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25.7.14

Eric Johnson

 photo EricJohnson-Bloom-2005_zps11143fce.jpg
Eric Johnson - Bloom - 2005 - Favored Nations

Bloom is Eric Johnson's fifth studio release, released in June 2005. It was the first studio release since his 1996 album Venus Isle almost nine years prior. However in these nine years he had released a live album by his side-project Alien Love Child entitled Live and Beyond in 2000 as well as an album of previously unreleased material titled Souvenir in 2002. The album is split into three sections, 'Prelude' (tracks 1-6), 'Courante' (tracks 7-12) and 'Allemande' (tracks 13-16). The album was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2006 under the category of Best Pop Instrumental Album. - Wiki

It's no secret that the time gap between albums by guitarist Eric Johnson is on par with such notorious 'hibernators' as Boston. And the arrival of his fourth all-new studio release, Bloom, was no different, as it appeared nearly nine years after the release of 1996's Venus Isle. Whereas most guitar heroes of the late '80s and early '90s were all about reeling off a zillion notes per second, Johnson was the exception, as he penned songs that saw his guitar supplying the melody where a voice could have been. This 16-track release (his second for Steve Vai's Favored Nations label) is split into three separate sections -- 'Prelude,' 'Courante,' and 'Allemande' -- which are supposedly "grouped together in terms of vibe and style." Highlights include "Summer Jam" (which does a splendid job of showcasing his guitar tone), the chicken'-pickin' ditty "Tribute to Jerry Reed," and the almost Steely Dan-esque "Magnetized." If you like your sounds raw and gritty and music off-the-cuff, Bloom isn't the place for you. But for die-hard fans, Johnson delivers once more, as all his trademarks are well represented -- chops, tone, and extremely fluid playing. © Greg Prato © 2014 AllMusic, a division of All Media Network, LLC. | All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/album/bloom-mw0000343771

Eric Johnson is known as a great guitar virtuoso and also he is known as a perfectionist, who constantly rewrites his songs when something doesn't make him pleased.That's one of the reasons why it took him more than 4 years to finish recording the album.He also changed his record label.This album was written on "Favored Nations", which was founded by his friend and a guitar-god Steve Vai. Eric said that while working on the Capitol records he felt constant pressure because of the bosses.On Favored Nations he felt free and released a great album. Eric is the guitarist who sings and he does it quite good, in my opinion even better than Steve Vai. Also Eric is a good composer. All of his albums are full of songs of different styles,you can hear him play jazz or rock, or blues or even country. So he's the man whose albums are full of songs of different genres. As for his guitar playing... I think the fact that he played on G3 with Joe Satriani and Steve Vai speaks for itself. But his guitar playing changed a bit. His tone is recognizeable as  always. He just doesn't shred so much on the album like in the previous ones. His solos became even more melodic than they were.He just knows where to shred and where not. As for the album,it's really good, but it has got some weak points.And I suppose fans who liked "Zap" and "Cliffs of Dover" will be a little disappointed, because they won't find songs like those on the album. However, the album has got its highlights. The album is divided into three parts: Prelude, Courante, & Allemande.The first part is a "rock part", the second -a "blues part", the third- a "jazz part". 1.Bloom. An instrumental song. Quite a good one, starts with a good riff. It's a good mid- tempo song with good solos and a very beautiful bridge. Sometimes you may hear Eric's voice in the background. In the end of the song Eric starts to shred. On the whole I think this song is a very good start to the album. 4/5: 2.Summer Jam. Well, I've read one review about this album and the author of the review called this song the highlight of the album. As for me, I don't find this neither a highlight nor even a good one. It's just an average song of Eric. He's written a lot of such stuff though, I have to admit that Eric's guitar work is good on the track. By the way, it's also an instrumental track. 2,5/5: 3.My Back Pages.This song was originally written by Bob Dylan. Eric did a great cover. His singing is good here. The guitar work is also great, and the solos he plays are really good. And, of course, the lyrics written by Bob Dylan are definitely great. Eric did his best. I like his version of the song even more than the original. 5/5: 4.Good to Me.An instrumental track.This song reminded me of some stuff of Jeff Beck. It has some electronic voices.The riffs are great. So are the solos,very melodic ones. Good song. 4/5: 5.Columbia. It is also an instrumental song. Eric shows his beautiful tone in this song, a very nice piece. Nothing to add.4/5: 6.12 to 12 Vibe. I find this song somehow similar to Summer Jam. Also an instrumental piece, and also an average Eric's piece. Nothing special. Though the guitar work is really good, it doesn't save the situation. 2/5: Courante: 7.Sea Secret. Here Eric plays an acoustic guitar.The guitar playing is really beautiful on this track. It has got a relaxing atmosphere. You can hear the sound of the sea. I wish it was a bit longer, but still a nice piece. 4/5: 8.Sad Legacy. Eric sings on this track. I really like the lyrics of the track. It's about peace and love. He says he'd like he'd like to throw the screams, guns and pain away.The song is beautiful and so are the solos. Eric also plays the piano and does it quite good. 4.5/5: 9.From my heart. I was a little bit bored with the track, maybe because it's also a ballad as "Sad Legacy",and it's also the longest track on the album.This track is not that bad. It's just a little bit boring. Though the arrangement is as good as Eric's singing and everything else, it just doesn't make me feel anything. 3/5. 10.Cruise the Nile. Eric plays electric sitar here. It's also an instrumental track. It has some eastern feel, and it's something I haven't heard from Eric before.There's also something like a dialogue of an electric guitar and a sitar.Great track 5/5: 11.Tribute to Jerry Reed.An instrumental country song. Eric doesn't solo in this. Adrian Legg, a guest guitarist, solos here. I'm not a fan of country but this song is definitely good.4,5/5: 12.Your Sweet Eyes. It's a song about love and reminds me of some stuff of Richard Marx. It starts off with an acoustic guitar, then the drums begin to play, and Eric starts singing.This song also features Grammy-Award winner Shawn Colvin, who sings in the background.The solo in the middle and in the end are great, and the song itself is great. 5/5 13.Hesitant. A jazz instrumental song. Here Eric's playing with octaves just like Wes Montgomery, the guitarist who influenced Eric's guitar playing. Eric often shows his admiration for Wes Montgomery, as he did in "Manhattan"and "East Wes". Eric doesnt even sound here like he usually does, but anyway a good track. 3,5/5 14.Sonnaround you. Eric sings here about love, but it's a little bit similar to the previous track. I really like Eric's piano playing in the song. The diminished chords he plays are really beautiful.3/5: 15.Magnetized. An instrumental track and one of the highlights of the album. Everything is just great on the track.Nothing to add.5/5: 16.Ciel.The last track of the album, a relaxing one. For the most part of the song Eric plays an acoustic guitar,and in the end he accompanies it with sitar and piano.A good end of the good album: What I really liked is: 1.Eric's guitar work.He's just proved that he's one of the great guitarists ever. 2.The variety of musical genres on the album. 3.His lyrics are also good. What i disliked is that some songs are really repetitive and sometimes it becomes really boring to listen to the album: The Highlights are: My Back Pages, Sad Legacy, Cruise the Nile,Your sweet Eyes, and Magnetized. In conclusion, I'd like to say that Eric released a record which is very easy to listen to. Also, it isn't worse than his previous albums, "Ah Via Musicom" or "Venus Isle". I really recommend it to anyone, because everybody will find something to his liking on this album. - Review by & © CoverHit September 4th, 2005 [4.0 excellent] © 2005-2013 Sputnikmusic.com http://www.sputnikmusic.com/review/3440/Eric-Johnson-Bloom/

Guitar maestro, Eric Johnson has been called "A perfection-driven, genre-bending axe slinger from Texas with one of the most distinctive electric guitar tones in music". Guitar Player Magazine called Eric “one of the most respected guitarists on the planet”, and called his album, “Tones” a majestic debut. Eric also made the cover of Guitar Player magazine after “Tones” release. Eric has been criticized for being too much of a technical musician and not playing with his heart, but he takes great pride in his technical mastery of the guitar and sees himself fulfilling a different role in the guitar world. He says "you have to start out slowly and develop your “ear theory” before you worry about the “book theory” of playing guitar. Eric may be a perfectionist but his albums are worth waiting for. On “Bloom”, the songs' structures are mostly progressively influenced. The album has Latin, jazz, Beatlesque, and even classical influences but all these elements are embedded in beautiful bluesy fret runs and jazzy fusion grooves. A great album and HR by A.O.O.F.C. Listen to Eric's stunning "Ah Via Musicom" album. [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 143 Mb]

TRACKS

Prelude

1. Bloom 3:10
2. Summer Jam 2:11
3. My Back Pages 3:47
4. Good to Me 4:31
5. Columbia 2:22
6. 12 to 12 Vibe 2:21

Courante

7. Sea Secret 1:57
8. Sad Legacy 4:06
9. From My Heart 7:26
10. Cruise the Nile 2:13
11. Tribute to Jerry Reed 2:27
12. Your Sweet Eyes 6:08

Allemande

13. Hesitant 6:28
14. Sunnaround You 3:07
15. Magnetized 3:21
16. Ciel 3:26

All tracks composed by Eric Johnson except "My Back Pages" composed by Bob Dylan

MUSICIANS

Eric Johnson - Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Classical Guitar, Pedal Steel, Electric Sitar, Bass, Rhodes Electric Piano, Piano, Synth, Vocals
Adrian Legg - Guitar
Chris Maresh, C. Roscoe Beck - Bass
Tony Phillips - Bass, Synth, Drums
Steve Barber - Acoustic Piano, Moog Synth, Vocals
Rich Harvey - Acoustic Piano
Tal Bergman, Tom Brechtlein, Barry "Frosty" Smith - Drums
Tommy Taylor, Bill Maddox - Drums, Percussion
Tom Burrit, Brad Evilsizer, James Fenner - Percussion
Salvatore Banzai La Rocca - Harp
Shawn Colvin, Lisa Tingle, Jody Lazo - Vocals

