Steve Kimock Band | Eudemonic

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Rock: Instrumental Rock Jazz: World Fusion Moods: Type: Improvisational
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by Steve Kimock Band

Debut studio album from the Steve Kimock Band featuring Rodney Holmes & Alphonso Johnson with dynamic playing, technical ingenuity, and impeccable sonic expression.
Genre: Rock: Instrumental Rock
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Eudemon
6:28 album only
2. Ice Cream
8:01 album only
3. The Bronx Experiment
8:04 album only
4. Bouncer
4:15 album only
5. In Reply
5:56 album only
6. One For Brother Mike
6:41 album only
7. Elmer's Revenge
11:57 album only
8. Moon People
6:34 album only
9. Tongue N' Groove
8:36 album only


Album Notes
New Dimensions in Instrumental Rock
Steve Kimock Band on tour now with Rodney Holmes, Robert Walter, and Reed Mathis

Steve Kimock is one of today's most talented guitarists and composers, a master musician known for his uncanny ability to balance passion and power with soaring grace. Relix magazine recently dubbed him "The Guitar Monk" for his relentless pursuit of 'Zen and the art of guitar.'

Kimock has been immersing himself in music since he first picked up a guitar at age 16 and his devotion to his music is evident in every note he plays. His inimitable tone and distinctive sound is the result of endless experimentation with customized equipment, amplification and speaker design. He's a musician's musician who has shared the stage with artists like Bruce Hornsby, The Allman Brothers, Steve Winwood, Bonnie Raitt, Jerry Garcia, Phil Lesh, Trey Anastasio and Jorma Kaukonen, to mention just a few. He's played rock, blues, folk, country and salsa, but it's his work with the Steve Kimock Band that has honed his own music, an indefinable blend of all his past influences. It's rock, but with a free improvisational approach that is open to anything and everything that has ever been, or never been, played. It's a familiar, yet far-reaching sound that keeps both players and listeners on their toes with its unexpected shifts in rhythm, mood and mode.

The Steve Kimock Band is always evolving, reflecting Kimock's ceaseless search for new musical horizons. And the band's signature sound, built around the core of Kimock's lyrical guitar lines and the inventive percussion style of drummer Rodney Holmes (Brecker Brothers, Santana, Wayne Shorter), follows SKB through every incarnation. "I've always been intrigued by Steve's guitar playing," Holmes said. "Working together we have an opportunity to create music that's indefinable stylistically. That's something I've always been interested in - shaping new music and moving in new directions, creating an identity as a band that doesn't fall into any category." Kimock agrees. "What we're doing is difficult to pigeonhole. It represents a sampling of half a dozen writing periods for Rodney and me, separately and as co-composers. There is improvisation, but the tunes are straight ahead, so it isn't jazz. It's rock, but there are hints of African, Arab and Indian music, and it's all instrumental, so it doesn't fall easily into a slot."

Eudemonic, the debut album from the Steve Kimock Band, offers nine flawlessly produced original compositions that highlight Kimock's dynamic playing, technical ingenuity, and impeccable sonic expression. The album features Kimock on guitar, Hawaiian lap guitar and other stringed instruments; Holmes on traps, percussion and synthesizer; Alphonso Johnson (Santana, Jazz is Dead) on bass; Mitch Stein (David Sanborn, Chaka Chan, George Benson) on rhythm guitar and Jim Kost (Philly Joe Jones, Woody Shaw, Branford Marsalis) on keyboards. The title, Eudemonic, is in tribute to Kimock's friend Doug Greene who recently passed away. Greene loved the word, using it often to describe Kimock's music. It's an adjective for things that produce happiness and well-being, a fitting description for the music of Kimock and company. The basic tracks were cut live in the studio at the Music Palace in West Hempstead, NY with Kimock and Holmes producing. Holmes also contributed sound design. Most were done in two takes, one to edit down the tunes from their live studio versions, and one to nail it for the CD.

The music on Eudemonic is as varied and eclectic as we've come to expect from Kimock. "Eudemon" opens the set with Holmes laying down a relaxed rolling groove, pushing the beat without sounding overly frenetic. Johnson supplies a serpentine bass line to counter Kimock's hypnotic guitar solo accented by some country blues meets Hawaiian overdubs from Kimock's lap steel. "Freddy Roulette made an album called Sweet Funky Steel and this tune is a tribute to his contribution to the non pedal steel book," Kimock explained. The steel lines are clean and funky, something you don't usually hear from the instrument.

