West Coast jam-fusion ensemble Particle have worked hard to earn the loyalty of their vast fan base, but their funky sound was hardly well represented on recordings. In a six-year existence, the band released only one album, 2004’s Launchpad (Or Music). When they shifted their lineup at the start of ’06, they decided not to waste any time in creating a document of the new edition.
This time, they expanded to a five-person lineup. On Feb. 24, they recorded and filmed the very first show to feature new guitarists Scott Metzger and Ben Combe at the Henry Fonda Theatre in Los Angeles. The resulting CD/DVD, Transformations Live: For The People, also featured several special guests, including the hip-hop act Blackalicious, guitar virtuoso Joe Satriani, and Doors guitarist Robbie Krieger.
Last winter, what wasn’t foreseen was that the five-man edition of Particle would last only a few months. In late July, they announced that Metzger had left the group, making them a four-man configuration of Combe and original members Eric Gould (bass), Steve Molitz (keyboards), and Darren Pujalet (drums).
“What happened actually was an unforeseen medical emergency in his family came up and he was confronted with a really tough choice whether or not to be there in that time of need for his family or continue the 50 shows we have on the books now,” says Molitz. “Obviously health and family always come first.”
As a result, Transformation Live may be even more of a historic document than Particle originally intended.
“The cool thing about those releases is that they really are a snapshot in time,” Molitz says. “If you want to see Scott Metzger in Particle with its five-man lineup, your only chance is to get that DVD.” –Alan Sculley