A preview of acoustic guitar virtuoso Leo Kottke’s upcoming gig in Cambridge in the Boston Globe contains word that should excite fans of his two albums and multiple tours with Phish bassist Mike Gordon in the ’00s. Both Cactus and Kottke “confirmed plans for a get-together.” And get this, the pair will welcome a drummer none other than Jon Fishman himself into the collaboration.
Kottke released his last solo album, “Try and Stop Me,” in 2004, and his “Sixty Six Steps” collaboration with Gordon came out the following year. The recording dormancy may end as Kottke and Gordon both confirmed plans for a get-together that will include Phish drummer Jon Fishman. And while it seems natural to mix all of these veteran improvisers, both Kottke and Gordon spoke of the difficulties that occurred when the guitarist and bassist first met to jam.
“Leo is so complete by himself that the challenge for me was figuring out how to fit in,” Gordon says, which led him to seeing the music as freely as Kottke sees it. “Playing a standard bass line anchors a song, but in this case was not what was called for and was tethering the song. I had to be somewhat more free myself.”
[via Boston Globe]
What’s interesting is that Mike and Leo paired up with percussionist Neil Symonette for the recording of Sixty Six Steps and some gigs that followed but reverted to the duo format for their last extensive tour in 2005. That year Gordon told Jambands that the pair found it “more intimate” to perform as a duo.
Mike Gordon Responding To Question About Symonette Leaving The Mix: Well, Leo’s ears are very sensitive [due to a freak childhood firecracker accident and a stint in the Naval reserves]. Its not really the volume of the drums because he had earplugs in and we limited Neil to using percussion. It was more of the idea that it made it into a busier, bigger thing to contend with. We had some great gigs as a trio, but at this point, we’re finding that its more intimate to play just the two of us. There is something really special about a duo, though Neil was really great on the album.
After not hearing anything from the Kottke/Gordon collaboration since the aforementioned Sixty Six Steps and lengthy tour in 2005, we hope this “get-together” leads to an “album” and a “tour.”
[Hat Tip @GSlumbers]