BIO

Very few musical artists achieve a true signature style -- one that makes comparisons to other musicians impossible. But Texas guitarist Eric Johnson arguably comes as close to this echelon as any musician from the past quarter-century. Like fellow Lone Star State guitarists Johnny Winter, Billy Gibbons, and Stevie Ray Vaughan, Johnson blends the rock style of Jimi Hendrix and the blues power of Albert King. Yet Johnson's wide array of additional influences (from the Beatles and Jeff Beck to jazz and Chet Atkins) makes for a guitar sound as unique as his fingerprints. "When I first heard Eric," Winter recalls, "he was only 16, and I remember wishing that I could have played like that at that age." Former Doobie Brothers guitarist Jeff "Skunk" Baxter says, "If Jimi Hendrix had gone on to study with Howard Roberts for about eight years, you'd have what this kid strikes me as." The Austin prodigy appeared on the cover of Guitar Player magazine while working with Texas jazz/fusion band the Electromagnets and as a session player (Cat Stevens, Carole King, Christopher Cross), and a 1984 performance on the TV show Austin City Limits set his recording career in motion. Johnson's 1986 debut album, Tones, certainly proved that the hype was warranted. Playing with the ace rhythm section of bassist Roscoe Beck and drummer Tommy Taylor, Johnson mixed blazing instrumentals ("Zap," "Victory") with Beatles-influenced vocal tunes like "Emerald Eyes" and "Bristol Shore." Johnson used the same half-and-half format on the 1990 follow-up, Ah Via Musicom, but a trio of the album's tunes surprisingly made him the first artist to have three instrumentals from the same album to chart in the Top Ten in any format (with "Cliffs of Dover" earning Johnson a Grammy for Best Rock Instrumental). But, if Johnson had a perceived weakness, it was the perfectionism that caused four years to pass between recordings. Even in concert, he would painstakingly tune his guitar between songs, by ear, for minutes on end. With the success of Ah Via Musicom, the guitarist admitted to feeling pressure to raise the bar again. But Johnson's studio nitpicking delayed Venus Isle until 1996, and the disappointing CD contained fewer instrumentals and sounded forced. A stint on the 1997 G3 tour with fellow headlining guitarists Joe Satriani and Steve Vai, and its resulting live release, breathed new life into Johnson and sparked the idea of a live album. Overhauling his band for the 2000 CD Live and Beyond, Johnson brought in bassist Chris Maresh and drummer Bill Maddox, and concentrated on more of a blues feel. The guitarist still blended instrumentals with his vocal tunes ("Shape I'm In," "Last House on the Block"), but perhaps realized that his thin voice was too one-dimensional for guttural blues or R&B. Guest vocalist Malford Milligan ignites "Don't Cha Know" and "Once a Part of Me," helping Johnson's blazing debut on Vai's Favored Nations label and reestablishing the versatile virtuoso's status for the 21st century. As Vai himself testifies, "Eric has more colorful tone in his fingers than Van Gogh had on his palette." Souvenir, an album available only through Johnson's website, appeared in 2002, followed by CD and DVD versions of New West's Live from Austin, TX and Bloom, the second album for Vai's Favored Nations imprint, in 2005. Johnson returned in 2010 with Up Close, a studio album that slightly emphasized the guitarist's Texas roots. © Bill Meredith © 2014 AllMusic, a division of All Media Network, LLC. | All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/artist/eric-johnson-mn0000188261/biography

24.7.14

Storm Warning


Storm Warning - Breaking Out - 2006 - Lightning Fingers Records

It must be blues, there’s a harmonica player. Or it might be rock, with those bass lines. Or jazz? Storm Warning is a band of five diverse influences that happens to make distinctive, exciting contemporary blues music. Storm Warning has a unique sound, but one that seems to have a wide appeal. This debut album contains seven strong original numbers and two covers which have the Storm Warning stamp. “In essence this CD is a collection of fine songs by fine musicians, well worth adding to the collection and a cracking first release. Rating 10” – Blues in Britain magazine.

“Son Maxwell has a brilliant blues voice…..really an excellent CD …..damn fine band who have a distinct individuality. Very much recommended.” - Blues Matters magazine.

“In essence this CD is a collection of fine songs by fine musicians, well worth adding to the collection and a cracking first release.” - Blues in Britain magazine

“England’s five-piece Storm Warning bring a contemporary feel to classic blues and blues-rock…. Bob Moore ’s guitar work is tasteful.” - Blues Revue USA

Drummer Roger Willis is a very experienced musician and was a member of Capability Brown. Remember that band? No?! LOL! He has also worked on albums with bands like Lynyrd Skynyrd. Storm Warning play contemporary blues/rock the way it should be played.” This is a tight, classy band and in an ideal world would be any decent music promoter’s dream. This band would wipe the floor with the many plastic, disingenuous bands that are conning people for far too many years now. “Breaking Out” is a great album of contemporary blues and rock with traditional elements and jazzy overtones which deservedly scored 10/10 in Blues In Britain. The famed BBC Radio 2 DJ, Paul Jones including a track from ”Breaking Out” on his show which attracted a lot of public interest and the band was invited back to record a live session. This album is the real deal and is HR by A.O.O.F.C. Read more reviews @ http://www.rockingtheblues.com/Storm%20Warning%20BIB%20cd%20review.htm and http://www.rockingtheblues.com/Storm%20Warning%20site/blues_matters_magazine%20cd%20review.htm and check the band’s bio @ http://www.rockingtheblues.com/Storm%20Warning%20site/The%20Band.htm Buy the band' s "Something Real" album and support great blues rock [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 114 Mb]

TRACKS

1 Bullets 6:13
2 The Woman? Or The Blues? 4:24
3 Dangerous Mood 6:21
4 Long Grey Mare 5:41
5 Big Man 5:35
6 Ballad Of 64 4:58
7 Upton Strut 6:44
8 The Blues Are Back 3:58
9 Whisky Blues 5:57

All compositions written by band, (All lyrics by Stuart "Son" Maxwell) except Track 3 by Keb Mo, and Track 4 by Peter Green

MUSICIANS

Bob Moore - Guitar
Derek White - Bass
Ian Salisbury - Keyboards
Roger Willis - Drums, Percussion
Stuart 'Son' Maxwell - Vocals, Harmonica

ABOUT THE BAND

A band of five diverse influences that happens to make distinctive, exciting contemporary blues music, mixing blues and rock with a little jazz and one that seems to have a wide appeal. Breaking Out, is the debut album from UK-based blues-rockers Storm Warning, released in 2006. The band has been touring the UK throughout 2005 and during 2006, with highly acclaimed blues club and festival appearances. Produced by the band and Martin Atkinson at his M.A.R.S. studio, the album features seven original tracks and two covers of modern blues standards. It received excellent reviews in Blues In Britain (10 out of 10 rating) and Blues Matters! magazines and earned the critical seal of approval from Paul Jones, when he played the track ‘Bullets’ on his BBC Radio 2 show. The band is scheduled to record a live session for the show to be broadcast in June 2006. Though generally classified within the blues-rock genre, Storm Warning is a band of five diverse influences that happens to make distinctive, exciting contemporary blues music. The blues are the heart of the sound, but the blues is a form that changes its shape and character to suit whoever is playing it. Storm Warning has a unique sound, mixing blues and rock with a little jazz and one that seems to have a wide appeal. The blues harmonica of Son Maxwell shares the lead with the jazz and rock-influenced guitar of Bob Moore, with the classic Hammond and piano sounds of Ian Salisbury adding an additional blues-based dimension. Drummer Roger Willis, formerly with Capability Brown, and bassist Derek White complete the line-up, forming what The Blues Band bass man Gary Fletcher described as “an ace rhythm section.” Among the original compositions are an instrumental, ‘Upton Strut’, and six songs featuring lyrics by Son Maxwell. The covers are a funky version of Peter Green’s ‘Long Grey Mare’ and Keb Mo’s ‘Dangerous Mood’, both popular features of the band’s live set. Storm Warning are gaining much critical acclaim with their debut cd ‘Breaking Out’ and their powerful live and dynamic show. The band look set to a great rise in popularity during 2006 as more and more people world wide, discover the band and their music. © http://cdbaby.com

23.7.14

Vinnie Colaiuta, Robben Ford, Jimmy Haslip - Jing Chi


Vinnie Colaiuta, Robben Ford, Jimmy Haslip - Jing Chi - 2001- Tone Center

No, this isn't a sister project to Wang Chung, it's actually a blistering and very trippy jazz fusion blast by three old vets who've been shedding over the years in Robben Ford's band. The cover of the disc features psychedelic art and the trio's names -- drummer Vinnie Colaiuta, guitarist Ford, and bassist Jimmy Haslip -- in alphabetical order so that listeners don't mistake any one of them for the leader. It's just an intense ensemble disc that draws from feisty blues-rock (dig the blistering free-for-all opener, "The Hong Kong Incident") to cooler atmospheric experiments (the seductive, laid-back "Stan Key.") There are a lot of influences from '60s rock, cult music, Miles Davis' Bitches Brew, down-home funky Delta blues, and a little James Brown kickin' soul as well. The wah-wah-driven, floating atmospheres of "Tengoku" lets listeners know that while these cats can blow heavy, they're happy at times just to kick back and get deep into nostalgia. Ford's balance of intense playing and strong melodicism is effective in keeping people who like good songwriting in the loop at times when it would be just as easy to just jam and forget about any structure. He also adds a decent vocal to "Going Nowhere," which is anchored in Haslip's hypnotic lines. Less effective is Haslip's robotic attempt to be like Sting on the vocal part of the all-atmospheric "In My Dream." That tune is the only real drawback to a very inventive disc of so many moods and such powerful playing. - By & © Jonathan Widran © 2014 AllMusic, a division of All Media Network, LLC. | All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/album/jing-chi-mw0000657997

Robben Ford comes to fusion by way of the blues, which partially explains why Ford, Vinnie Colaiuta and Jimmy Haslip's Jing Chi (Tone Center) is easier on the ears than a lot of guitar-led fusion efforts. Ford walks a tasteful line between the two spheres: blues-bred phrasing without the blockheaded post-Vaughan blooze cliches and uncrowded, fusion-inspired runs across the fretboard. Then again, with the formidable Haslip on bass and the equally staggering Colaiuta on drums, the space between Ford's notes is in extremely good hands. His playing on tunes like the nudgingly funky "Stan Key," the airy "Tengoku" and the organ-cushioned "Man in the Ring" are a reminder that fewer notes is often better. By & © Tony Green © 1999–2014 JazzTimes, Inc. All rights reserved. http://jazztimes.com/articles/13254-jing-chi-vinnie-colaiuta-robben-ford-jimmy-haslip

