Robby Krieger – The Ritual Begins At Sundown (2020)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/48-96 kHz | Time – 52:09 minutes | 1,02 GB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © The Players Club
The legendary guitarist and songwriter of The Doors and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Robby Krieger will be releasing his first solo album in 10 years on April 24, 2020. ‘The Ritual Begins At Sundown’ will be released via his new home at The Players Club, a division of the Mascot Label Group.
The Doors weren’t just one of the most iconic bands of their generation, but one of the most influential bands in rock history and Robby Krieger was responsible for writing some of their biggest hits in ‘Light My Fire,’ Love Me Two Times,’ ‘Touch Me’ and ‘Love Her Madly.’
Krieger returns for his 9th solo album and his first since 2010s Grammy nominated ‘Singularity,’ and once again with his long time writing partner and co-producer Arthur Barrow. Barrow worked with Frank Zappa through the 1970s-80s. The album also features other Zappa alumni Jock Ellis (Trombone), Sal Marquez (Trumpet), Tommy Mars (Keys) and Chad Wackerman (Drums), as well as AeB Bryne (Flute), Vince Denham (Sax), Chuck Manning (Sax) and Joel Taylor (Drums).
Though not as flashy as his peers, Doors’ guitarist Robby Krieger belongs on the all-time-best list as both stylist and innovator. Krieger developed a unique approach to fit the organ-drums-guitar lineup behind singer Jim Morrison. A jazz fan from high school, he had seen Miles Davis, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Wes Montgomery, and more at Shelly Manne’s Hole, absorbing what he could. Krieger’s complex harmonic and rhythmic style employed jazz as a core part of his playing and composing aesthetic. (He wrote the hits “Light My Fire,” “Touch Me,” and “Love Me Two Times.”) Krieger’s solo discography is diverse, ranging from jazz, flamenco, and Near Eastern and modal music to blues, rock, and funk. The Ritual Begins at Sundown, his first recording in a decade, embraces Frank Zappa as its primary muse. In addition to a 21st century cover of Zappa’s “Chunga’s Revenge,” Krieger employs several of the late musician’s sidemen including producer/bassist Arthur Barrow, trombonist Jock Ellis, trumpeter Sal Marquez (who also played on Krieger’s Blue Note solo debut in 1977), keyboardist Tommy Mars, and drummer Chad Wackerman. They share space with an illustrious cast of studio aces: Flutist Adrienne “Aeb” Byrne, saxophonists Vince Denham and Chuck Manning, and drummer Joel Taylor. Opener “What Was That” lays down a horn-driven jazz-funk groove with gorgeous electric piano and bass syncopations. Krieger moves on top with an array of bluesy single notes and chord voicings. “Slide Home,” introduced by Byrne’s lilting flute, is a gloriously understated cinematic theme for slide guitar. Krieger’s reliance on melodic improvisation frames a deceptively complex compositional approach. The band embraces “Chunga’s Revenge” with reverence and a sense of adventure. The opening drum kit shuffle encounters a moody bassline, while vamping horns frame explosive organ and guitar work that unfolds in a labyrinth over nearly six minutes. While Krieger doesn’t attempt to copy Zappa’s guitar lines, he does approximate his signature tone as he winds out a compelling solo amid the group’s kinetic interplay. The fingerpopping “Hot Head” melds funk and post-bop with lovely soloing from Mars. “Yes the River Knows” appeared on the Doors’ Waiting for the Sun. Its drama includes weaving a grand piano through serpentine guitar chromatics that erupt atop sweeping drums, horns, and bass into one of the record’s finest solos. “The Hitch” is uncharacteristically raw, overdriven, rockist jazz-funk. Krieger turns the vamped groove up to stun in the raucous interplay. The swaggering nocturnal intensity in “Bianca’s Dream” is fueled by the vamp lifted from Zappa’s “Cosmic Debris.” It serves to frame — and barely keep in check — the knotty, intricate, ensemble interactions that careen through razor-sharp funk, post-bop and hard rock. The Ritual Begins at Sundown pays affectionate tribute to Zappa’s influence and spirit, but this music is also filtered through an idiosyncratic vision that balances complexity and technique with fun, the will to creativity, and an incessant urge to dance. – Thom Jurek
1. What Was That?
2. Slide Home
3. The Drift
4. Chunga’s Revenge (Frank Zappa cover)
5. Hot Head
6. Yes, The River Knows
7. The Hitch
8. Dr Noir
9. Bianca’s Dream
10. Screen Junkie