genesis' Back in New York City; Peter Gabriel's Dog One; Synergy's Phobos; Ivano Fossati's L'Abito della Sposa; Tony Levin's Utopia, Pieces of the Sun, and Ooze; Led Zeppelin's Black Dog. The band has tried to capture all the magic of it's live shows on this recording. 112 minutes of intense playing - a mix of original compositions, songs that band members have played with Peter Gabriel and King Crimson and some of the surprise twists (Tequila, Black Dog, Peter Gunn, L'Abito della Sposa) from various shows, that make the live performances of this band so special. When the California Guitar Trio opened the show in St. Louis, they joined in for a surprise encore - a distinctive version of Peter Gunn that was pretty special, so, though not multi-track, that recording is included too. The performances were recorded (mostly at Bearsville Theater, Woodstock, NY) by Robert Frazza, who engineered the last two Tony Levin cd's. To insure the high quality rock live sound, for mixing Canada's Terry Brown was brought in. His credits include Rush and Bozzio Levin Stevens. Mastering is by David Torn, radical guitar player whose Splattercell mastering is in great demand.
Tony Levin/Pieces of the Sun ....CD $14.99
"It's an exciting time for me because of my new CD, 'Pieces of the Sun.' The CD features the players I toured with last year: Jerry Marotta on drums, Larry Fast on synth, Jesse Gress on guitar (and one song has a guest appearance by the California Guitar Trio.) We'll be touring soon and playing the music from the cd. My writing for this release was more progressive based than the last, and I tried to feature the players and the band vibe we get into while touring clubs. There is also a Peter Gabriel piece (titled "Dog One") that Larry, Jerry and I played on many years ago with Peter - he never put it on any of his albums, and allowed me to re-record it, though now with us sharing the minimal vocals. I also asked Larry Fast if we could add our flavor to one of my favorite Synergy compositions: 'Phobos' - so re did an updated version of that. Add in some complex compositions of mine, and a very unusal version of 'Tequila,' and you've got a whopping 67 minute album titled 'Pieces of the Sun.' " - Tony Levin
BPM&M/XtraKcts & ArtifaKcts ....CD $15.00
The Music is by BPM&M: King Crimson drummer Pat Mastelotto, and Bill Munyon- Percussive Engineers and Sample Manglers! Also featured: the voice and guitar of Robert Fripp, low frequency groove reinforcements of Tony Levin, Virtuoso Warr guitar musicality by Trey Gunn, Turkish synthesizer mastery from Cenk Eroglu, cuttings and snippets of vocals from Adrian Belew and David Byrne, tabla acupuncture lesson from Aloke Dutta.
Tony Levin/Waters of Eden ....CD $14.99
"On this album I've tried to combine the elements of some of my favorite kinds of music - world and classical - with an appreciation of great instrumental players and what they can add to the overall music. Though the bass is featured in my compositions, it's the music that has the focus, not just the instrument. The bass has a wonderful melodic ability in addition to its low-down function. It is an instrument that can touch us in the deepest part of our body and emotions. The music on Waters of Eden allows the bass to soar above - the lead melodic role is also shared by some of my favorite players. That's what made the recording such a joy - hearing the California Guitar Trio, pianist Warren Bernhardt, or bansuri flutist Steve Gorn lend their talent to the compositions toook them to new heights." - Tony Levin
Also featured on this album are Larry "Synergy" Fast, Tony's brother keyboardist Pete Levin, percussionist Jerry Marotta, guitarist Jerry Pevar, keyboardist David Sancious, and guitar loopmeister David Torn. A number of tracks include the old Peter Gabriel rhythm section of Levin, Fast and Marotta. Tony plays Music Man fretless bass, NS electric upright and an electric cello.
Back to One Step Records | | On to ProgRock