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Vic Stevens’ Mistaken Identities: If People Could Talk

Drummer Vic Stevens has proven to be a fine sideman, particularly with outside-the-box guitarists such as Allan Holdsworth, David Torn and David Fiuczynski. His recording career as a leader, however, hasn’t equaled that success. Whether with the McGill/Manring/Stevens trio (with guitarist Scott McGill and bassist Michael Manring) or his own Mistaken Identities project, Stevens never seems to contribute material interesting enough to merit comparison with the bandleaders he’s worked with.

His latest, If People Could Talk, is a case in point. Stevens assembled a fine band for the disc, including Manring, a fretless marvel. But the drummer wrote or co-wrote every composition, and his pen-in-hand reach exceeds its grasp in comparison to the playing of the rhythm section, keyboardist Demetrios Pappas, guitarist Alex Domschot, saxophonist Ken Gioffre and percussionist Hector Rosado. The drummer also plays keyboards on the opening track, “Peace,” which drones for four minutes in search of resolution.

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