"Double Talk" (Voiceprint; 2008)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

Let me start this review by stating that Theo Travis’ “Double Talk” is not a heavy metal or hard rock album. So … you ask yourself “what is it doing on Rough Edge? It is really quite simple – Theo Travis is one of those musicians that you’ll hear frequently as a guest on albums by Porcupine Tree, No-Man, Robert Fripp, and David Sylvain/Nine Horses. Travis, know primarily for his jazz explorations, is equally adept in prog-rock and ambient settings. Travis’ expertise on saxophone, flute, and clarinet have provided melodies, sonic colors, and musical shadings that have contributed to some of music’s most acclaimed albums.

Recorded in 2007 and released in 2008 “Double Talk” features a variety of sounds that will please fans of progressive music. While it is clear that Theo Travis is a forward-thinking jazz player it is also clear that he owes a deep debt to 70s progressive rock. To that extent, Travis pays homage to 70s-styled prog-rock with a cover of the early Pink Floyd gem “See Emily Play.” The uptempo “The Relegation of Pluto” recalls 70s prog-rock in the vein of Secret Oyster. “Portobello 67” has similarities to the proto-urban jazz rock made famous by Steely Dan. Ambient music is explored on “The Endless Search” while “And So It Seemed” utilizes a lamenting melody over calm jazz chords that slowly evolves to a charging riff with aggressive soloing.

“Double Talk” is far from a straight jazz record – it is so much more.  Fans of progressive rock and ambient music will both appreciate what Travis and his bandmates and guests have created on “Double Talk.”

“Double Talk” was produced by Theo Travis.

Theo Travis is joined by Mike Outram on guitar, Pete Whittaker on Hammond organ, and Roy Dodds on drums and gongs. The legendary Robert Fripp plays guitar on three tracks.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright © 2009 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 28 Aug 2022 14:16:30 -0400.