Album of the Week: Daniel Villarreal | Lados B

Holy funky Gateway!

Back in my first year of college, a classmate in “Crisis of the Environment” approached me after my final aural presentation on Jimi Hendrix, it was that kind of college, and declared, “Gateway!”

“What’s Gateway?”
“GATEWAY man! The greatest guitar record ever made!!”

So I eventually went to a record store, that’s where you went to buy music back then, and got myself a copy of the 1976 album by John Abercrombie, Dave Holland, and Jack DeJohnette. And yea, it was and is a great record all around even more so if you get high a lot, like my classmate did.

Drummer Daniel Villarreal is joined by guitarist Jeff Parker and bassist Anna Butterss on Lados B, released today on Chicago’s International Anthem, and I was brought right back to “Crisis of the Environment” (+ a touch of Marc Ribot Y Los Cubanos Postizos) with the added benefit of some real funk in these grooves.

From the liner notes:

Lados B is a deep dive into the high-level spontaneous music made by Villarreal, Parker, and Butterss across those two days in 2020. Villarreal is heard leading the group through various rhythmic modes and structures for improvisation – flow as informed by the Latin funk of Fania Records as it is by the otherworldly humanity trance of Brain Records – while Parker and Butterss draw on their extensive experience playing free together (as heard on Parker’s recently-released Mondays at the Enfield Tennis Academy, and the LA side of Makaya McCraven’s 2018 LP Universal Beings) to build harmonic buoys for their spontaneous melodicism.

Dive deep!