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Curtis, Anthony: Book of the Key

Guitarist Anythony Curtis has assembled an all-star cast for his latest album, Book of the Key. Joining Curtis are Tony Levin on bass, Mike Keneally on keyboards, Jeff Gauthier on violin, and Lewis Pragasam on drums, and they prove to be quite the formidable line-up. The music on Book of the Key is a very textured and spacey mix of prog rock, jazz fusion, and avant-garde sounds.

Mr. Curtis has a very interesting guitar style that utilizes lots of different effects, such as wah-wah, chorus, delay, distortion, and whammy bar, that is at times similar to David Torn, Adrian Belew, David Fuiczynski, Reeves Gabrels, Vernon Reid, or Terje Rypdal. On the CD's opening cut, the moody "The Ruins", the guitarist lays down shards of molten lead passages while Levin's bass just bubbles and boils underneath, mixing effectively with Keneally's 70's influenced Fender Rhodes melodies. There's also some manic, upbeat tracks, such as the raucous "Gallabalba", which sees Levin in amazing form popping gymnastic bass lines alongside the crashing drums of Pragasam, while Curtis is ripping tons of distorted whammy bar leads. You can really hear Curtis' emotional side on the gut- wrenching "Hymn to Helios", a mellow piece that features plenty of passionate and tortured lead passages. "Balinus" leads in with some majestic violin work from Gauthier before Pragasam struts his stuff with some very technical percussion work underneath the searing leads of Curtis. The real highlight of the CD though is the epic 23-minute title track, a bubbling couldron of hot, groovy playing from the whole cast. Featuring meaty guitar riffs, wild leads, searing violin, jazzy keyboards, and a frenzied rhythm section, this song is almost like the second coming of the Mahavishnu Orchestra.

Anthony Curtis has put together quite a line-up here, and they have delivered on all levels. Hopefully this is not just a one shot deal, and these guys get together again for another round of musical mayhem. Highly recommended!

Track Listing
1) The Ruins (12:15)
2) Gallabalba (2:16)
3) Inland Sea (3:09)
4) Hymn to Helios (3:31)
5) Saturnalia (3:57)
6) Balinus (3:58)
7) Oracle (0:53)
8) Book of the Key (23:25)
9) From Towers to the Dome of Heaven (2:08)
10) Hikmat Al-Ishraq (18:06)

Added: March 4th 2004
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Score:
Related Link: Anthony Curtis Website
Hits: 24706
Language: english

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» Reader Comments:

Curtis, Anthony: Book of the Key
Posted by Anonymous on 2013-09-18 12:55:19
My Score:

awesome

Curtis, Anthony: Book of the Key
Posted by Grayson Meeds on 2013-08-08 09:21:07
My Score:

Guitar teacher here now I see what all the fuss is about awesome!

Curtis, Anthony: Book of the Key
Posted by Tracey Atkins on 2013-07-30 12:59:03
My Score:

Teacher and performer I opened couple of times for Allan Holdsworth never seen anything like Anthony Curtis on guitar check out his MIST on Youtube incredible!

Curtis, Anthony: Book of the Key
Posted by Roland Shamesse on 2013-06-18 09:54:56
My Score:

So Awesome!!! greatest chops

Curtis, Anthony: Book of the Key
Posted by Anonymous on 2013-04-04 18:12:18
My Score:

wooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!luv it

Curtis, Anthony: Book of the Key
Posted by Dave Maone on 2013-02-01 12:57:06
My Score:

yes very nice indeed thoughtful super powerful !

Curtis, Anthony: Book of the Key
Posted by Chas Hilary Defoe on 2012-01-22 19:36:06
My Score:

O My God so amazing I have been playing and teaching the past 20 years so many voices here, superb!

Curtis, Anthony: Book of the Key
Posted by Alberto Conini on 2010-02-14 13:28:52
My Score:

wow!

Curtis, Anthony: Book of the Key
Posted by Anonymous on 2005-05-23 05:43:39
My Score:

great beauty and power! absolutley love BOOK OF THE KEY
Thanks SOT for the heads up.
Matt

Curtis, Anthony: Book of the Key
Posted by Anonymous on 2004-11-13 10:07:09
My Score:

cool book of the key is on Jester Records one of my personal favorite labels!

