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Leo Kottke|Noon

Noon

Leo Kottke and Mike Gordon

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Reuniting under the auspices of proven musical chemistry and a shared sense of whimsy, acoustic guitar hero Leo Kottke and Phish bassist Mike Gordon offer up Noon, their third outing as a duo. While Gordon has remained active as ever with Phish business and a pleasing assortment of solo and side projects, Kottke all but disappeared after 2005's Sixty Six Steps, the pair's previous collaboration, and didn't issue any music for 15 years. Like their two previous albums, 2020's Noon is laced with complex musical figures, offbeat lyrics, and a spring-like funkiness, though it also takes more ruminative turns, thanks in part to the existential gravity of some of Kottke's songwriting contributions. The playing, of course, is spectacular throughout, as befitting these two instrumental giants; Kottke's distinctive picking patterns sound as bold as ever and Gordon weaves them together with his own jaunty dexterity. Vocals are present on all but two of the 11 cuts, which are dotted with a pair of oddball covers: Kottke's dark-hued reading of the Byrds' "Eight Miles High" is a highlight, though Gordon's breezy folk-funk take on Prince's "Alphabet Street" never quite gets off the ground. The instrumental tracks, "Flat Top" and "Ants," are wonderfully virtuosic performances imbued with warmth and drama in equal measure. Kottke's dexterous meditation, "Noon to Noon," wears its melancholy like brittle armor while Gordon keeps things lighter, as on eccentric groovers "I Am Random" and "How Many People Are You." For the most part, the set is casual and intimate with few overdubs and the addition of drummer Jon Fishman (also of Phish) on just a handful of tracks. Not all of the writing is stellar, but Noon's deficits are generally outweighed by the duo's sense of camaraderie and musicianship, making for a strong third outing and a welcome return for Kottke, in particular.
© Timothy Monger /TiVo

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Noon

Leo Kottke

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1
Flat Top
00:02:20

Mike Gordon, MainArtist - Leo Kottke, Author, MainArtist - Jared Slomoff, Producer - Round Wound Sound Inc. ℅ BMG Rights Management (US) LLC (ASCAP), MusicPublisher

2020 Megaplum under exclusive license to ATO Records, LLC. All Rights Reserved. 2020 Megaplum under exclusive license to ATO Records, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

2
Eight Miles High
00:05:16

Mike Gordon, MainArtist - Leo Kottke, Author, MainArtist - Jared Slomoff, Producer - Round Wound Sound Inc. ℅ BMG Rights Management (US) LLC (ASCAP), MusicPublisher

2020 Megaplum under exclusive license to ATO Records, LLC. All Rights Reserved. 2020 Megaplum under exclusive license to ATO Records, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

3
I Am Random
00:03:55

Mike Gordon, MainArtist - Leo Kottke, Author, MainArtist - Jared Slomoff, Producer - Round Wound Sound Inc. ℅ BMG Rights Management (US) LLC (ASCAP), MusicPublisher

2020 Megaplum under exclusive license to ATO Records, LLC. All Rights Reserved. 2020 Megaplum under exclusive license to ATO Records, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

4
Noon To Noon
00:02:54

Mike Gordon, MainArtist - Leo Kottke, Author, MainArtist - Jared Slomoff, Producer - Round Wound Sound Inc. ℅ BMG Rights Management (US) LLC (ASCAP), MusicPublisher

2020 Megaplum under exclusive license to ATO Records, LLC. All Rights Reserved. 2020 Megaplum under exclusive license to ATO Records, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

5
From The Cradle To The Grave
00:03:04

Mike Gordon, MainArtist - Leo Kottke, Author, MainArtist - Jared Slomoff, Producer - Round Wound Sound Inc. ℅ BMG Rights Management (US) LLC (ASCAP), MusicPublisher

2020 Megaplum under exclusive license to ATO Records, LLC. All Rights Reserved. 2020 Megaplum under exclusive license to ATO Records, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

