John Paul Jones - The Thunderthief - 2002
For me it was a pleasant surprise to re-discover a musician like John Paul Jones and of course discover him inside of the Crimsonian label Discipline Global Mobile. A fact that assure us to enjoy the musician inside de worlds and complicate structures of the "Fripp" progressive philosophy.
Very famous for his legendary contribution as a bass and keyboard player in Led Zeppelin, John gave us a surprise when published his first album, a couple of years ago, entitled"Zooma". A record where the musician experimented very much with his favorite instrument, the bass. An impacting work full of intense, risky and hard exercises of Crimsonian flavor.
After two years, we enjoy again of a new release this time called "The Thunderthief". A work even more interesting than the first one or more colorful, softer and closer. A CD that also has that especial taste coming from its record company and that give us a musician more open to use acoustic elements and instruments.
That's why, apart from taking over all kind of basses, John uses instruments such us, the mandolin, the electric mandola, the ukulele Terl Bryant is the drummer and then he has some collaborators that with the guitar and bass perform in some of the songs. The most significant collaboration is Robert Fripp that puts his unique stamp on the first song called "Leafy Meadows". A beginning similar to "Zooma" with a strong lines of bass, leading to a corrosive guitar solo, impossible to miss. The following piece is "Thunderthief", one of the best compositions, singed by him and with a catchy rhythm that makes a simple song to be a fantastic piece of music, and that's something that only the great musicians can do. The introduction of the next one is brilliant. An spectacular guitar riff that opens "Hoediddle", a song created for the guitar playing that makes me to shiver with every note. From here the record turns to use many different textures and instruments. "Ice fishing at night" is a delicate song with a perfect voice and piano work. With "Daphne" we have electric mandolins, ukuleles... A happy song of oriental flavor.
"Angry Angry" is like its name says a song of punk rhythm, not being very aggressive and having an original sound. "Down to the river to pray" comes back to the acoustic and oriental sounds of "Daphne". "Shibuya bop" mixes everything. An spectacular piece, maybe the most powerful and risky one. Here we can hear the King Crimson and the most innovating John Paul Jones fusion styles and instruments. One of the best songs of this record. The CD ends with the acoustic"Freedom Song".
He's a great musician. He has demonstrated to be a big artist in comparison with what his old partners have done lately. It is worth while to follow his solo career if he keeps on doing such an interesting work like "The Thunderthief".