Done right, studio albums can serve as recorded templates for creative embellishment live onstage. A textbook example is the adventurous fashion in which Jane Getter Premonition approached eight tracks from 2015 studio effort On (Madfish/Snapper). Chronicling how this cult-favorite fusion act interpreted those heady tunes onstage is the live release aptly dubbed On Tour.
Culled from two shows in 2015 and 2016 (plus one 2014 studio outtake), On Tour is all about expounding upon distinctive aspects like the galloping guitar tradeoffs marking “Train Man,” the twisty-turny meter shifts of “Inversion Layer” and relentlessly lurching pace driving “Surprised” —all of which spring from the original bouillabaisse of Getter’s many influences.
“My taste in music is very eclectic, though obviously coming out of a jazz place originally,” says Getter, who cut her teeth as touring guitarist with hard-bop organist Jack McDuff and also counts Return To Forever drummer Lenny White as an early writing partner. “I wasn’t consciously trying to be a purist, as I always tried to stretch outside the lines. I gradually got into music with backbeats and grooves and then found my way into more hard-hitting, edgy stuff. Once I got a solid-body guitar that changed things just a little bit more. So my music now is an assorted combination of all of that, with a rock foundation.”
Compositionally, though, jazz motifs hold ample sway. “I think that adds to the harmonic complexity of my songs—and the harmonic possibilities,” she says. “Like during some of the stretched-out solo sections: When you have a good soloist in the band, that creates excitement and energy and that’s especially important to me. I think it adds to the dimension and the density of a song, the composing style and all the different sections. That’s the mark of the progressive rock style, where it all melts together.”
The finely layered execution of what might be termed “structured improv” throughout On Tour manifests seamlessly thanks to the impressive talents brought to bear by this Murderer’s Row of forward-thinking players. They include Getter’s life partner/keyboard wizard Adam Holzman (son of legendary Elektra Records founder Jac Holzman), who was musical director for Miles Davis four years in the late 1980s and now plays keys with Steven Wilson.
Want to read the rest of the article? Buy current issue No. 74 and subscribe to Progression! >Click here