Another Tone Center supergroup strikes gold. Ex-Zappa drummer Colaiuta joins Yellowjackets bassist Haslip and blues-jazz guitar god Ford for a pretty damned satisfactory fusion foray. The big ears and fleet fingers required to pull off music like this are present in spades, and Ford's pedigree revives the blues feeling that's been so often absent in jazz-rock outings. This is actually a fairly relaxed set compared to some of the barn-burners Tone Center has released of late. The impression is that of three friends who decided to sit down and jam on a hot August night, aware of their chops but more interested in a tempered musical conversation. For the most part the strategy works well, keeping Jing Chi from falling into the usual trap of "sound and fury signifying nothing" that tends to plague fusion albums. Like many jazz combos, this bunch seems most at home with the blues, evidenced by Ford's rapturous wailing on tracks like "Crazy House." There are some nice diversions here, particularly Ford's crystalline acoustic playing on a tense "Train Song" and his head-smashing metallicity on the opening of Colaiuta's "Aurora." Haslip takes a heavily synthesized vocal on the ethereal "In My Dream," a big change of pace. Colaiuta reminds us that he's a master of all kinds of grooves, his polyrhythms setting up obstacle courses for the strings to playfully navigate. Jazz-rock pioneer Brian Auger adds some hot organ to the cool drive of "Man in the Ring," and his interaction with Haslip at solo time is priceless. Steve Tavaglione's EWI synth and programming are present here and there for atmospheric support, buoyant but unobtrusive. This disc is yet another triumph for Tone Center and the great fusion revival. By & © TODD S. JENKINS, Published: April 12, 2002 © 2014 All About Jazz http://www.allaboutjazz.com/jing-chi-vinnie-colaiuta-tone-center-review-by-todd-s-jenkins.php#.U87-pPldUvA

Jing Chi was a fusion trio composed of three legends of rock, jazz, and fusion: Guitarist Robben Ford, drummer Vinnie Colaiuta (Sting, Frank Zappa, Steely Dan) and bassist Jimmy Haslip (Steely Dan, Yellow Jackets). Between 2001 and 2004, the trio recorded three great fusion albums. The album posted here is the trio's first release and it’s a really impressive example of just how good and important the jazz fusion genre is. The musicianship is sensational here with the great Brian Auger , Steve Tavaglione, and Dan Morris lending their skills to a few tracks. This album is HR by A.O.O.F.C. Buy the trio’s great “3D” album and listen to their “Live” album on this blog @ http://overdoseoffingalcocoa.blogspot.com/2013/08/jing-chi.html [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 153 Mb]

TRACKS / COMPOSERS

1. The Hong Kong Incident - Ford, Haslip 8:06
2. Stan Key - Colaiuta, Haslip, Ford 5:26
3. Tengoku - Ford, Haslip 9:50
4. Crazy House - Colaiuta, Haslip, Ford 5:00
5. Going Nowhere - Ford 6:18
6. Go Figure - Colaiuta, Haslip, Ford 7:24
7. Man in the Ring - Colaiuta, Haslip, Ford 8:49
8. In My Dream - Haslip, Provost 5:34
9. Train Song - Ford, Haslip 7:54
10. Aurora - Colaiuta 4:28

MUSICIANS

Robben Ford - Guitar: Vocals on "Going Nowhere"
Jimmy Haslip - Bass, Keyboards: Vocals on "In My Dream"
Brian Auger - Organ on "Man In The Ring"
Vinnie Colaiuta - Drums, Programming
Dan Morris - Tablas on "Going Nowhere"
Steve Tavaglione - EWI, Wind Synth., Synth Programming, Additional Keyboards, Computer Programming

BIO

The brainchild of bassist/composer Jimmy Haslip, Jing Chi was conceived as a forum for musical expression and interaction between Haslip and fellow music icons, Robben Ford and Vinnie Colaiuta. They played together in Robben Ford's group and shared a level of confidence and trust in each other as people and as musical voices that made their collaboration in Jing Chi a natural evolution, rather than a pre-fab super group. Their shared interests in different styles of music comes out in Jing Chi's cohesive, yet diverse, musical compositions which are as much about expressing a mood as they are about letting it out and playing without commercial restriction. They each bring to the studio a vast amount of experience and knowledge to draw from, yet they continually push each other and learn from each other, which results in a rare musical exchange. Influences as diverse as Cream and the early Tony Williams Lifetime can be heard in addition to funk and delta blues influences, but the final result is "Jing Chi" When asked about the prospect of doing some live dates, Haslip said "I am extremely excited to make this happen for us. We are all psyched to do a tour and play out live and there are some opportunities for us to put a tour together for 2002. We are organizing some dates and hope to announce a cool tour sometime next year. I believe it will be happening". Vinnie Colaiuta: One of the most respected and revered drummers of all time, Vinnie Colaiuta headed for the Berklee College of music after high school in Pennsylvania. At Berklee he honed his chops and forged a friendship with fellow drum icon Steve Smith that resulted in them rooming and studying together. After Berklee Vinnie did his first professional studio session under veteran producer Al Kooper before heading for L.A. where he learned about an audition Frank Zappa was holding for a new drummer. After putting Vinnie through the paces at a grueling audition, Vinnie was hired and began forging a long and important relationship which resulted in Vinnie's appearance on over 15 of Zappa's albums. His work with Joni Mitchell and many others in the 80's created a demand for Vinnie as a "first-call" drummer on the highly competitive L.A. session scene. Although his work with Zappa and the majority of the contemporary jazz and fusion legends caused a strong demand for his playing in the industry and his work with pop legend "Sting" for much of the 90's exposed him to mainstream audiences around the world and contributed to his current status as one of the world's most legendary drummers. Vinnie has worked with top rock and jazz artists including Celine Dion, Jewel, The Temptations, Steely Dan Duran Duran, Gino Vannelli, Weather Report, George Benson, Allan Holdsworth and many, many others.Weather ReportVinnie has worked with K Zildjian. Robben Ford: A guitarist from the age of 13, Robben Ford began playing with Charlie Musslewhite at age 18. A year or so later, Robben and his brothers, formed the Charles Ford band, named after their father and recorded an album for Northern California based Arhoolie records which is still a favorite among blues aficionados. After moving to Los Angeles, began working with hall of fame blues singer Jimmy Witherspoon and toured U.S. and Europe before being asked by Tom Scott's group the L.A. Express to back-up Joni Mitchell on the road. As opening act for Joni Mitchell, Tom Scott and the L.A. Express quickly gained notoriety and Robben along with them. On a trip to England he was asked to play with George Harrison on his Dark Horse album and subsequent tour in 1974. Robben's album, entitled "The Inside Story" was recorded mostly with the band that became the Yellow Jackets which was the start of a musical bond with Jing Chi bassist Jimmy Haslip. An offer to play with Miles Davis resulted in Robben hitting the road with Miles for half a year. His next big career milestone occurred when Warner Brother's release of Robben's solo album "Talk to Your Daughter" in 1988 resulted in a Grammy nomination. This gave rise to his most well known solo group, Robben Ford and The Blue Line. Robben Ford and the Blue Line recorded three well-received records and the group toured the world for the next few years. Robben's next record, "Tiger Walk" contained the song "In The Beginning" which was also nominated for a Grammy. His last studio album "The Supernatural" was critically acclaimed and further cemented Robben Ford's status as a true guitar hero. Jimmy Haslip: Jimmy Haslip began forging a career as one of the industry's most in demand bassists back in the early '70's. Playing with guitar legends such as Buzzy Feiten and Tommy Bolin gave rise to a demand for his services that has carried him into the new millennium. Artists such as Crosby Stills and Nash, Blackjack with Michael Bolton, Lee Ritenour, Robben Ford and Tom Scott utilized his talents on recordings throughout the latter part of the '70's. The 80's saw the development of Jimmy's group the Yellowjackets in which Jimmy expanded his writing and composing chops, recording nearly a record a year over the past two decades. Also during the '80's his demand as a session player continued to grow as he recorded with Cher , Kenny G, Bobby McFerrin, The Rippingtons. Rod Stewart and Steely Dan. Haslip continues to thrive with the Yellowjackets and holds onto the status of one of the industry's most working bassists. © 1999 db Management © http://www.robbenford.com/jingchi.htm

22.7.14

Jon Zeeman


Jon Zeeman - Still Life - 2006 - Jon Zeeman

From the age of 8, Jon Zeeman has been obsessed with guitars, amplifiers, wah-wah pedals, power tubes, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, The Beatles, and The Rolling Stones. Growing up outside NYC, he studied classical piano and decided on a career in music at the ripe age of 13. Early jobs at IHop and other occupations taught him that the business world, or anything that required waking up early was not for him, and so he spent his high school years practicing more and more and doing less and less homework. After studying music at Ithaca College for 2 years, Jon left school to play on the road. In the mid 80's Jon moved to New York City and became involved in producing, session work and song writing, working at his "Studio Z" in a downtown loft. The New York years were punctuated by many trips to Scandinavia, where he toured and recorded with several groups. Jon began performing his own music in the mid 90's working regularly at the "55" Club and other downtown venues. Leaving NYC at the birth of his daughter, Zoe, Jon now resides in Martha's Vineyard and West Palm Beach Florida, where he performs regularly. He has toured, recorded and performed with such notables as Susan Tedeschi , Janis Ian, The Burns Sisters Band, Chris Spedding , and the Allman Brothers Band. His first CD, "Still Life," was released in Europe in 2003 to much acclaim and was followed by "Zeeland" in 2008. Jon is excited to announce the 2013 release of "Down On My Luck." Content © 2014. jonzeeman. All rights reserved. © http://www.jonzeeman.com/Portfolio.html

Great album of instrumental melodic and groove-driven blues and funky jazz fusion by an artist that should really be more widely known outside New York, Florida, and Scandinavia. In the early 90's, Jon began performing instrumentally and wrote a body of music which could be played with little or no rehearsal with a pick-up band. He was a regular for a long period at NYC's 55 Club, often filling in on Mike Stern's night. In '95 he started spending his summers in Martha's Vineyard and winters in South Florida where he is a regular performer. Jon’s music combines jazz, rock, and blues, and his music is influenced by many great musicians including Hendrix, Clapton, Jeff Beck, Pat Metheny, Herbie Hancock, and Miles Davis. Jon has played professionally for over 30 years and has toured, recorded and performed with some great musicians including Susan Tedeschi, Janis Ian, Chris Spedding, and the Allman Brothers Band. However, despite receiving major acclaim for his recordings, he has remained largely invisible in the music world. A great shame considering the amount of trash out there masquerading as music. Rick Davis, writing for Crossroads Blues Society said that, “Jon could be one of the most underrated musicians in the blues field today. As difficult and expensive as it is to tour today, Jon is one blues artist every blues fan should have the opportunity to hear live or at the very least on CD. With his skills he, is bound to gain attention world wide in no time”. “Still Life” is HR by A.O.O.F.C and was co-produced and engineered by the great bassist and violinist Phil McArthur, and recorded at his West Palm Beach Mole Hill Studios. The album was recorded almost entirely 'live' in the studio with the minimum of overdubs or effects. Check out Jon’s “Zeeland” album on this blog and please buy his great "Down On My Luck” album. Support real music and genuine talent [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 115 Mb]

TRACKS

1. The Hop 6:17
2. Still Life 5:26
3. The Secret Louge 5:18
4. Summer 6:49
5. The Cake 3:58
6. Fluid 5:06
7. Snack 4:52
8. Bye Bye Baby 5:14
9. Fast Train Blues 2:36
10. Party Hat 4:47

All tracks composed by Jon Zeeman

MUSICIANS

Jon Zeeman - Guitar
Phil McArthur - Bass, Violin
Bob Taylor - Piano
Keith Cronin - Drums on Tracks 1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 9
Lou Abbot - Drums on Tracks 3, 5, 9, 10

21.7.14

Hydra (Citriniti Related)


Hydra (Citriniti) - Odd World - 2002 - Ind.

