(114) Jon Andrews, ****Downbeat -- 8/1/03

Bone Structure reinvents jazz-rock fusion. Four L.A. -based veteran improvisers use the grooves and instrumentation of vintage fusion to stimulate "real-time" group inventions. With Jeff Gauthier's violin and G.E. Stinson's guitar out front, the lineup recalls the first Mahavishnu Orchestra and also King Crimson from the same era. Like those bands, Bone Structure uses relentless, driving rhythms to launch high-energy solos. Because the players have worked with each other in various configurations, the improvisations sound tight and composed.
Most tracks evolve out of the quartet's spacey explorations, coalescing around Gregg Bendian's drum patterns. Throughout, Bendian sets and shifts the tempo and direction, seemingly conducting the improvisation from behind the drums. Steuart Liebig contributes deep, rubbery bass lines as well as a menacing undercurrent. Gauthier's laser-sharp lines effectively contrast with Stinson's gritty textures and raging solos. Their us of pedals on "Steel Hair" evokes the wah-heavy sound of early '70s Miles Davis, yet Bone Structure isn't a nostalgia session; these are intelligent, exhilarating improvs with a cutting edge.

Jon Andrews