Curtis, Anthony: Book of the Key
Posted by Anonymous on 2004-08-23 11:39:06
My Score:

fire in the hole hitting on all the cylinders yeah!

Curtis, Anthony: Book of the Key
Posted by Craig Allen Bo... on 2004-07-26 16:40:54
My Score:

I have always loved Anthony's guitar work and this album has to be one of the greatest!
Intervals similar to Cecil Taylor and Elliot Carter. Tone similar Sonny Sharrock and feeling like Billie Holiday. This is surely music for lovers of fresh sound delivered Coltrane style like fire. Those who like Holdsworth, or Liquid Tension or even Vai but want wider intervals and more feeling and fire should not fail to pick this up!

Curtis, Anthony: Book of the Key
Posted by Anonymous on 2004-05-19 18:36:36
My Score:

I have for years listened to Lewis Pragasam and loved his work with Asiabeat (Monsoon, Drumusique). This is by far his most agressive album to date, and it brings out the best of Lewis i must say. Living in KUALA LUMPUR you get used to the brillance of Lewis but this album certainly tops all of his pervious efforts. Heavy fusion ala legendary drum virtuoso Chad Wackerman, incredible leaps Bozzio-like, and Temple mystic authenticity like on Lewis can deliver. Add to that the great bass compliments of Tony Levin, and the baddest guitar i did ever hear and well you get the idea i hope.
Phuah Yu Teng

Curtis, Anthony: Book of the Key
Posted by Anonymous on 2004-05-16 17:35:53
My Score:

Incredible bass and guitar. Anthony and Tony are a great combination for this long time Krimson fan. Plus Mike Keneally sounds great as always. It is an inspiring thing to hear the clip "Book of the Key". One Album I got to get!

Curtis, Anthony: Book of the Key
Posted by Anonymous on 2004-04-24 17:36:26
My Score:

Wow!

Curtis, Anthony: Book of the Key
Posted by Anonymous on 2004-04-20 07:28:31
My Score:

I also had lessons in the with the very generous Mr. Curtis. Everything from Holdsworth to McLaughlin he easy taught me. Really the best! I play a mixture of Sufi, Ismaili and rock-fusion guitar in my band-WELLFIRE.

Curtis, Anthony: Book of the Key
Posted by Anonymous on 2004-04-15 10:20:05
My Score:

I've had great lessons with him, tho it wasn't for a long period of time...but for sure i learnt a lot from him. He's the master...truly. Not only a great teacher...he's a great friend. Those were great times jamming with him. He tought me a lot. Well listen to the music and you'll know why..

Curtis, Anthony: Book of the Key
Posted by Anonymous on 2004-04-05 14:22:53
My Score:

clips are cool. really monster playing from everyone on this album.
Intervals wide andfresh with ridiculous speed! I'm a guitar teacher/preformer in new south wales and hope that we will see Anthony Curtis band tour here.
Mike Emmanuel
shredmaster6@hotmail.com

Curtis, Anthony: Book of the Key
Posted by Anonymous on 2004-03-29 21:09:31
My Score:

i just heard Book of the Key on theX in Richmond virginia and Pete Pardo's review is so right on. I was totally unprepared for just how awesome Book of the Key is.



Curtis, Anthony: Book of the Key
Posted by Anonymous on 2004-03-12 14:44:06
My Score:

Gallabalba is the most incredible Tony Levin playing ever. Keep it coming mates!!!

Curtis, Anthony: Book of the Key
Posted by Anonymous on 2004-03-12 14:42:06
My Score:

i purchased SQUINT from Hemisphere last year and found Anthony to have some of the most terrifying chops and sweet feel ever. Love the excerpts and am so Looking forward to the release. Eman s.

Curtis, Anthony: Book of the Key
Posted by Anonymous on 2004-03-12 13:39:28
My Score:

awesome online samples best levin in memory for me. Like McLaughlin meets Sonny Sharrock wow! Curtis is new guitar monster for us here in Nederlands. Thanks Sot




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