Citriniti is named after brothers, Danilo and Domenico Citriniti born in Catanzaro, Italy. Drummer Danilo and bassist Domenico gradually shifted their focus from math metal to complex progressive fusion instrumentals, rich in advanced techniques. The intricacy and sophistication of their music is easier to understand when considering that these two stellar musicians grew up going with their father to his gigs and have shared a lifetime of playing together. The level of intuitive musical interplay and synergy created by the Citriniti brothers is a powerful force that inspires awe from fellow musicians. After recording their first effort Hydra Odd World in 2002, the brothers Citriniti began planning their greatest musical achievement to date, Between The Music And Latitude. This album, released on 2006, features Italian session veteran Fabrizio Leo who has played with many successful Italian artists and is known for being one of the best guitarists in Italy. Their songs are an incredible set of intricate compositions, built on tight interplay between the three musicians. In the tradition of other great instrumental projects of this genre, such as Henderson, Smith and Wooten, Liquid Tension Experiment and Howe, Wooten and Chambers, this record is brimming with important performances, both by the ensemble and by each individual musicians jaw-dropping solos. Tone Center has built a strong reputation in the marketplace from recording high caliber musical unions and "Between The Music And Latitude" is a CD that progressive rock and fusion fans will be hailing for many years to come. Mike Varney: "Between the Music and Latitude it is a fantastic effort. You are all stellar musicians! So far, you guys have been the best that I have received from Italy, production, music, songwriting, playing, etc.. " 3rd may 2008, release date of the Citriniti new album! Featuring Fabrizio Leo all guitars and Andrea DePaoli solo keyboards. Their 2008 self-titled cd, is a heavier, more powerful, more progressive and more metallic effort than their previous record. Eleven instrumental tracks are offered, designed to satisfy all the various types of fans of their music. 12/2011 from Citriniti bros: we've officially retired from playing live and recording. ©2000-2014 Metal Storm http://www.metalstorm.net/bands/biography.php?band_id=7729&bandname=Citriniti

Taking a break from the six-string, we're presented with - a six-string! Bass, that is. The southern Italian brothers Domenico Citriniti (bass) and Danilo Citriniti(drums), known as Hydra, submitted their all-original, twelve track instrumental fusion CD-R, entitled Odd World. Talk about a CD-R that needs to get to the pressing plant so the world can enjoy it - this recording features some excellent bass and drums dominated fusion. An added bonus is that they've recruited a number of guitarists, such as Salvatore Ciambrini (guitar on "The Spider" and three others) and Luciano Aloise (guitar on "Insert Miles") to contribute blistered solos to a number of tracks. Domenico has mastered the art of writing compositions around his massive abilities on the six-string bass - it's just as engaging as you'd hope any fusion record might be. Danilo really lays down a great groove for his brother as well; overall, the musicianship is top-notch throughout. The entire project was laid down in their home studio. Impressive! © 1996-2013 Guitar Nine All Rights Reserved http://www.guitar9.com/undiscov41e.html

This is high octane hard edged fusion, and considering it's national origin, Italy, this is proving that great music, as well as great musicians are coming from every imaginable country. Italy of course has a deep tradition in great music no matter the genre, and fusion is something they are perhaps not so well known for. Hydra is mainly two brothers DANILO CITRINITI - Drums/Keyboards, and DOMENICO CITRINITI - Six String Bass, and joining them are a trio of guitarists that share and assist in the creations of the brothers Citriniti. both the brothers are simply outrageous virtuoso musicians, and stand out from the start to the finish of this cd. Domenico, on bass is one to watch for, his playing is straight from the Alain Caron, Stuart Hamm, Adam Nitti school. He has amazing chops and is never shy to use these skills to drive his brothers drumming skills to the limit, call it family chemistry if you will, but there is no doubt that they are on the same page as far as talent, performance and musical styles are concerned. Considering the skills of the musicians involved, the songs are geared to showcase the limitless abilities of all involved, no doubt that people who love over the top musicianship, particularly the bass, and drums are in for a real treat upon hearing this music, which by the way can be sampled at mp3.com. Danilo Citriniti, doubles on both keyboards and drums, and be honest, I am not entirely sure what he would claim to be his main forte, suffice it to say, he is equally impressive at both, and for my ears, he can really manipulate the drum kit much with the best of them. His playing is aggressive, as well as vigorously improvisational, in many ways he reminds me of a couple other drummer, one being Anders Johansson, and another Swedish player by the name of Morgan Agren. I can only hope that Hydra's music finds it's audience, which from my experiences is a global one, this way the band can keep refining their style, and perpetuate some more cds of this outlandish fusion. If you enjoy bands in the style of Spaced Out, or other bass heavy hard fusion musics, find this cd, you will fiind this some very good stuff indeed. – By & © MJBrady ProGGnosis © 2000 - 2014 where appropriate - All rights reserved. http://www.proggnosis.com/Release_Detail.aspx?RID=6308

Citriniti was an Italian instrumental metal/fusion band named after brothers Danilo (drums) and Domenico (bass). The intricacy and sophistication in their music naturally evolved from a lifetime of playing together. Citriniti played mostly instrumental progressive jazz fusion and metal, using rich and advanced techniques. This is complex and challenging jazz metal fusion, and if you like artists like Combination Head, Liquid Tension Experiment, Mike Keneally, David Torn, Wayne Krantz, and great innovative guitarists in general, you may find what you are looking for in this album of super tech and speedy metal fusion with a real biting edge! Fabrizio Leo played with the band from 2006-2008 and does not play on this 2002 album, but three other guitarists, Salvatore Ciambrini, Luciano Aloise, and Alex Bevilacqua put in some tremendous work. The album is HR by A.O.O.F.C. Check out the immensely talented Italian session guitarist Fabrizio Leo’s “Cutaway” album, and try and listen to Citriniti’s “Between The Music And Latitude” albums. [All tracks @ 221-224 Kbps: File size = 73.7 Mb]

TRACKS

1 Hydra (4:48)
2 M17 (5:19)
3 The Spider (4:37)
4 Insert Miles (6:46)
5 Night Bus Machine (3:12)
6 Odd World (pt.1 & 2) (5:11)
7 Savage Attack (3:33)
8 Timeless (4:42)
9 Hard Zone (4:23)
10 Serious Clown (4:01)

All tracks composed by Danilo Citriniti and Domenico Citriniti

MUSICIANS

Salvatore Ciambrini, Luciano Aloise, Alex Bevilacqua - Guitar
Domenico Citriniti - Bass
Danilo Citriniti - Drums

BIO

Domenico a bass player and Danilo a drummer are two young musicians, born and raised in southern Italy (Catanzaro). Their career in music started in the late '80's, thanks to their father, who was also a musician with a passion for music which he had passed on to his sons. They played music just for fun until one day they had realized it was more than that, music was part of them. The musical scene in southern Italy hardly brought many opportunities to a musician so they put together their first band in 1989 playing metal. This band was around for a few years where they made a couple of demo tapes getting great reviews from well known music magazines. This led them to become part of a CD Collection and playing live concerts in the area, not bad for a start, but the brothers wanted to keep pursuing their music career by exploring new styles. In '92 Danilo became part of the metal band "Glacial Fear" which many metal fans remember the band for the power drumming. Danilo recorded a demo tape and a 45" vinyl with the "Glacial Fear", receiving great reviews and being asked to play many live concerts. Moving in other directions with many new music styles, Danilo and Domenico were getting much more experience joining a variety of local and national bands playing for many different artists. Before starting their first projects "Hydra" together they recorded 3 demo CD's solo, "Demo Bass" by Domenico, WateReign" by Danilo who was the keyboard player with a New Age style and the following year "Over Drums" also by Danilo. In 2002 they decided to self produce a CD together and after a few months with alot of hard work they came out with their new project "Hydra", based on drums and bass. "Hydra" represents all of the ideas and experiences which have matured over the years. The CD includes 10 original songs based on the rhythmic section, written and arranged by Danilo and Domenico. Their friends had also been part of the project playing the guitar to make the CD complete. The recording was done in their Home Studio. "They feel was the best solution for a musician who wants to be creative and working very closely with their own music." Among the many musicians who have inspired and influenced them are Chick Corea, Allan Holdsworth, Frank Zappa, Tribal Tech, Virgil Donati, Vinnie Colaiuta, Dave Weckl, John Patitucci, Michael Manring, Victor Wooten, Stuart Hamm, Journey, Jonathan Cain... and JACO... Danilo and Domenico's ultimate goal is to have as many people around the world listening to their music and feeling their groove. © https://archive.org/details/iuma-hydra_danilo_e_domenico_citriniti

20.7.14

The Steve Saluto's


The Steve Saluto's - Fuzzy House - 2004 - Levei’s Productions

The guitar of Steve Saluto is able to show all the artist’s taste and heart having in the impact and in the freshness of the sound its winning card“ in this way Guitar Club Magazine introduced Steve Saluto in the Nov. 2000 issue. Residing in Treviso (Italy), Steve Saluto began playing guitar at the age of fifteen. At the beginning they were jazz guitar lessons then, inspired by the Van Halen solo in "Beat It", Steve took up playing rock. From Jazz to Funk to Rock and Pop, Steve has played and or recorded with a diverse many such as The Venice Gospel Ensemble, Buddy Miles, Phil Palmer, and many more. He has written and produced 11 solo and band recordings featuring his diverse guitar virtuosity. "Melodic Rock" described him as "the amazing new Italian guitar hero and a recording studio genius" ... besides his guitar player and band leader status, Steve is an in demand writer and producer for up and coming young bands and he also own a recording commercial studio. © https://myspace.com/stevesaluto/bio

Steve Saluto's Fuzzy House was recorded partly at Steve's studio The Kitchen, partly at the Level Recording Studio and a track has been recorded at the Headroom Recording Studio in L.A. during Saluto's last vacation there. Three live tracks recorded at the Teatro Accademia in Conegliano (including a jazzy cover arrangement of Sting's "King Of Pain") also close out the album of fusion and jazz instrumentals. In addition to the guitar work of Saluto, musicians playing on this project include Paolo Vianello (piano), Charlie Waymire (drums), Giorgio Zanier (drums), Paolo Prizzon (drums), Danny Gottlieb (drums), Miky Minniti (bass), Jeff Berlin (bass) and Lello Gnesutta (bass). Steve Saluto's Fuzzy House interjects a rocker's energy into the jazz/fusion fans have come to love. - © Guitar9