"Ice Cream" is built on a series of cool chord clusters from Kimock, and a progression that hints at the classic rock turnaround without being too obvious about it. Holmes plays a 6/8 rhythm with a feel that's halfway between Jamaica and Africa. The slow Afro-reggae intro opens out into a double time jam that gives Holmes and Johnson a chance to show off their chops. "The Bronx Experiment," a Holmes composition, has a hint of Arabia in the drums and an oud-like melody played by Kimock on the octave mandolin. Harsh urban metallic interludes from Kimock and Stein alternate with lyrical solos from Kimock that give the sense of vast open spaces with long sustained notes produced by an Ebow. "There's a hint of North Africa, but with a rock edge," Holmes said. "One of my goals is to keep people from reaching into a bag of labels to describe our music. When they hear this one they'll have to say that it sounds like the Steve Kimock Band. The tune tells a story and if you ask 20 people what it is, they'll all tell you something different, and they'll all be right."

The slow R&B of "Tongue & Groove" hints at the connection between soul and country music and leads up to a big rock'n'roll finish with crashing electric guitar chords and Holmes' inspired stick work. Kimock: "This started off as a deconstruction of 'Sexual Healing' or David Lindley's 'Talk to the Lawyer.' As I was playing it the first time, it reminded me of so many songs I liberally borrowed from a variety of sources in the big rock and soul book of licks." "I like the way my groove and Steve's country/roots guitar come together without sounding contrived or stitched together," Holmes adds. Holmes' drumming brings a considerable sense of tension to the tune, smoothed out by Kimock's tranquil lead lines and Johnson's subtle bass until the tune's rousing "arena rock" climax.

There's also the dreamy, spiritual vibe of "One For Brother Mike," the psychedelic sci-fi balancing act of the half-acoustic half-electric "Moon People," the trance-inducing rock of Elmer's Revenge, and the playful groove of "Bouncer," a tune that lives up to its jaunty title. Eudemonic does the nearly impossible, blending together elements familiar to all lovers of pop music - jazz, folk, rock, soul, world - into a cocktail that explodes into new flavors with every sip.

"Music is about the feeling you get when listening to good music. It comes from an emotional place in the performer and creates a succession of feeling states in the listener," Steve explains. "The mystery of this art, the paradox, and duality of its realization, lie in the translation between its creation as a unique and deeply personal statement from the performer, and its perception as common, universally held emotions by the listener."

Like many people, Kimock at first, fell under the spell of The Beatles, but he also had an aunt, Dorothy Siftar, who played the Philadelphia Folk Festival with Pete Seeger, so his musical horizons were broadened at a young age. When a cousin came home from the service with a gold Les Paul, Kimock was hooked. He got a guitar and played it 12 hours a day, every day. He still does. "I occasionally put it down to take a shower or eat some food," he jokes, but he's still in love with the guitar and all its stringed relations.

After the usual high school bands, Kimock joined the Goodman Brothers Band. The group moved to California in 1976. Kimock's first home was a cabin in Marin, directly behind the Ali Akbar Khan School of Music. Every morning he woke to the sound of sarods and sitars, inspiring the interest in the music of other cultures that still colors his own compositions. "I like music of cultures that predate the keyboard. I enjoy the natural temperament more than the 12 equal divisions of the octave. That's why I like the blues."

For the rest of his career Kimock has balanced his own bands with freelance session and touring work. After a stint with Martin Fierro in The Underdogs, he joined The Heart of Gold Band with Grateful Dead members Keith and Donna Godchaux and drummer Greg Anton. Kimock and Anton split to start Zero, a project that lasted 15 years. "The music was eclectic, instrumental but not jazz fusion, mostly with a folk/Americana flavor, but open to anything."

Steve Kimock & Friends was both more focused and less formal than Zero. "We were R&B and blues based, more likely to cover old tunes than create new ones. A bar band without a bar."

KVHW was a collaboration with Bobby Vega, Alan Hertz and Ray White, a brilliant short-lived band with a set list of great covers and original compositions. Unfortunately, all the players were so busy that the band couldn't survive.

Six years ago Kimock put together the Steve Kimock Band. When Rodney Holmes joined five years ago, everything clicked into place. Eudemonic is SKB's much anticipated first studio album. Forty plus years into a rich and vibrant musical career, this release confirms: Kimock is the stuff that musical legends are made of.

"There was a keyboard in my family home, but on all my favorite records as a kid, I was fascinated by how the drums and rhythm could shape and dictate the attitude and the feel of the music. And I liked to dance, so that drew me to the drums."

