John Paul Jones Zooma

Legendary Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones has continued making relevant music, unlike most of his '70s stadium rock brethren. Recent experimentation with the likes of Diamanda Galas provides a prelude to the hard-hitting Zooma. Working with a few other musicians Jones records his own compositions, playing a variety of basses, mandola and some guitar. The majority of the material takes a progressive stance not far off from Robert Fripp's recent King Crimson and Project works. The Fripp affinity might explain how Jones ended up on Fripp's DGM label. Jones punches up the rock edge of his work with powerful, discordant jabs and a heavy pummelling low end as heard on the title track, "Goose," "B Fingers" and "Tidal." It's also nice to see he still has an ear for a decent rock lick on "Grind." Jones's sense of musical adventure keeps Zooma changing pace with the ambient folk Americana on "The Smile of Your Shadow" (note the bass lap steel he plays) and he keeps the blues references coming with the traditional rock of "Snake Eyes" and "Nosumi Blues." With Jones currently touring, one can only hope that all the Zep fans that are bound to show up let him pound out his new material and hopefully beat some sense into them. (Outside)