“Fuzzy House” is a totally instrumental jazz fusion release featuring Danny Gottlieb on drums and Jeff Berlin on bass. “Melodic Rock” described Steve Saluto as “the amazing new Italian guitar hero and a recording studio genius ”. Steve Saluto is most definitely one hell of a great guitarist, and this album deserves much wider exposure. Listen to Steve’s “A Different Fire” album [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 118 Mb]

TRACKS / COMPOSERS

1. Fuzzy Boy - Saluto (3:43)
2. Hooked - Saluto (4:31)
3. The Club - Saluto (5:43)
4. Come Dimenticare - Vianello (6:21)
5. Radio Vamp - Saluto (00:51)
6. Tonic - Saluto (4:43)
7. I've Grown Accustomed To Her Face - Lerner & Loewe (3:24)
8. Hooked (Live) - Saluto (8:06)*
9. Paolo's Piano Intro (Live) - Vianello (1:20)*
10. King Of Pain (Live) - Sting (7:32)*

* Recorded live at the “Teatro Accademia”, Conegliano, Italy, on Feb. 13th, 2004

MUSICIANS

Steve Saluto - Guitar, Bass, Vocals, Noises
Miki Minniti, Jeff Berlin, Lello Gnesutta - Bass
Paolo Vianello - Keyboards
Danny Gottlieb, Giorgio Zanier, Charlie Waymire, Paolo Prizzon - Drums

BIO

My name is Steve Saluto and I am a producer, musician/songwriter, audio engineer and avid music fan. As a musician i’ve written and produced 12 solo and band recordings featuring my diverse guitar styles ranging from jazz to rock and playing and recording with musicians such as Buddy Miles, Darryl Jones (Sting/Rolling Stones), Danny Gottlieb (Pat Metheny Group), Jeff Berlin, Doug Wimbish (Living Colours), Brian Tichy (Billy Idol/Foreigner), Richie Kotzen (Poison/Mr Big), Oni Logan (Lynch Mob) just to name a few. I’ve been a member, in 2008, of the acclaimed band called “La Famiglia Superstar” with Terry Ilous (Great White), Marco Mendoza (Whitesnake/Thin Lizzy) and Atma Anur. With this band i did tour and a well selling record called “La Famiglia Superstar”. Working with these musicians has provided me with a great deal of in-studio experience, as well as the opportunity to play around the world introducing me to an international audience. I graced national TV and RADIO shows (RAI, Video Music, Roxy bar) and the pages of several guitar and music pubblications including GUITAR PLAYER, GUITAR CLUB, AXE, METAL SHOCK, FLASH and BASIMEDIA MAGAZINE. “Melodic Rock” described me as “… the amazing new Italian guitar hero and a recording studio genius … ” … well… I don’t think to be a recording studio genius … but aside my guitar player status I’m an in demand writer and producer for up and coming young bands. Actually I’m a member of the Pensado Academy hosted by the Grammy Winning mix master Dave Pensado. I’ve just released my 12th solo album called “12” and a song I’ve written/recorded with Danny Bullman, Richard Fortus (Guns’n Roses), Marco Mendoza and Tim McCarver (Murder FM) is part of the “WILDSTYLE & TATTOO MUSIC – The Ultimate Tattoo Sound – The 3 CD box of Europes’ most successful show “Wildstyle & Tattoo Messe”. © http://www.stevesaluto.com/2011/index.asp?pag=1

Leo Badinella


Leo Badinella - Beyond Consciousness - 2009 - Ielo

This album is comprised of songs that were composed over an extensive period of time. In between the different projects that I’ve done, I always make time to write music for guitar. Luckily, with every project I get involved in, I acquire different perspectives from where to look at art, music and life in general - these experiences and viewpoints are then naturally reflected in the music I write, as you will notice and enjoy… I hope! Also.. I had the awesome Michael Manring play Bass on the track "Ritual".- Leo

Leo’s personal vision of music intertwines most divergent styles into a most harmonious soundscape. Taking a “Instrumental Progressive Metal” approach for the most part on “Beyond Consciousness”, he has coloured his compositions from many points on the musical compass: Atmospheric Synths that have much in common with Electronica or even a delicate movie soundtrack; mixing Folk rhythms and harmonies that have seeped into the album organically from the music that surrounds Leo in the variety of culture that surrounds him in Chile; Stunning Acoustic Guitar fusion occurs, with elements of South American Folk, Flamenco and the Classical realm which all combine to give form to the truly beautiful Acoustic Guitar passages featured on this album. © http://www.reverbnation.com/leobadinella

This debut lends the listener a chance to enthral in a new musical landscape and heralds the arrival of a humble, likable, yet virtuosic Guitarist and Composer and very possibly the guitar hero tomorrow, today. There is little doubt that Leo Badinella will provide inspiration for many aspiring guitarists and composers with his ground breaking debut album “Beyond Consciousness”, and this will be seen in the future, as, just the beginning… © http://www.reverbnation.com/leobadinella

Well above average instrumental rock, quite heavy at times but it’s quite a varied album ranging from Classical and Latin to acoustic, hard and prog rock, funk, metal, jazz fusion, and experimental. His musical career encompasses Rock, Orchestral, Folk, World, and Electronica. Leo’s musical influences include Jimi Hendrix, Igor Stravinsky, Tchaikovsky, Pink Floyd, and Al DiMeola. This is not an earth shattering album but all the music was composed by Leo, and in general, the compositions are good and original, with the guitar and keyboards beautifully played by Leo. In fact most of the music was written for guitar. Other great musicians appearing on the album include Michael Manring on bass guitar. Read more about Leo @ http://leonardobadinella.com/about/ and http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default.cfm?bandID=578782 See can you locate his 2005 “Prologo” Demo E.P [Tracks @ 273-289 Kbps: File size = 115 Mb]

TRACKS

1. Prologo 4:15
2. Infinite Substance 5:06
3. Ritual 5:28
4. Kat Kat Katan 5:05
5. Contrastes 5:17
6. Mirando Al Cielo 6:01
7. Escape 4:43
8. El Reto 5:48
9. Balance 7:41
10. Elypse 7:51

All tracks composed by Leo Badinella

MUSICIANS

Leo Badinella - Guitar on Tracks 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, Bass on Tracks 4, 6, 8, 9, 10, Keyboards on Tracks 1, 5, 6, 9, 10, Programming
Sebastian Munoz - Bass on Tracks 1,2
Michael Manring - Bass on Track 3
Martin Ahm Nielsen - Bass on Tracks 5,7
Rodrigo Rua - Drums, Percussion on Tracks 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

BIO

Leo’s background is varied, making a successful living as a commercial musician, but his album is his true passion and a pure expression of his individuality – “Beyond Consciousness” has been written and composed over an extensive period of time, 8 years in total! In the 8 years of writing his debut album, Leo has worked on TV commercials in styles ranging from Techno, Rock hybrids, Jazz, and mood Electronica. The success of the commercial tunes lead to work for multimedia productions, most notably the PC Video Game mod “The Nameless Mod”, which stylistically featured Ambient music blended with Acoustic instruments, thundering Drumbeats and fully Orchestral scores. After gaining many skills and success, Leo branched out to work more on the Production side of music, working for independent musicians and bands Engineer, Mixer and Producer, recording more than a dozen bands/artists, including six full albums. His passion as a guitar fan saw him show up to a meet & greet / signing event for legendary guitarist Steve Vai with a Mini-Disc player and a copy of his demo. Vai, upon listening to the demo that became the first track on the album “Beyond Consciousness”, “Prologo”, commented; “I really like the guitar tone, very nice.” Amusingly, Vai was calmly listening, as the security at the event yelled and gestured, “Hey, you can’t do that!”, with Vai seemingly ignoring them! The praise from Steve Vai found Leo amazed, and he replied honestly to Mr. Vai; “that he was my biggest inspiration.” Being fluent in English, Technical Guitar and Bass, as well as the language of his homeland Chile – Spanish, has lead Leo to some interesting experiences amongst the Hard Rock Royalty and Virtuoso Elite; having served as interpreter for both, Billy Sheehan the Legendary Bass player for David Lee Roth, Mr. Big and Steve Vai, and for Bruce Kulick formerly of Hard Rock Icon’s Kiss, and noted Guitar hero. During Billy Sheehan’s clinic the organiser announced a spur-of-the-moment surprise Jam Session for Billy and his guitar playing interpreter, Leo! Recovering from the shock of the offer, Leo’s drummer Rodrigo Roa, who was luckily in the audience, joined them onstage and proceeded to kick into Sheehan’s classic song “Shy Boy” (as recorded by David Lee Roth with Sheehan and Vai), to the surprise of the audience (and indeed, Billy!!). Giving a note perfect rendition, and having the rare opportunity to play with a musical inspiration, made an already great day “timeless” for Leo. The attention from this rollicking off-the-cuff performance at the clinic resulted in the welcome surprise of considerable airplay of Leo’s demo on the Hard Rock stations in Chile. After assisting Bruce Kulick, formerly of Kiss, with interviews, press, and a concert/clinic while in Chile, Leo gave Kulick a copy of his demos that were to become “Beyond Consciousness”. Bruce contacted Leo through his email to comment that having listened; “liked all of the songs on the demo, most especially the slow melodic parts.” Leo’s personal vision of music intertwines most divergent styles into a most harmonious soundscape. Taking a “Instrumental Progressive Metal” approach for the most part on “Beyond Consciousness”, he has coloured his compositions from many points on the musical compass: Atmospheric Synths that have much in common with Electronica or even a delicate movie soundtrack; mixing Folk rhythms and harmonies that have seeped into the album organically from the music that surrounds Leo in the variety of culture that surrounds him in Chile; Stunning Acoustic Guitar fusion occurs, with elements of South American Folk, Flamenco and the Classical realm which all combine to give form to the truly beautiful Acoustic Guitar passages featured on this album. Michael Hedges being a stand out influence in the acoustic playing of Leo’s, Leo sought the multi-faceted genius of Hedge’s frequent Bass player, Michael Manring, to play on the entrancing and inspired track, “Ritual”. Along with Manring, a small, but stellar line up of international musician’s join Leo to contribute to the album. Among the featured is; Martin Ahm Nielsen, Danish Bass player and composer of commercials and computer game themes, as well as the bands “Metz” and “Superband”, contributing a nimble, though at times devastatingly heavy Bass performance on 2 tracks on the album; “Contrastes” and “Escape”. Rounding out the guests on Bass, is Sebastian Muñoz (Como Asesinar A Felipes, Brain Damage) who provides a rip-roaring Bass performance on the opening two tracks of the album; “Prologo” and “Infinite Substance”. Rodrigo Roa (Hic Sunt Leones, Awen) played the Drums on the entire album – a friend and a musical foil, Roa accompanies Leo, with both brutal instinct and delicate finesse, throughout the album with unforgettable performances. Leo used a choice line of gear to create the many guitar textures on “Beyond Consciousness”, his Guitar-Rig for the album included; an Ibanez J-Custom 7-string, an Ibanez Universe UV777BK, a Gibson Les Paul, an Ovation Acoustic and an Ibanez Masa Acoustic. Amplifiers used include; a Peavy 5150, and a Mesa Boogie Rectifier preamp going into the 5150’s poweramp. Pedals used were; a Digitech Whammy pedal, a modified Boss DS-1, a Bad Horsie Wah and a Boss PS-5 Pitch Shifter. Outboard gear was a Korg A3 preamp and an Eventide H3000. And finally; an E-Bow, “used here and there. :) ”The fact that Leo enthuses so openly, with heart-felt excitement and admiration about his numerous experiences with some of his musical heroes may seem misleading, he is in fact already quite successful and well known in his native Chile as a Studio Guitarist, Commercial Composer (he earns a living from these two!) and a freelance Producer and small Studio owner. This debut lends the listener a chance to enthral in a new musical landscape and heralds the arrival of a humble, likable, yet virtuosic Guitarist and Composer and very possibly the guitar hero tomorrow, today. There is little doubt that Leo Badinella will provide inspiration for many aspiring guitarists and composers with his ground breaking Debut album “Beyond Consciousness”, and this will be seen in the future, as, just the beginning… Special thanks to the awesome Chris McMahon for lending his considerable writing skills to this section… ©2010 Leo Badinella http://www.leobadinella.com/blog/?page_id=23

