Rhythm Buddies

Thunderbird Suite

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    8
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AllMusic Review by

King Crimson's rhythm section, Trey Gunn (Warr guitar) and Pat Mastelotto (electronic drums) pair up for 45 minutes of fearless prog rock improvisation on Thunderbird Suite. Split into three sections for easy indexing, the suite is billed on the back of the CD as "no overdubs! No edits! No bs!" and appears to have been recorded somewhere around 2002, a fertile time for the Crimson boys, who were working on The Power to Believe at the time. Mastelotto sets up numerous drum loops with one hand while embellishing them with the other, as Gunn works his way through his pedals and processors, playing both bass and lead parts on his Warr guitar. Changing moods as it progresses, Suite covers the full range of sound, from near-ambient textures to full-on jazz fusion, to what could be classified as intelligent dance music. The happy interplay between them rewards active listening and multiple replays with its many layers of percussion and overlapping melodies. One hundred percent necessary for fans of King Crimson and highly recommended for everyone else, Thunderbird Suite is an excellent release from a pair of highly skilled musicians who also work under the banner of TU.

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