Fusion innovator Terry Bozzio swings through town with his enormous drum kit | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

Fusion innovator Terry Bozzio swings through town with his enormous drum kit 

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click to enlarge Terry Bozzio

Terry Bozzio

Mayumi Bozzio

If you’re the specific kind of nerd who has ever picked up a copy of Modern Drummer, you’re probably familiar with musician Terry Bozzio. A next-level shredder, Bozzio put his chops to use backing legendary gonzo-fusion master Frank Zappa starting in 1975, and he’s remained part of the Zappa circle ever since; he’s arguably best known for being the first person to play the artist’s notoriously complicated composition “The Black Page” (which was apparently named for how it looked written out on sheet music, with all the notes crammed onto the staff) and tackling it with ease. Bozzio’s music career has been a long road since his Zappa days. In the 80s he performed with synth-poppers Missing Persons, and through the decades he’s played with various jazz and fusion ensembles as well as appeared on albums by a wide variety of artists including Richard Mark and Jeff Beck—he even recorded some tracks with Korn on their 2007 record Untitled. But what keeps the drum-clinic junkies flocking back to Bozzio after all this time are the ostinato-based solo drum compositions he started developing in the 90s, beginning with his 1992 recording, Solo Drum Music I, on which he introduced an enormous drum kit. As it turns out, that was just the start; today Bozzio plays out drums-only songs on a hilariously massive drum set that features more than 20 tuned tom-toms, 50 cymbals and gongs, and eight bass drums. I feel like it’s a rite of passage for a young drummer to see a live Bozzio solo show—I know it was a big deal for me when I was a kid. On this tour he’ll be playing 12 original compositions: ten on his enormous drum set, one on a cajon box drum, and one on a Japanese taiko drum. If watching a guy play an hour-long set on drums that are collectively worth as much as a house is your idea of a good time, this show is not to be missed.   v

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