18.7.14

Bill Connors


Bill Connors - Theme To The Gaurdian - 1975 - ECM Records

Bill Connors' great moment of fame occurred when he was with Chick Corea's Return to Forever during 1973-1974, recording the influential Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy. His decision to leave RTF to concentrate more on acoustic guitar may have been satisfying artistically, but it cut short any chance he had at commercial success. Previously, he had played electric guitar with Mike Nock and Steve Swallow in San Francisco; but his post-1974 work was primarily acoustic, particularly in the 1970s when he recorded a series of atmospheric albums for ECM (including with Jan Garbarek). In the mid-'80s, for Pathfinder, Connors' music became more rock-oriented, but those releases did not make much of an impact despite his talent. © Scott Yanow © 2014 AllMusic, a division of All Media Network, LLC. | All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/artist/bill-connors-mn0000070942/biography

The blazingly explosive and technically precise legato guitarist in Return to Forever left after one release with RTF to pursue a solo career and much quieter, acoustic guitar path. This is the first in a trio of acoustic guitar releases Connors put out in the '70s on the famous ECM label. Theme to the Guardian features some truly excellent acoustic guitar work, with some unique compositions and playing styles. Connors dubs one track as a sort of complex and exotic chordal progression-based structure of strummed rhythms and/or a tapestry of three-finger rolling. Connors solos over this landscape of dreamy, moody, surreal, and frenetic design. The effect is a ghostly dance of melancholy angst and passionate wailings. © John W. Patterson © 2014 AllMusic, a division of All Media Network, LLC. | All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/album/theme-to-the-guardian-mw0000197363

Great innovative acoustic guitar based jazz fusion album from one of the best guitarists you may never have heard! The chords, melodies,and song structures are ahead of their time. This subtle and beautiful album is just as enjoyable as any full blown aggressive electric fusion album with a full band. HR by A.O.O.F.C. Listen to Bill’s “Return” album, and check out Bill’s “Double Up”,” “Step It”, “Assembler”, and “Swimming With A Hole In My Body” albums on this blog. Listen to the late Emily Remler’s “Firefly” album sometime. [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 105 Mb]

TRACKS

1 Theme To The Gaurdian 5:15
2 Childs Eyes 4:22
3 Song For A Crow 4:13
4 Sad Hero 4:25
5 Sea Song 5:00
6 Frantic Desire 2:52
7 Folk Song 6:32
8 My Favorite Fantasy 4:23
9 The Highest Mountain 3:24

All tracks composed by Bill Connors except Track 5 composed by Glenn Cronkhite

BIO (WIKI)