6
How Many People Are You
00:04:01

Mike Gordon, MainArtist - Leo Kottke, Author, MainArtist - Jared Slomoff, Producer - Round Wound Sound Inc. ℅ BMG Rights Management (US) LLC (ASCAP), MusicPublisher

2020 Megaplum under exclusive license to ATO Records, LLC. All Rights Reserved. 2020 Megaplum under exclusive license to ATO Records, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

7
Ants
00:04:40

Mike Gordon, MainArtist - Leo Kottke, Author, MainArtist - Jared Slomoff, Producer - Round Wound Sound Inc. ℅ BMG Rights Management (US) LLC (ASCAP), MusicPublisher

2020 Megaplum under exclusive license to ATO Records, LLC. All Rights Reserved. 2020 Megaplum under exclusive license to ATO Records, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

8
Sheets
00:03:23

Mike Gordon, MainArtist - Leo Kottke, Author, MainArtist - Jared Slomoff, Producer - Round Wound Sound Inc. ℅ BMG Rights Management (US) LLC (ASCAP), MusicPublisher

2020 Megaplum under exclusive license to ATO Records, LLC. All Rights Reserved. 2020 Megaplum under exclusive license to ATO Records, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

9
Alphabet St.
00:04:07

Mike Gordon, MainArtist - Leo Kottke, Author, MainArtist - Jared Slomoff, Producer - Round Wound Sound Inc. ℅ BMG Rights Management (US) LLC (ASCAP), MusicPublisher

2020 Megaplum under exclusive license to ATO Records, LLC. All Rights Reserved. 2020 Megaplum under exclusive license to ATO Records, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

10
Peel
00:04:36

Mike Gordon, MainArtist - Leo Kottke, Author, MainArtist - Jared Slomoff, Producer - Round Wound Sound Inc. ℅ BMG Rights Management (US) LLC (ASCAP), MusicPublisher

2020 Megaplum under exclusive license to ATO Records, LLC. All Rights Reserved. 2020 Megaplum under exclusive license to ATO Records, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

11
The Only One
00:02:47

Mike Gordon, MainArtist - Leo Kottke, Author, MainArtist - Jared Slomoff, Producer - Round Wound Sound Inc. ℅ BMG Rights Management (US) LLC (ASCAP), MusicPublisher

2020 Megaplum under exclusive license to ATO Records, LLC. All Rights Reserved. 2020 Megaplum under exclusive license to ATO Records, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Album Description

Reuniting under the auspices of proven musical chemistry and a shared sense of whimsy, acoustic guitar hero Leo Kottke and Phish bassist Mike Gordon offer up Noon, their third outing as a duo. While Gordon has remained active as ever with Phish business and a pleasing assortment of solo and side projects, Kottke all but disappeared after 2005's Sixty Six Steps, the pair's previous collaboration, and didn't issue any music for 15 years. Like their two previous albums, 2020's Noon is laced with complex musical figures, offbeat lyrics, and a spring-like funkiness, though it also takes more ruminative turns, thanks in part to the existential gravity of some of Kottke's songwriting contributions. The playing, of course, is spectacular throughout, as befitting these two instrumental giants; Kottke's distinctive picking patterns sound as bold as ever and Gordon weaves them together with his own jaunty dexterity. Vocals are present on all but two of the 11 cuts, which are dotted with a pair of oddball covers: Kottke's dark-hued reading of the Byrds' "Eight Miles High" is a highlight, though Gordon's breezy folk-funk take on Prince's "Alphabet Street" never quite gets off the ground. The instrumental tracks, "Flat Top" and "Ants," are wonderfully virtuosic performances imbued with warmth and drama in equal measure. Kottke's dexterous meditation, "Noon to Noon," wears its melancholy like brittle armor while Gordon keeps things lighter, as on eccentric groovers "I Am Random" and "How Many People Are You." For the most part, the set is casual and intimate with few overdubs and the addition of drummer Jon Fishman (also of Phish) on just a handful of tracks. Not all of the writing is stellar, but Noon's deficits are generally outweighed by the duo's sense of camaraderie and musicianship, making for a strong third outing and a welcome return for Kottke, in particular.
© Timothy Monger /TiVo

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