JEFF KOLLMAN Releases Original Version Of “A Jam For Jason” To Benefit JASON BECKER
April 30, 2021, 4 months ago
Guitarist/songwriter Jeff Kollman (Alan Parsons Live Project, Asia FJP, Glenn Hughes) has released the recently rediscovered, never before heard original version of “A Jam For Jason” as originally intended for 2001's Warmth In The Wilderness: A Tribute To Jason Becker, recorded with his instrumental trio, Cosmosquad, and a stellar cast of guest players.
Dubbed Cosmosquad & The Jasonauts – “A Jam For Jason MMXXI”, the cut features appearances by Chris Poland (OHM, ex-Megadeth), Vinnie Moore (UFO), Patrick Lachman (Diesel Machine, ex-Halford), and Steve Morse (Deep Purple, Dixie Dregs).
All proceeds from the song, available on Bandcamp, will be donated to Jason Becker, the former Cacophony and David Lee Roth guitar prodigy whose career was cut short by ALS some 30 years ago. Becker is one of the longest survivors living with ALS and continues to write and release music.
An accompanying note on Bandcamp chronicling the genesis of the song reads: "When Jeff (Kollman) was first approached about covering one of Jason's songs for the in-the-works tribute, he decided to write an original tune instead. The basic track was quickly recorded by the original Cosmosquad line-up - Jeff, Shane Gaalaas on drums, and Barry Sparks on bass - before it was handed off to a handful of musical guests to add their contributions.
“For starters, there's the incredible Chris Poland whose fusion trio, OHM, were regulars at the legendary LA jazz venue, The Baked Potato, just like Cosmosquad. Chris actually brought his whole set up over to Jeff's studio at the old house in Granada Hills so he could track in person and in typical Poland fashion came up with some out-of-this-world stuff. What a player!
“Over on the East Coast, the equally fleet fingered Vinnie Moore, well acquainted with the members of Cosmosquad (Shane and Barry feature on his 2000 'Live!' album as he shared them with MSG on that U.S. tour; Shane is also on 'The Maze'), was game and and threw down some fiery Flamenco inspired acoustic shred as his main solo and added some s(l)ick legato lines on the electric. Vinnie is just burning on this one!
“From up in the SF Bay Area, Jeff Watson of Night Ranger fame sent in his contribution which, in the opinion of the writers and producers - Messrs Kollman and Gaalaas - , didn't quite hit the mark. When Jeff was kindly asked to give it another go, he wouldn't have any of it. Houston, we have a problem....! Instead Shane's Diesel Machine band mate, Patrick Lachman, by then also a member of Halford, came in and delivered the goods and then some. Some of Pat's best, most melodic playing ever.
“It was the esteemed Mike Varney of Shrapnel Records who would help diffuse the Watson stalemate. In the interest of world peace and getting the project done, it was eventually agreed that Jeff's take would go on the album 'as is' and that Pat's contribution would be axed from the 'Warmth In The Wilderness' version. Pat took the chop in stride.... Retaining Jeff Watson also meant that his good friend, the amazing Steve Morse, would stay on board (Steve may have never even known about any of the drama....) and he put down a great outro solo. All's well that ends well.
“'Jam For Jason' would be re-edited and shortened significantly (no Watson, no Morse but also no re-insert of Patrick Lachman) for the Cosmosquad version that appeared on the Squadrophenia album in 2002. You can check out the alternate version on Bandcamp.
“But, what we have here on Bandcamp is the original and arguably the best version of the three.
“More importantly: ALL proceeds from the sales of what we have re-dubbed Cosmosquad & The Jasonauts - 'A Jam For Jason MMXXI' will be donated to Jason Becker whom we love and admire. Long may he live!"
Kollman recently launched a promotional video for "Superstring Theory", the advance single off his forthcoming solo album, East Of Heaven, out May 21.
East Of Heaven is Kollman's sixth instrumental studio album as a solo artist and his 22nd overall on the Marmaduke label. The "Superstring Theory" clip can be viewed below. The song is available for purchase on Kollman’s Bandcamp site, and will go to Apple Music and other digital outlets shortly.
The infectious, hard driving "Superstring Theory" sees Kollman get back to basics and revel in unleashing the power of simplicity. "There’s certainly an underlying early AC/DC influence in there", he readily admits. "Between my solo work and Cosmosquad, it’s easy to get complex and self-indulgent. This one is straight to the point embracing the 4/4 rock! For the video I hit, up my brother from another mother, Shane Gaalaas (Toque), on drums, and our good buds, Jeff Marshall, and Corey McCormick (Chris Cornell, Neil Young) to join us on guitar and bass, respectively. We had so much fun during the shoot - it was great to actually be with everyone in the flesh again. COVID certainly has done a number on us.... Shane and I in particular have been in each other's musical lives so much over the last 25 years, writing, recording, and playing live - it's strange to not have had that close proximity for a whole year now."
Borne out of the COVID-19 induced lockdown that hit the music industry and touring musicians especially hard, Kollman began to collect and shape musical ideas for what became East Of Heaven last March. "2020 was gonna be a busy year on the road for me. I was scheduled to go on a world tour with Alan Parsons as well as go out with Asia Fjp, Lou Gramm, and the 'Rock Pack' all-star thing. Of course, all that went out the window once the pandemic hit. So all of a sudden I had a lot more down time than anticipated. Luckily, I've always been able to make records without having to rely on outside engineers and studios so I hunkered down and got a few of my closest friends involved to play on various tracks."
East Of Heaven features Kollman on guitars and bass, aided by long-time collaborators Shane Gaalaas (Cosmosquad, MSG, Yngwie Malmsteen) and Jono Brown on drums, Cirque du Soleil music director, Paul Shihadeh, on bass, and Guy Allison (Doobie Brothers, Unruly Child, World Trade) on keyboards. Allison is also repsonsible for the East Of Heaven cover artwork.
"The Mass Exodus"
"Homage To King Edward"
"East Of Heaven"
"So Long Ago"
"The Darkness Resides"
"See You On The Other Side"
Jeff Kollman first made his international mark with a trifecta of instrumental solo albums and his popular Midwest based metal band, Edwin Dare, who released three studio albums in the 1990s. He co-founded long running prog metal fusioneers Cosmosquad in 1996, and after a move to Los Angeles, CA co-wrote and recorded with singer John West ("Permanent Mark"), UFO offshoot Mogg/Way ("Chocolate Box:), and Phil Mogg's Sign Of 4 ("Dancing With St. Peter") before starting a continuing on-and-off working relationship with Deep Purple Hall of Famer, Glenn Hughes, in 2003. Together with Hughes alumni, Ed Roth and Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers, Chickenfoot), Kollman formed '70s funk rock/fusion quartet Chad Smith's Bombastic Meatmats in 2007 before being recruited by Asia feat. John Payne. More recently, Kollman has toured with Japanese superstar Eikichi Yazawa and former Skid Row vocalist Sebastian Bach. He joined the Alan Parsons Live Project in 2017 and is featured as guitarist and co-writer on Parsons' 2019 release, The Secret.