Bill Connors (born September 24, 1949) is an American jazz musician notable for being a legato technique master, adept at both the acoustic and electric guitar, and successfully played jazz-rock, free and fusion material in the '70s and '80s. His best early solos were in the jazz-rock genre, where his use of distortion and electronics was balanced by fine phrasing and intelligent solos. His first great moment of fame occurred when he joined Chick Corea's Return to Forever in 1973, recording Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy, though he quit in 1974 and was followed by Earl Klugh, who was then replaced by Al Di Meola. His decision to leave Return to Forever to concentrate more on acoustic guitar was satisfying artistically: he recorded three acoustic albums and then three electric albums as a leader/soloist, and recorded and performed with others. The quality, innovation and thoughtfulness of his work has always garnered strong praise. Connors was born in Los Angeles, California in 1949 and began to play the guitar at the age of fourteen. After three years of extensive self-study of the rock and blues influences that were his first inspiration, he began to play gigs around the Los Angeles area. He soon found his way to jazz, the music that would lead to a lifelong commitment. "I'd been playing for about four years", he explained at the time of his RTF tenure, "and suddenly had an overnight change. I didn't want to be a blues guitarist anymore. I began listening to people like Bill Evans, Jim Hall, Wes Montgomery, [bassist] Scott LaFaro, Miles Davis, [John] Coltrane—anyone who had a 'jazz' label. Django Reinhardt really got to me. The first time I heard one of his records, I thought that was just what I wanted to be. He had all the fire, creativity, and energy that rock players have today. And the amazing purity of his melodies—you just knew they came from a totally instinctive place." He and Django differed however over the matter of electronics with Bill preferring the sound of the electric instrument. "I always wanted to use the electric guitar in a sophisticated context, like with Chick [Corea]. I like to play jazz with that electric-rock sound. For me it's a lot closer to a horn than the traditional guitar, and that's what I love about it; I can sustain notes, get into different kinds of phrasing -- do things other instruments do naturally, only the guitar does it with the aid of technology." Connors moved to San Francisco in 1972 to join the Mike Nock Group (formerly known as "The Fourth Way") with drummer Eddie Marshall and bassist Dennis Parker. He met up with drummer and vibraphonist Glenn Cronkhite, who would introduce him to a new depth of jazz sounds and study. In those early years in the city by the bay, Connors played with numerous top-flight musicians, including Cronkhite, bassist Steve Swallow and pianist Art Lande. In 1973, after sitting in on a gig, Connors was signed on to Return to Forever, keyboardist and composer Chick Corea’s pioneering fusion group that featured bassist Stanley Clarke and (then) drummer Steve Gadd. "A miracle!" Bill claims. "Chick was my hero. I wanted to be Chick Corea on guitar. I didn't know him, but whenever I really wanted to get off on music I'd play some of his piano solos and Return To Forever songs. I heard that Chick was looking for a guitarist. Steve encouraged me to call Chick, and though I was very nervous, I did, and he invited me to come over to the club where he was working and sit in. I was so scared that I almost turned him down. But after running around and saying to everyone, 'Guess who I'm going to play with tonight,' and everyone telling everyone else, all this energy was formulating—and I took to my room and practiced my ass off." That night, the fright totally disappeared. "The minute I got up on stage I had this feeling like I'd been preparing for this all my life. I was so relaxed that I felt as though I was in my own living room. Chick and I played musical games -- he'd play these real simple lines and I'd be giving my interpretations of them, then go off into the Chick Corea 'outness.' I ended up in New York two weeks later." With keyboardist and composer Chick Corea’s pioneering fusion group that featured bassist Stanley Clarke and drummer Lenny White, Connors established himself on the national and international music scenes, touring in Japan and Europe, and recording the now legendary Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy. Connors' playing with the group and on Hymn... spearheaded an unprecedented direction for guitar in jazz. "It's hard to overlook the early Return to Forever or the Stanley Clarke debut solo recording, but.. again sentiment has taken over...but here is truly the FIRST guitarist to play fusion with a KILLER 'rock' guitar sound". - Steve Kahn. But there is often a problem when wishes come true; in April 1974, after the band's tour of Europe and Japan, Bill quit the group. The musical direction seemed to him to be changing from what it was when Connors joined. He explains, "Everything started getting less aesthetic, more rock. Just too much like Mahavishnu (John McLaughlin (musician)). I was having trouble expressing myself the way I wanted to in that context." Connor's disenchantment with the group also stemmed from certain objections to Corea's Scientology-inspired leadership style. "Chick had a lot of ideas that were part of his involvement with Scientology. He got more demanding, and I wasn't allowed to control my own solos. I had no power in the music at all. Then, we'd receive written forms about what clothes we could wear, and graphic charts where we had to rate ourselves every night – not by our standards, but his. Finally, we had to connect dots on a chart every night. I took all of it seriously because I had a lot of respect for Chick, but eventually I just felt screwed around. In the end, my only power was to quit." In 1974, Connors left RTF, and began to explore the New York jazz and session scene, performing with guitarist John Abercrombie and keyboardist Jan Hammer, and recording with bassist Stanley Clarke. "It was great,"he states, "because it wasn't this contrived thing in order to communicate to the audience. We were *playing* again and *learning* again, and it felt real good." During this period, record dates with artists as diverse as vocalist Gene McDaniels and Stanley Clarke kept the guitarist's creative impulses occupied with a variety of challenges—but not for long. "Around 1975, I'd decided to become a classical guitar player", he muses. "I did my first solo album in 1974, and just decided on the spur of the moment to do it all on acoustic. That was just such a contrast from blowing people's ears off with my 200-watt Marshall that it really started to capture me." A further impetus came with Connors' discovery of classical artist Julian Bream. "I was sitting with his album 20th Century Guitar [RCA, LSC2964] -- a real classic -- and it has this piece by [German composer] Henze that I really loved. It was just getting to me, so I sat down for a couple of days and transcribed it -- on my steel-string guitar, with my funny pick-and-finger technique [laughs]. When I got it, it gave me so much pleasure that I said, 'Okay, I'm going to be a classical guitar player.' And that's what happened." "I bought a bunch of books and a classical guitar, and started with the C scale, playing 'i m i m' [index, middle, index, middle], etc. For about three years, I practiced eight hours a day: up early, play for five hours, take a break, and play for three more hours. I'd throw in some extra hours if I could. My reading sure improved after that. You've got to understand that I come from an unschooled background—all my schooling is self-inflicted [laughs]. I like scales, technique, and intelligence, but they weren't natural for me. Being a blues player was natural for me, but it wasn't enough." Connors recorded his first solo album in 1974, Theme to the Guardian (ECM), making the switch from electric to acoustic guitar. At the same time, he began the next phase of his self-driven studies, taking it on himself to delve into transcriptions and studies of the works of classical guitarists. Two more recordings on acoustic guitar followed, 1977's Of Mist and Melting (ECM), with Connors as leader and on guitar, saxophonist Jan Garbarek, bassist Gary Peacock and drummer Jack DeJohnette and then, in 1979, another solo effort by the guitarist, Swimming with a Hole in My Body (ECM). During 1976 and 1977, Connors also recorded with Lee Konitz, Paul Bley and Jimmy Giuffre in New York. He toured Europe, performing with composers Luciano Berio and Cathy Berberian. Connors then returned to electric guitar, performing and recording with Jan Garbarek on Places (1978) and Photo with Blue Sky, White Cloud, Wires, Windows and a Red Roof (1979), and with Tom Van Der Geld and Richard Jannotta in 1979 (Path, ECM). In 1985, Connors recorded Step It (Pathfinder/Evidence), featuring Connors and Steve Kahn on guitars, Tom Kennedy on bass and Dave Weckl on drums. Music critic Gene Santoro said of Connors’ playing on the album: “the aching blues phrases sing with the expressiveness of early-to middle-period Clapton; the sudden note blizzards strike with the stark power of a John Coltrane sax solo ” (Guitar Player, May 1985). Connors’ next album, 1986's Double Up, again featuring bassist Kennedy but now with drummer Kim Plainfield, brought more accolades: “Connors is back, stronger than ever with one of the most dynamic, burning sounds in electric jazz” and “Connors soars, smolders, and screams; don’t miss it” (Jim Ferguson, Guitar Player, April 1987). The same trio (Connors, Kennedy, Plainfield) recorded Assembler in 1987, and again reviewers praised the sounds: “Connors’ flowing, passionate lines in the context of slippery, interactive funk grooves laid down by drummer Plainfield, a master of slick time displacement, and the accomplished 6-string electric bassist Tom Kennedy...the three reach a special accord... Bill Connors is in rare and ripping form” (reviewer Bill Milkowski). For the past years, Connors has been giving private lessons while continuing his stylistic and technical studies of the works of jazz greats. He’s now playing plectrum style on a classical jazz guitar, an archtop electric. Connors is a mature professional with a highly polished level of musicianship, a sure sense of direction, and the same overriding love for the music that has always been his touchstone. Recent press continues to praise Connors' work, his contributions to the field of music, and his continued innovations: "Bill Connors was the 'cry of love' in jazz/fusion guitar. He may be the most misunderstood, overlooked, and maligned character on the scene at the time" (Vernon Reid, notes to Columbia/Legacy box set 100 Years of Jazz Guitar). The following selection speaks to Connors' 2005 release, Return: "Bill Connors has always lived and played ahead of the times...... masterful playing and infectious grooves... If Connors' past albums can be likened to swimming in a pool at an all-night pool party, then Return is like taking a dive into the open sea... The band is so tight that much of the record sounds like a duet, with bass, drums, and percussion forming a singular rhythmic landscape for the piano and guitar to dance through like light beaming into a raindrop... All in all, Return is a mature and playful album. The musicians are responsive and fluid, in complete control of the music, and are unafraid to lead the listener into uncharted territory" (Ari Messer, June 2005, Guitar Player). "Playing a mellow-toned Gibson L5 through his own hand-crafted amp, Connors is an emotional, sophisticated and subtle soloist to go with flawless technique..." (Los Angeles Daily Times, February 2005). "Connors' perfectionism is evident... throughout,his tone is round and penetrating, considerably weightier than the typical jazz guitar sound; his technique, meanwhile, is flawless, his lines totally logical" (Adam Perlmutter, Guitar One). "The first thing that hits you about this record is the songs. They are memorable and sound great... The next thing that hits you is Bill's playing... a take on Coltrane's "Brasilia" is pure heaven. The ballad lets Connors demonstrate some haunting, bluesy, soulful playing that is, in a word, gorgeous" (John Heidt, Vintage Guitar). "Connors’ line of attack on Return is centered upon his supple, fingerstyle picking and clean jazz licks, augmented by a resplendent, medium-toned electric sound. He uses space as an effective vehicle, whether alternating between buzzing single-note runs or when improvising through a primary melody with pianist Bill O’Connell" (Glenn Astarita, DownBeat). ".. bill connors is about the guitar... yes ... but this album is about much more than guitar... you have to listen to these tracks more than once to experience the depth. connors shines when soloing... and o'connell hangs right with him. just catch the piano solo on 'mind over matter' ... they are pushed by plainfield who can groove yes... and stop on a dime ... shifting gears so seamless... he is incredible... ... one fact about 'return' and connors... the effects and processors for guitar are not there.. only pure tone of the Gibson L5 played through an amp crafted by connors himself... pure smooth tone... best displayed on the track 'try tone today'... ... it is all good... and then there is coltrane's brasilia.. oh my! so sweet" (dr. mike, February 17, 2005, RadioJazz.com). "Connors soars effortlessly through Latin-tinged numbers, funk-tinged blues, and his personal forte, elegant ballads, all conjoined by the shimmering, glasslike tone of his Gibson L5 lines and melodies. Pretty close to exquisite" (Jim Miers, Buffalo News). "Connors takes back seat to no one as a killer jazz guitarist, having won his spurs for his pioneering work in the original Return to Forever line up. Coming back after sometime away from recording, Connors makes the kind of date that used to be routinely issued by the majors when they still cared about music. Having the admiration of his peers, Connors is free to pursue his vision and he never abuses the fan's trust along the way. Dazzling set sure to be a staple on all the year end best lists come December" (Chris Spector, Midwest Record Recap, Vol. 28, number 7, February 14, 2005). Connors is "back with an album that finds him in fine form with a completely unaffected and warm, big-bodied sound. Return has enough energy and groove to appeal to fusion fans but, without the bombast that is so often pegged with that genre, a more direct and economical approach that will appeal to those of a more purist persuasion... [Connors] retains that same sense of thrift, capable of lightning runs when necessary but always constructing solos that make sense and are more than simply a series of notes strung together. Return is, indeed, a welcome comeback from a guitarist whose reputation has never been less than stellar, even though he's never achieved the same level of stardom as some of his contemporaries" (John Kelman, all-about-jazz, 2/18/2005). "Guitarist Bill Connors wouldn't blame you for thinking that he's dead. Thirty years after bursting onto the burgeoning jazz-rock fusion scene with Chick Corea's Return to Forever, Connors is relaunching his recording career with his first release - Return (Tone Center) - since 1987's Assembler... 'I got motivated to get away from the music scene in the early '90s', said the 55-year-old Connors... 'I went through a real Wes Montgomery period in my teens when I was first discovering jazz... In a way, working with my students helped me get back to that because I was doing jazz transcriptions for them and listening to Bill Evans and Trane, stuff that I've always admired'. As a self-taught teenaged guitarist in Los Angeles, Connors went from delving into Montgomery and Django Reinhardt into attempting to meld the power of his favorite saxophonists with Eric Clapton's sweet tone. 'I wanted to get that big sound that Trane and Sonny Rollins got through amplified volume but integrate those singing lines that Clapton played'. His search led him to work with Mike Nock and Steve Swallow in San Francisco and then to an audition with Corea, who was looking to launch an electric quarter. 'Chick was like a god to me, so this was an incredible opportunity'. Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy garnered rave reviews, and Connors quickly assumed his place alongside John McLaughlin and Larry Coryell as electric guitar hero. His decision to quit the band after only a year and eschew electricity on three subsequent recordings for ECM stunned his fans. Looking back over three decades he's at a loss to explain the move. 'Maybe I should've just taken a few days off. It was a little rash'. But Connors isn't a man to harbor regrets. Instead, he looks back on his decision to pursue classical guitar studies in the late '70s as an opportunity to learn more about guitar music, and his experiments with acoustic fingerpicking as necessary to convince him that plectrum playing is his natural métier. The only thing that rankles about his decision to leave fusion behind is that his seminal role was forgotten by the time he returned to electric music the '80s with Step It, Double Up and Assembler. 'I don't have a huge ego, but it still hurt when people would tell me that I must've listened to a lot of Al Di Meola (who replaced Connors in Return to Forever),' Connors said. 'I was robbed of my identity, that my guitar was like a credit card that had been stolen and I'd been left to play the bill'... Although Connors isn't sure Return will lead to more recordings, he's enthusiastic about performing again and thinks he's back on the scene to stay. 'Music is not so mysterious now. I had a lot of impulses to try different things when I was young, but I'm more aware now of what I like', he said. 'I'm more into content and feel than volume. I don't play loud any more. It's all about whether the music is swinging'. (James Hale, DownBeat, April 2005). A 2011 review of Connors' playing on Forever offers more praise: "Bill Connors’ playing on this recording sounds just as fresh as it did in the mid-‘70s" (Jon Liebman, review of Forever, For Bass Players Only, September 2011).

17.7.14

Alessandro Cossu


Alessandro Cossu - Pensieri - 2010 - Alessandro Cossu

Alessandro Cossu is an instrumental rock/jazz fusion guitarist that has released one album to date, "Pensieri". He studied at Lizard Accademie, one of the most important Italian schools for contemporary music and studied alongside Chris Broderick, Dan Gilbert, Allan Hinds and Jeff Kollman at GIT in California. He also plays guitar in the Italian progressive metal band Ashent. - Alessandro Cossu on Last.fm.

