John Lennon & Yoko Ono / Stripped Down
Directed Sir Winston O’Boogie to Tony Levin “they say you're a good player, just don't play too many notes…” Counting Sir Paul, Klaus, Gary Van Scyoc, Gordon Edwards, Tony, and Dee Murray and Jim Pons on live recordings – every Lennon track ever waxed was anchored by a master. Though it was great to hear John back in action in November ‘80, I’m not sure how Double Fantasy would have gone down had a tragic fate not intervened. Yet Stripped Down (2010) reveals Levin as an exemplary song player who skillfully used rhythm and space to make the songs stronger. Note that Levin did not imitate any of his predecessors, and, in tandem with Earl Slick and a crack team of NYC studio cats, forged a musical aura on Double Fantasy that still resonates as modern.