Bookmarks: Michael West
From: Mike Flemmer <>
I just heard Niacin's latest CD, "High Bias": Billy Sheehan - Bass; John Novello - Hammond B3, Piano; Dennis Chambers - Drums
This is a very hot jazz/rock/fusion group! Their latest CD is "High Bias" and the first 3 tracks is some of the best rock/jazz on B3, bass and drums I've heard in a long time! John Novello is smokin on a B3 like their ain't no tomorrow. Billy Sheehan is certainly one of the greatest bass players alive. On track 3, "Slapped Silly", I thought I was listening to Chris Squire.
From: "Mark Fonda" <>
Go to http://www.borders.com/ and search for Niacin under music selections, then select one of the albums. There are Real Audio sound samples for the first S/T album and High Bias.
From: Mike Flemmer <>
> I had heard that High Bias had some synth from Novello on it, unlike their excellent self-titled first album. Or is it just hammond and piano?
Yes, Novello plays some synth ( I think a Mark 2500) and also electric piano, I think. The occasional synth is nothing really notable. I kept wanting him to get back on the B3! There are also some guest artists- like Chick Corea. BTW, Niacin is so called because niacin is vitamin B3 and Novello's fav instrument is the Hammond B3. Now, that's a good name for a band if there ever was one!
From: Brett Rains <>
Greetings! For some killer keyboard fusion, try the 2 releases by Niacin. If you're not familiar with these guys, they are a trio (keys, bass, drums) led by virtuoso bassist Billy Sheehan. (Don't let that scare you off though--Sheehan's playing here is incredible!) All insrumental, very Hammond intensive, & it may be fusion, but it cooks like a mother. Great mix of rock, jazz, & prog. Start with their first self-titled album & see what you think.
From: Gary Davis <>
> > 2: Niacin- "Deep"... A clue to all that this one is now released.
> So did they turn away from jazz based B-3 towards progrock ? This is what I was hearing was coming ? Should I get this one in your opinion ?
This album is very solidly in the prog rock vein! ELP fans especially will drop their jaws when they hear this one. Much of it sounds like a collection of lost ELP jams, and damn good ones at that. I've got a soundbite for it up at <>
Proggers-- Here's a cross-post from the Detritus newsletter--
*** L.A. ALIVE! *** by Clay Marshall -A Baked Potato chased with a healthy dose of Niacin made for a memorable evening of music on Feb. 18. The instrumental fusion trio comprised of Hammond organist John Novello, drummer Dennis Chambers and bass royalty Billy Sheehan gave a jam-packed crowd at the Baked Potato Hollywood well over an hour's worth of reasons to let the music do all the talking. It was the official "record release party" for their new Magna Carta effort, DEEP, available on March 7. The group performed several of the tracks on the album, including "Best Laid Plans," but concentrated on older material to which many in the crowd enthusiastically responded. Chambers, whose impressive resume lists stints with George Clinton and James Brown, again proved to be as rock-solid of a drummer as humanly possible, as he put on a clinic of effortless and dynamic drum acrobatics. In fact, his style often proved to be as much visual as it was audible, something any would-be drum soloer should study. Sheehan, the textbook definition of a monster bassist, was clearly having a ball onstage, with an infectious enthusiasm that easily enchanted the crowd. It was such a joy watching him onstage, smiling while seeing him enjoy what he was doing, that it seemed he could have brought new life to any song he tackled. What makes or breaks Niacin to most listeners is the Hammond B-3, an instrument most music buffs either love or hate, with very little in-between. Novello showcased his impressive talents effortlessly, but because the bass-organ-drums-only sound is foreign to so many ears, Niacin is definitely not for everyone. Their fans, however, have a loyalty and appreciation that's nothing less than, er, deep.
<> Subject: Best Of Y2K
Niacin - "Deep" : Another goodie for all the keyboard freaks. Excellent orgy of Hammond B-3 & one of the tightest rhythm sections EVER. Still very jazz based, but this is their proggiest release so far. Saw these guys here in Chicago this year & they really impressed me. And they even pull off an instrumental Van Halen cover that works....
August Smarra <> Subject: Re: Michael West - God,
sex and money
Speaking of Niacin...I just saw Mike Stern last week at Yoshi's in Oakland, CA. He had Dennis Chambers on drums and he just blew me away. The new Niacin CD hasn't left my player since. Also in the band Victor Wooten on bass and Bob Franceschini on reeds...Talk about an Allstar Band. Sorry, no Niacin Boots.
From: "Craig Shipley" <>
Subject: RE: Michael West - God, sex and money
Dug out the Michael West CD since I hadn't heard it in a while. Guy has a helluva mullet and one of the funkiest ear-adornments (can't call it a "ring") I have ever seen. This is not a solo outing, as Bill Berends Mastermind's mastermind) handles the sequencing and Daren Shaltis is on percussion. Listening to it, I hear Rick Wakeman (probably because he quotes a bit from "Six Wives" on the end of "Overture From Physical Love), Keith Emerson (on "Supreme Military Dictator") and Larry Fast ("Chords") on the title track. While the music is very serious, it is plain to tell that he is having some fun in spots with some of the voicing (that springy synth sound that Emerson used in "Tarkus") and a tropical beat here and there. Overall a good piece of electronic music that should appeal to most all the folks here...