There is not One Word to describe this band

There is not One Word to describe this band

With the smashing gong opening the mystical portal gates to an overture of powerful forces, they are weighed heavily on your chest and you are breathless right from the beginning. This is Paul DeLong’s band One Word. It is a tribute to Jazz Fusion and to the amazing Mahavishnu Orchestra. The name is derived from the Birds of Fire album, side 2, 1st song.

This music is a metaphysical rollercoaster of intense ideas, spirits and concepts that relate to a higher consciousness of our physical form. The band quickly jumped into another fine Jazz fusion outfit called Weather Report.  The piece is called Elegant People, but there is so much more here than just elegance, there are shapes and forms that simply go beyond the pale that you have to open yourself so wide to catch a glimmer of the bigger meaning here.

This band delved into the obscure and the secretive world of a music that doesn’t give up its meaning very quickly. That is alright as long as you were open to the experience. It has a lingering effect to keep your curiosity going well after the music stops.

Our fearless leader Paul DeLong was in a giddy mood as he wore down his drum kit like a passionate rival. He was fast and furious and filled the room as if he were Muhammad Ali in the greatest match of his life. It was a matter of which would give out first, the kit or his arms. It was one of the most tireless performances I have seen in a while, and he still managed to pull off a drum solo at the end of the evening.

Victoria Yeh is a musician truly in the moment as she lit up happily like a glow worm. She brought along a 5 stringed violin and twisted it, angled it, arched it and warped into an unashamed state of profoundness that delighted the captive viewers as if we were at the Coliseum watching a deadly battle.

Speaking of deadly battles, Mike Murray was equally in the thick of it. His guitar sounds were tuned to sound like a violin, so the two of these athletes traded lobbies as they tossed the musical journey between them like Billie Jean King and Booby Riggs. The elation between them was infectious.

Then we had Steve Lucas kicking back quietly on Bass guitar. He may have been quiet, but his monstrous playing kept the low end sounds rumbling quite well. If this were the Coliseum, he would be the foundation on which all these battles took place. He made sure the ground was firm and strong to adhere to the chaos that was ensuing.

Then we had a last minute replacement in the fold. On keyboards we were introduced to Giovanni Campanelli. If I wasn’t told he came in last minute, I never would have guessed it. His high flying style of playing kept the pandemonium to a maximum. His style and flair kept everything streaming and lofty like a bird of fire. He even would battle with both the guitar player and the violinist in a very joyous manner. With all the serious notes happening Giovanni kept the mood a little lighter and the air more breathable.

The second half of the show was equally intense. With the opening of the first number, the gong ushered in a very complex mess of disturbing passages and we fell into an unknown labyrinth. It was like falling into the proverbial rabbit hole except you were dragged in by a crocodile being pulled into a tar pit. Now this is a journey not for the faint of heart. It continued with the next song called,”Sanctuary”. It was dark and disheveled and seemed to contain old spirits that were not doing so well. Don’t worry the band didn’t keep you there too long. They introduced a couple of mash ups between Mahavisnu and Jean Luc Ponty.

They also brought beauty to the room with, “A lotus on Irish steams” and the very hypnotic, “The Dance of Maya”. At the end of the evening they even settled us rockers in with a small tribute to “Mississippi Queen”.  By the end of the evening the audience was fully satiated and tired. I am sure Paul DeLong felt he went the full 15 rounds with his kit. If I have to wrap this up with One Word… I really can’t do that….

Here are some images of One Word:

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