Uzi was a ten-handed combo that burned briefly but brightly in the fertile post-Burma Boston music scene of the mid-1980's. Its founding members were drummer Danny Lee and guitarist/singer/lyricist Thalia Zedek. The basic stylistic conflict between Thalia's garage-based rock 'n' roll background and Danny's more high-tech, modernistic approach gave the group much of its unique edge and led, as well, to its early demise.
Lee and Zedek were joined in late 1983 by bassist Randy Barnwell, guitar-effects whiz Bob Young, and tape specialist Phil Milstein. Barnwell was replaced by Craig Federhen for a brief basement interlude, but returned before Uzi's first show and continued with them for the bulk of the band's duration.
Sleep Asylum was recorded sporadically between 1984-85, including a period when Uzi was between bass players and used Dave Shibler in a session role. Irv Ziskind became the group's final bassist just after Sleep Asylum was completed. His addition cemented Uzi's lineup and provoked them to a new songwriting peak, but Zedek and Lee found themselves moving further and further into their respective corners. Uzi was dismatled just before Sleep Asylum's release in the spring of '86, and never did get to record another album's worth of great material they had written.
Uzi's breakup caught Homestead Records holding the bag on yet another of its many posthumous releases. Consequently, in spite of initial critical acclaim, Sleep Asylum never reached much beyond the East coast of the U.S. Once out of print, continuing word-of-mouth delivered Sleep Asylum to its current status as one of those records heard of more than heard. The song "Underneath," recorded at one of the Sleep Asylum sessions, is added to this reissue because no one involved can remember why it was left off in the first place.
Danny Lee -- acoustic & electronic drums, backing vocals