Simon Phillips is by far one of the world's most renowned and respected drummers, whose style not only reflects his technical gift but also his distinct musical sensibility. Whether it is Rock, Fusion or Jazz, Simon Phillips applies the same precision and intensity to his drumming, which is never lacking in emotion and feel. Now the legendary drummer, composer and producer Simon Phillips is back with a third release for his band Protocol. The eight tracks on Protocol III, each written by Simon Phillips, some with the other band members, represent the wide range of influences on the musicians. Simon Phillips says that Protocol III was more composed than Protocol II. The band, of course, worked some fine-tuning in the studio as that gave it the sound that Protocol has. It's actually a very natural style that happens when they play. It's what Simon Phillips hears in his head when he thinks of instrumental music: strong melodic lines with deep harmony and great grooves. But it's also challenging music to play too. It just became its own sound. Finding the time to enter the studio and capture that sound proved something of a challenge as all of the musicians have extremely busy schedules. Once they did gather, however, the music found it's way. Protocol III benefits from all the playing experience the band has had over the last year and a half; you really can hear how the band has matured. Performing the triple-threat roles of musician, composer and producer posed no particular challenge to Simon Phillips - he's long been accustomed to taking the reins in those various areas. But as producer, he made certain to keep in mind that this was a group effort, not a solo project. He comes from the school of producing whereby he likes to let things happen. Simon Phillips may steer the session in a certain way but he tries to create an atmosphere for everyone to be able to contribute and be creative. He listens to all their suggestions and try them out. It comes down to trust. The band trusts each other's judgment and they seem to rarely have a problem. The hardest thing is learning the parts and figuring out how to play the more tricky tunes. Musicians: Simon Phillips - Drums Andy Timmons - Guitar Steve Weingart - Keyboards Ernest Tibbs - Bass
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