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For the Love of Open Spaces
Artist: Steve Lawson & Theo Travis
Label: Pillow Mountain Records
Tracks: 6/ 60:47

What happens when you take two artists who are masters at their instruments and who are also on the vanguard in the field of looping? The answer to that question is For the Love of Open Spaces the newest release from British bassist Steve Lawson. On this, his most recent endeavor Steve is joined by sax and flute master Theo Travis for a journey into the outermost regions of musical etherealness. There are six songs/ compositions on this album all of which were improvised on the spot and recorded in one take.

For those who are not familiar with the art of looping, let me try to explain it in laymen's terms as best as I can. With the use of a contraption called the "Gibson Echoplex" the artist will lay down a riff which will then keep repeating. He then will play another riff over the first one and you have the effect of two guitarists at once. From what I understand the newer models can have up to nine things going at one time. Now picture Steve on six string fret less bass guitar and Theo on either alto flute or soprano sax and you get a basic idea of what you might expect. Anyone who has seen Phil Keaggy live over the last five to ten years knows what I mean. Some of the songs on the disc are actually soundscapes similar to the solo material that Robert Fripp has done, while others are simply gateways to a world of musical wonder. If you enjoy music that will make to stop and think about what you are hearing or simply take you to another place outside of the ordinary than do not even think twice pick up this album. If you are unfamiliar with Steve's material, than this will serve as a great introduction to an amazing artist. By all means check out his web site at, it has great mp3's and video footage.

Chris MacIntosh aka Grandfather Rock  12/31/2003

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