Skip to main content

Rock/Contemporary Review: John Wetton and The Les Paul Trio-New York Minute

Release Date: 2ndMarch 2015
Label:  Primary Purpose

John Wetton is an English singer, songwriter and bass player who has been part of several iconic bands, including Family, King Crimson, Roxy Music, Uriah Heep and Wishbone Ash. He formed UK after leaving King Crimson and also fronted the supergroup, Asia. John has also managed a successful solo career, with many studio and live albums to his name. This album, New York Minute, is one of those live albums, dating back to 14th October 2013 at the Iridium Club in New York, and appears to have been recorded to highlight prostate and testicular cancer.

The musicians involved in the recording of this album are John Wetton (vocals, guitar), with The Les Paul Trio, comprising Lou Pallo (guitar), Nikki Parrott (bass) and Rodney Holmes (piano).

New York Minute is a 9 track album with a running time of around 37 minutes, which in todays’ cd market is a little on the short side. The longest track on offer is the finale, “Battle Lines” with a playing time of 5:52 minutes and the shortest is “Lady Madonna” running to 2:26 minutes. All of the tracks on the album are cover versions, including Steely Dan, Marvin Gaye, Beach Boys, Blind Faith, Bob Dylan, Don Henley, Beatles, Asia and John Wetton (solo).

I always approach live albums with slight concerns, although the sound quality has improved by leaps and bounds, I genuinely feel that live recordings are for the most part, bought by fans that attended that particular concert.

The first track up on New York Minute is “Do It Again” (4:03), the classic Steely Dan track and it starts with a little intro of John Wetton and some very sparse applause. Either there is a very small collection of people, or it is a very intimate setting, possibly a series of short sets by several artists? The music commences with some good piano and is soon joined by John on vocals. Although the piano is initially interesting, it is very repetitive before reaching a short piano solo section. The track almost shouts out for the vocals of Donald Fagen and this is at best a very average cover.

“What’s Going On” (4:13) by Marvin Gaye, is next up with more piano provided by Rodney Holmes, but there is nothing to tempt me to listen to the track again. There are some la-la’s and some woos from John between lyrics, a small jazz guitar riff and it is gone.

A Beach Boys cover is next, “God Only Knows” (3:39) with a short chat from John explaining that these are tracks that were important milestones in his career. The piano carries the track along, but yet again the vocals possess no depth and there are more vocalizations of doo’s and woo’s.

Track 4, the Blind Faith cover of “Can’t Find My Way Home” (3:20) is next and the piano and vocals work very well on this particular track. This track is head and shoulders above what has gone before.

Unfortunately, the kudos built up by track 4 evaporated very quickly with “All Along The Watchtower” (4:04) which slips back into the style of the opening tracks. There is a little more “grit” to the vocals on the title track “New York Minute” (4:59) but the track I feel just never gets going. “Lady Madonna” (2:26) being a piano driven track originally is relatively well done but again there are more vocalizations which do not add anything to the music, indeed do the opposite. 

An Asia original, “Heat Of The Moment” (4:47) works well, being instantly recognizable, but the vocals fit like a glove, as John was the original vocalist. This is the second track on the album that does work very well.
The final track, “Battle Lines” (5:52) is a John Wetton solo track and having heard both acoustic and electric versions of this song on the Anthology album (to be reviewed soon) I was well aware of what I was in for. This is the third track that works and finishes the album off with a bit of a flourish.

Unfortunately, there are few highlights on this live collection and whilst the reason for the concert to highlight prostate and testicular cancer is to be applauded, the content does not match the sentiment. Lackluster cover versions from the majority of the 9 tracks mean that this album, I feel, is destined only to be of interest to aficionados of Johns’ work who want to have completed collections of his music.

The Ancient One recently reviewed another live album by John, together with District 97, and although not a terrific album, it eclipses this release. As always, give New York Minute a listen or two and decide for yourself, but for me, this is not an album I will revisit.

3/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Can’t Find My Way Home, Heat of the Moment, Battle Lines


Do It Again
What’s Going On?
God Only Knows
Can’t Find My Way Home
All Along The Watchtower
New York Minute
Lady Madonna
Heart Of The moment
Battle Lines

Jim “The Ancient One” Lawson-Sr. Reviewer Prog Rock Music Talk
July 20, 2015
Review Provided By Write A Music Review


Popular posts from this blog

New Age Instrumental Review: Anaya Music-AONKI – Gateway of Love (Cosmic New Age Music)

Release Date: February 2, 2018 Label: Anaya Music Website
Around this time a year ago I had the experience of listening to Anaya Music and providing coverage of Eternity.  It was an uplifting experience and a memorable listen as I recall.
Now with February drawing closer AONKI – Gateway of Love (Cosmic New Age Music) will arrive.
Once again, the recording features several exceptional collaborations between Anaya Music and a live virtual symphony orchestra recorded in the heart of Prague, the capital of the Czech republic. The orchestra combines members of the finest ensembles in Prague, including the Czech Philharmonic.
I think they should rename the orchestra to “The Live Spiritual Orchestra.” If you have been exposed to Anaya Music you will understand what that means. If this is your first journey with this music you will find out very quickly. Either way, this is spiritually uplifting music that leaves a smile on your soul. It’s like the term digital footprint, there is an everlasting m…

British Post-Punk Veterans 1919 Return With A Brand New Masterpiece Of Darkly Melodic Goth Rock, FUTURECIDE!

Los Angeles, CA - Like the mythic phoenix rising from the ashes, British post-punk band 1919 have gone through Hell and back over the course of their harrowing career, but they keep returning stronger than ever! Founded in 1980, the band released its debut album Machine in 1983 and one EP a year later before calling it quits. However, the band reformed in 2014 to great acclaim, performing numerous tours and at festivals across Europe. Then, tragedy struck as the band’s founding guitarist Mark Tighe was diagnosed with cancer in 2016 and succumbed to the disease in January 2017. Tighe insisted that the band should carry on without him, which they have done in finest form with their newest effort Futurecide. The album, which will be officially released on April 12 via Cleopatra Records, features brand new compositions and includes special guest performances by Tighe as well as former member Steve Madden, who also passed away this year. The first single, “Anxiety,” was released at the en…

Concert Review: Ghost At The Palace Theater Albany NY

Ghost At The Palace Theater Albany NY December 13, 2018

With winter upon us in the great Northeast, it was just another night. We never have a reason to stay in because of the weather, we just go. It so happened that it was a nice evening for a drive to a Ghost concert.We secured our tickets months ago and have been anticipating this night for months on end.
Last July I attended a “bucket list” concert, the great Iron Maiden was coming to Mansfield, MA. Opening for them was Ghost. This was a turn of a friendly card for the band, a great way to get worldwide exposure otherwise not afforded by a lesser band. They were already on the rise and the lead singer Papa Emeritus had a helluva a band (no pun intended there). At that time my prediction was that when the new year began Ghost would be headlining their own shows. So, then it happened, here we are tonight watching this incredible metal band headlining their own show, with no opener may I add.
For those of you unf…