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February 18, 2011 • Music Diary

Jonas Hellborg / Shawn Lane – Time is the Enemy

I had never been one to peruse YouTube for songs and music video clips … until I decided to start including them with my music reviews as a simple way for folks to get a sample of an artist’s sound. Then I found myself hooked! Now I will regularly check out artists of interest on YouTube to see their songs performed in a number of settings, and also use it to check out full versions of songs when the measly iTunes / Amazon sample just isn’t enough – or if I get a desire to listen to a song while at work that isn’t on my iPod anymore.

My intent it to post a live video of a song weekly along with a quick bit of context. I encourage you all to drop suggestions in the links!

For this week I chose a song by an artist who started out the week with only his debut solo bass recording Elegant Punk on my iPod … but by the end of the week I had added four more of his recordings back! The focus of my listening was on two trio recordings: Personae and Temporal Analogues of Paradise. These feature the virtuoso bassist Hellborg with the amazing and under-appreciated guitarist Shawn Lane with drummer Jeff Sipe simultaneously propelling things forward and holding it all together.

Hellborg is best known as the bassist from the final grouping of John McLaughlin’s Mahavishnu Orchestra. Lane gained renown for his ferocious technique and had some success as a solo artist. But as a trio these three were simply amazing. I saw Hellborg first with Mahavishnu, then later solo, and in the early 2000s with Lane & Sipe. In that show they played similar stuff to what was on Personae, which is why that is my favorite recording of the group. In 2003 Shawn Lane succumbed to health issues that had plagued him his entire life (the fact that he smoked constantly as shown in the video couldn’t have helped!).

Here is Time is the Enemy by Jonas Hellborg, Shawn Lane and Jeff Sipe. This video captures the raw intensity these three embodied every time they played. Whether you call it jazz-fusion or instrumental rock, you certainly won’t call it boring!

Enjoy! I’ll be back the middle of next week with another cool video to share!

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