Born in 1958, Jonas Hellborg is Swedish born bass guitarist. Starting his career in the late 1970's, he was a strong part of the Swedish rock scene until he was asked to join famous jazz fusion group Mahavishnu in 1983. He stayed with the band for five years, but eventually left in order to pursue a solo career. In the early 90's, he started a recording studio with the famous Bill Laswell, where he was introduced to frequent Laswell collaborator Buckethead. Together, along with drummer Mike Shrieve, they released the excellent Octave of the Holy Innocents
While most collaborations that feature Buckethead are usual still vehicles fueled by his lightning speed solos, Octave of the Holy Innocents
is most definitely a more band oriented effort. Every band member is on the top of their game, and it really shows. Throughout the album, Jonas displays a technical proficiency that is utterly jawdropping; his bass solo on "Death That Sleeps With Them", combines slap bass techniques with common finger picking techniques, to outstanding results. On opening song,"Rana and Fara" his basslines go from groove filled, thumping lines to more serene flowing lines. Helping those transitions from chaotic to serene is percussionist Mike Shrieve, whose flawless technique steers the direction of the album. Although always following a beat, his playing is extremely unpredictable, with random fills permeating the solid drum lines at any given moment. Buckethead also has his moments, combining traditional jazz with moments of blues such as on "Death That Sleeps With Them" and even Spanish fusion on the track "Child King". "Rana and Fara" even gives him a chance to shred acoustically, fulfilling the usual expectations of his playing.
Overall, Octave of the Holy Innocents
is an crazy ride, from jazz's usual spontaneity, to it's calming, slower passages. While this trio, never had the chance to record again, this collaboration will live on, remaining to be a hidden gem in their discographies.