Holmes started drums in junior band in the 4th grade. He had a music scholarship to Long Island University, but decided to turn pro instead. He said a meeting with Dr. Clyde Criner, a keyboard player, composer and teacher at LIU and the New England Conservatory opened his eyes to the limitless world of music. "Clyde was a classical pianist as well as a world class jazz musician. He loved music from rock to jazz to blues and you'd hear it in his playing and technique. He was a glowing example of human artistic expression, open to all kinds of music. I always believed in that philosophy and he inspired me to assimilate everything I had learned and create my own language." Criner put together a group featuring Holmes. They cut two albums - Behind the Sun and The Color of Dark - before Criner passed away. Holmes keeps Criner's spirit alive with his free style of playing.

Over the years Holmes has worked with Jean Paul Bourelly, Victor Bailey, Special EFX, The Zawinul Syndicate, The Hermanators, an improvisational trio with guitarist Mitch Stein and bass player Kip Ried, Carlos Santana (earning a Grammy for his work on "Smooth" with Rob Thomas of Match Box 20) and The Brecker Brothers (winning another Grammy - Best Contemporary Jazz performance - for his contribution to the song, "African Skies.")

Holmes has won 13 Grammy's thus far, and has performed and recorded with Steps Ahead, Wayne Shorter, Larry and Julian Coryell, Victor Bailey, Leni Stern, David Gilmore and The Rodney Holmes Project. He recently completed a solo project, "Twelve Months of October," an improvisational journey into the nexus of jazz, rock, dance and electronica. Kimock and Stein both contributed to the sessions.

Holmes joined Kimock in the Steve Kimock Band in 2000 and the music continues to evolve. "We don't consider ourselves a jam band, even though we improvise. Our compositions are definitely songs; we're a rock band with elements from many different kinds of music."


SKB Player Bios

Reed Mathis
Reed Mathis likes to play the bass. He likes it a lot. He likes darn near every style of music he's heard, and finds just about every role the bass gets to play immensely satisfying. If his life thus far is any indication, he has a neverending road of learning and fun to look forward to on his instrument.

Born into a musical family, Reed's childhood training was anything but formal. Two organist/conductor grandfathers sowed the seeds, and a conductor/composer/cellist/voice-teacher father and a classically trained performing singer/pianist mother made sure great music was as much a part of daily life as breakfast. Reed could read (ha!) and write music years before he could read english, but he felt a strong inner urge to rebel and define himself, so he all but ignored the piano and cello lessions he was given, and it looked like he was headed for a life of slacker mediocrity. But, the good Lord smiled upon him, and Lo! a Fender Precision Bass was rained down upon him (by way of his multi-instrumentalist uncle, who was on hand to show him plenty of Zeppelin & Beatles). Finally allowed to explore without a teacher, Reed's bass interest progressed rapidly from Metallica's Cliff Burton through Primus, Rush, Hendrix, Minutemen, Weather Report, Coltrane, Bird, Miles, Monk, Ornette, musics of Cuba, West Africa, and India, Bob Wills, MMW, Aston Barrett, Squarepusher, Aphex Twin, Amon Tobin, Me'shell Ndegeocello, and on and on.

Then one day his friend Steve Pryor told him of a band called Zero, and threw on a video of the newly-formed group KVHW. Reed was speechless as he watched the quiet unassuming seated man with the most profound and affecting guitar voice he'd ever heard. "There it is," he thought. "There's someone who's playing some REAL music. That cat has been around the old incarnation block a few times. Thank God someone is saying something worthwhile." He slept well that night.

In 1994 Reed co-founded the group Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey with 7 other Oklahomans, and they spent the next 11 years (and counting) on the road, becoming a trio in 2000. Sometimes wild and experimental, sometimes delicate and beautiful, JFJO is nothing if not an honest exploration of the joy of improvising.

"Simply put, bassist Reed Mathis is the future of jazz bass, a wholly

original voice pressing into the outer reaches of his instrument." --All


"(JFJO's) originality comes in large part from the virtuosic turns of bassist and frontman Reed Mathis, whose effect-laden upper-register flights are heavily influenced by the heightened excursions of saxophonist John Coltrane." --Bass Player Magazine

Robert Walter
Robert Walter is the definitive soul-jazz organist of his generation. He has earned international acclaim for his work with the Greyboy All-Stars, who are credited with resurrecting the classic soul-jazz sound for a modern audience, and for pioneering his own groups, the 20th Congress and Super Heavy Organ. Walter's bold attack of his Hammond B-3 and inventive compositions provide an edge to his style and place him at the forefront of the modern jazz scene. His playing is by turns dissonant and audacious or subtle and soulful, favoring surprising shifts of emotion over show stopping technique. He explains, "I try to keep a sense of danger in my music." His unique melodies are a celebrated contribution to the evolution of jazz, soul and funk music.



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