Here is a collaboration between two musicians who need no introduction; guitarist/keyboard player virtuoso Mike Keneally (Frank Zappa, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Dethklok), and master drummer Marco Minnemann (Eddie Jobson's UZ, Nina Hagen, Necrophagist, Paul Gilbert, David Torn). Evidence of Humanity is the latest Normalizer 2 project, originally created by Minnemann to be a 52-minute improvised drum solo. Add in Keneally's astounding guitar, keyboard, and bass skills and you have a very wild affair that will appeal to any prog & fusion fan.
The CD portion of this set is comprised of 17 mostly short pieces but a few lengthier ones where the duo really dig in and create some magic. At 50 minutes long, Evidence of Humanity is a lot to take in, but the rewards are great. Minnemann's intricate fills and thunderous rhythms provide a perfect foundation for Keneally to lay down some truly monstrous lead lines on guitar, as well as sizzling keys, like on the Chick Corea influenced "You, And Your Problems". As you can expect with anything Keneally is involved with, there's a strong avant-garde/Frank Zappa flavor going on throughout many of the tracks, so be on the lookout for complex, quirky, somewhat 'jazzy/rocky/proggy' arrangements here. Some of the pieces offer more than just a sizzling jam, like the 'band ready' "Clown Removal", "Tooth and Cold Stone Pew", "Respect?", and the melodic "Trying", each seemingly tailor made for a full band setting. Otherwise, many of the tracks are raging improv burners, with no shortage of dazzling drum, keyboard, & guitar chops.
Over on the DVD, you get a video of a reimagining of the entire concept, which the duo calls "Elements of a Manatee". Pretty amazing stuff when you think about, as mostly real time footage is shown of the two improvising over the musical concept, plus some shots of Keneally edited in when covering keyboard and bass parts. Not sure what the 'repeat viewing' possiblities will be on this for some, but it's a fascinating watch nontheless. Toss in an interview with the two musicians as they talk about the project, and you have an amazing complete audio & video package between two virtuoso contemporary stars of the progressive rock & fusion world creating some wonderful sounds for us.
- Evidence of Humanity
- Three People Run Naked Through School
- Tooth and Cold Stone Pew
- Bastards Into Battle
- You, And Your Problems
- Bad Friday
- Rough Time At The Hotel
- Clown Removal
- Forgive and Remember
- Apex Music
- Our Collective Wisdom To Date
- A Place to Stay For The Night
Elements of a Manatee – live duo improv (54:54)
A Conversation with Mike and Marco (39:59)