(All Album Reviews by Mister Buns)
A whole album featuring only two musicians on electric guitar and drums? Instrumental music recorded live with no overdubs? Surely that's going to be a bit limited isn't it?! Guitarist Greg Segal and drummer Hyam R. Sosnow work within those limitations and transcend them in quite astonishing style.
The View Is Better From The Top Of The Food Chain (great title) is part of a "Jugalbandi 2000" trilogy of improvised and semi-improvised music by the duo. The musicianship and quality of ideas is of the highest quality, in places absolutely stunning. To these ears, the two live musicians of Jugalbandi make music of far more substance and imagination than a majority of contemporary bands with their full quota of members.
For possible reference points, Greg and Hyam suggest "Mahavishnu Orchestra by way of Pink Floyd, Tangerine Dream, Led Zeppelin, Cream, and King Crimson." However, they do really sound like themselves.
Just occasionally the very high quality slips a little... hardly surprising in 73 minutes of live music so this is not really a serious complaint. Jugalbandi came up with the following manifesto at the time of this release: 1. "Freedom of artistic expression supersedes all rules, spoken or unspoken, written or implied." 2. "Whatís commonly accepted as Ďperfectioní almost always strips music of emotion. To us that seems less than perfect." 3. "If you emotionally react to our music, even negatively, then we've succeeded. If our music has also made you think, that's even better."
Really rather good!