Alessandro Cossu's new CD fpr 2010 is called "Pensieri". Cossu is an Italian guitarist who was inspirationally blown away by the music of Malmsteen, Cacophony and Racer X (especially Racer X "Street Lethal" a very important record that led him towards the guitar hero concept). He was working on some solo compositions when, In 2004, he studied for one year at Lizard Accademie, one of the most important italian schools for contemporary music, with Raffaello Indri. Alessandro later packed his bags and flew to California for one year to study at GIT. There heI had the chanche to study with some great guitar players like Chris Broderick, Dan Gilbert, Allan Hinds and Jeff Kollman, as well as know and be inspired by many musicians. Recently he has officially joined the prog metal band Ashent. © 1996-2013 Guitar Nine All Rights Reserved http://www.guitar9.com/news2010-06.html

Italian guitarist Alessandro Cossu's debut album Pensieri focuses on the his strength, that being his virtuoso musicianship on the six strings. He has his roots firmly planted in the Malmsteen school of guitar, but Alessandro's music has more in common with jazz and fusion than it does with metal. Helping out Alessandro are Denis Baselli (bass), Mirko Sclabi (drums) and guest Gilles Boscolo who adds saxophone and keys to a couple of tracks. As you might expect this is an all instrumental release with lots of jazzy bits sprinkled among these eight tracks. Alessandro lets loose some mean shredding throughout and his neo classical technique is very good as it is hard to find fault with his playing. You can expect lots of stop/starts and tempo changes throughout which helps keep the music interesting and quite progressive. The music does not differ tremendously from track to track but Cossu does slow down the pace adding moodier parts to keep things from being too one dimensional. There are also some pretty good melodies to be found which for me is important in instrumental music. My favourites include the title track, the jazziest piece here with Boscolo's lovely saxophone, which I would have loved to hear more of and "Direct Crash", a melding of tight crunchy rhythms and neo classical shredding. Other strong tracks include "While Looking Outside" with its dynamic pace, great melody and ripping guitar solos and "A Letter That Hasn't Been Written", a moody dreamlike piece with a layered guitar intro featuring crystal clear notes and some off the charts histrionics. "Another Day" ends the album on a calmer note taking a more subtle approach yet still combining some fine neo classical shredding. I enjoyed Pensieri; it is a solid album from a fine musician. Hopefully Cossu can make a name for himself as there are a lot of talented guitarists out there making a similar style of music. © Jon Neudorf September 23rd 2011 ***!/2 © 2004 Sea Of Tranquility http://www.seaoftranquility.org/reviews.php?op=showcontent&id=11542

I usually get scared when a guitarist with an Italian name describes his music as "fusion" cuz usually that means some indigestible chaotic mess. However Alessandro Cossu delivered an independent effort that is absolutely enjoyable, neither overplayed nor overthought (if there's any word like that, I guess you know what I mean). It might have something to do with his GIT training or with his classic rock guitar influences, who knows why, somehow Alessandro managed to walk the fine line between instrumental rock guitar playing and jazz/fusion. The result is an interesting album that leaves a lot to discover and still does not make your ears bleed or your eyes tick. Obviously there are countless tempo and mood changes but there are a couple of memorable melodies and a relatively tolerable amount of notes per second (not always the case with guitarists who want to melt rock with fusion). My personal favorites included the title track which clearly displays what you can expect from the album and "A letter that hasn't been written" (cool title) which is a slow and moody track with some beautiful melodies, the longest track of the album yet it does not get boring. Don't expect straighforward rock in the Satriani manner, yet it's not necessarily a skipper if you are a bit shy when it comes to "too complex for me" kind of albums, it's worth a try, you might end up liking it. Check his website: www.myspace.com/alessandrocossu © Endre 'Bandi' Hübner Rating: 7/10 © 2011 RockUnited.Com http://rockunitedreviews.blogspot.ie/2011/04/alessandro-cossu-pensieri.html

Great instrumental album with good melodic passages and great shredding solos with rock grooves and plenty of nice jazzy chords [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 93.5 Mb]

TRACKS

1. Out Of Place (4:18)
2. Melting Point (6:13)
3. Pensieri (4:51)
4. Direct Crash (4:41)
5. Away (5:19)
6. While Looking Outside (4:46)
7. A Letter That Hasn't Been Written (6:33)
8. Another Day (4:15)

All Tracks composed by Alessandro Cossu

MUSICIANS

Alessandro Cossu - Guitars
Denis Baselli - Bass
Mirko Sclabi - Drum
Gilles Boscolo - Sax

16.7.14

Karcius


Karcius - Episodes - 2008 - Unicorn Digital

Karcius is (mainly) an instrumental group from Montreal, Canada who play a mix of progressive rock and fusion jazz music. Four instrumentalists created the band at spring 2001: Dominique Blouin on bass/vocals, Thomas Brodeur on drums, Simon L'Espérance on guitars and Mingan Sauriol on keyboards. The group objective is to develop different musical ideas and explore styles to generate a surprising and diversified music. The improvisation and written music stand side by side generating a unique and particular musical concept. - ProgArchives

Always restlessly approaching their interests in an eclectic sort of prog rock that mixes jazz-rock, psychedelia, fusion and symphonic textures, the guys of Karcius have released yet another gem in their repertoire by the end of 2008: "Episodes" is a marvelous exhibition of how much creatity these guys carry in their minds and souls in order o keep their artistic proposal fresh and renewed. As always, this band's sonic framework is loose enough as to fluidly incorporate sources of musical power that somehow relate their essence to the standards of prog-metal. You can also notice some bizarre progressions and ornaments that feel quite close to the challenging pace of avant-prog. This album doesn't fall short concerning these assets, but as I said before, Karcius does not replicate itself. "Episodes" comprises some new explorations related to space-rock, which in turn serves as a motive to emphasize the psychedelic factor that had already been present in preceding albums. The three sections of 'Elements' open up the album in a most revealing fashion. 'Submersion', the autonomous title of the first section, openly flirts with he dense flow of your regular spacey psychedelic rock. At first, Suriol's piano keeps things on a level of dreamy majesty, but it is only when l? Esperánce's lead guitar comes to the fore that the track meets its main body and crucial development. Things pretty much get heavy-prog, featuring an incendiary guitar lead augmented by an ominous choir mellotron. The opening motif then returns, partially capturing the increased energy. The last two minutes get very spacey, with a bass guitar riff that paves the way for the emergence of 'Sol', the second section. This one is more celebratory, elaborating a jazz-funk groove that might as well remind us of Weather Report-meets-Brand-X. Near the end, things get hardened, linked to the current era of jazz-rock. 'Combustion', the suite's third section, benefits from this particularly explicit momentum, with a first part that combines metallish riffs and Floydian environments: there is something grayish, subtly sinister about it. After the 6 minute mark, things get tighter up to the point of arriving at LTE-like territory. The epic conclusion provides a reprise of the bridge between sections 1 and 2. This suite has been simply lovely, a manifestation of the album's main virtues as a whole. 'Incident' is more patently fusion-oriented, clearly influenced by good old Return to Forever (mostly due to the Flamenco-like atmospheres), but there is also that aura of musical extravagance that sounds closer to bands such as The Lonely Bears. The piano sonata entitled 'Levant' is only 2 ½ minutes long, but that's OK since its Gershwin moods are developed in a most efficient manner. A lovely piece, indeed. In this way, the listener is prepared to listen to 'Purple King', a solid rocker in which the lead guitarist seems o pay homage to Allan Holdsworth and Jeff Beck. The progressive ornaments that go settling in allow the band to teach a lesson of prog metal even if it is not a prog metal group. There is also an organ solo very worthy of a special mention, in which we find traces of Lord's exquisiteness and Emerson's vibration. 'Purple King' can be fairly regarded as the album's zenith. 'Racine' occupies the album's last 9- minutes. This one is very much like Ozric Tentacles: starting with a white reggae vibe, later on the track shifts towards a space-rock momentum augmented with fusion touches. This is very similar to Ozric Tentacles at their most sophisticated. Ultimately, the first motive is reinstated in order to provide a cosmic relaxation with agile spacey textures. All in all, this albums doesn't equal the robustness of 2kaleidoscope", but it is not to say that this album is soft or lacking stamina. It has lots of stamina, indeed, but the band has put it in a more subtle level. Karcius still rules! - Review by & © Cesar Inca SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator ****/5 © Prog Archives, All rights reserved http://www.progarchives.com/album.asp?id=20742

It is difficult to classify their music. It is more rock than anything else, perhaps slightly reminding of King Crimson, the Flower Kings and Greenslade, at least in this CD, which is superb. There are obvious jazz influences but the end result has nothing improvisational about it. Their previous two CDs ("Kaleidoscope" and "Sphere") were just as brilliant as this one. They deserve to be much better known than they are. All titles are instrumental while Levant is a beautiful piano piece. – from ***** Progressive jazz rock from Karcius, October 23, 2010 By & © N. Aggelopoulos © 1996-2014, Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates

Karcius is an instrumental progressive rock band that has some jazz-fusion moments throughout. There’s even a nod to reggae on the ending track, “Racines”. Their third album entitled, Episodes, such a mixture of styles which are executed with ease by these amazing musicians. Episodes as with their first two albums, is on the Unicorn Digital record label. A perfect home for the band as well as something for the label to be proud of. From the opening track, “Submersion”, the band has a familiar sound while keeping things fresh. This sets the mood for the rest of the album. Another that shows off their skills as musicians is, “Purple King” which treads ground with label mates Spaced Out but more on the melodic side. The rest of the album follows suit and provides the listener with a wonderful “soundtrack”. This definitely one of my favorite instrumental releases of 2008 and fans of Spaced Out, Kopecky, Planet X and others will find Episodes to be a perfect addition to their collection. - Reviewed by & © Ron Fuchs on July 24th, 2009 © 1998-2009, ProgNaut.com, All Rights Reserved. http://prognaut.com/reviews/karcius2.html

“Episodes” contains a myriad of styles that brings out a unique and surprising personality to their music. Karcius will never stop evolving: these musicians constantly seek perfection and professionalism. A must have for all ART ROCK fans! If you love Pink Floyd, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Radiohead, Porcupine Tree, Spock's Beard, old school Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea; this album is for you!” © http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/karcius

Outstanding, instrumental progressive jazz rock/fusion from a great Canadian band. Listen to the band’s "Sphere" album [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 153 Mb]

TRACKS / COMPOSERS

1. Elements I : Submersion (9:45)- L'Espérance, Blouin, Sauriol, Brodeur
2. Elements II : Sol (8:38)- L'Espérance, Blouin, Sauriol, Brodeur
3. Elements III : Combustion (12:23)- L'Espérance, Blouin, Sauriol, Brodeur
4. Incident (8:39)- Simon L'Esperance
5. Levant (2:26)- Mingan Sauriol
6. Purple King (7:35)- L'Espérance, Blouin, Sauriol, Brodeur
7. Racines (8:54)- L'Espérance, Blouin, Sauriol, Brodeur

MUSICIANS

Simon L'Espérance - Guitars, Additional Synths, Strings Arrangement on Track 4
Dominique Blouin - Bass
Mingan Sauriol - Keyboards, Strings Arrangement on Track 3
Thomas Brodeur - Drums, Percussion

BIO

Karcius is a band from Montreal, Canada with a twist. Their adventurous musical vision sets them apart from the rest. Together they create a unique blend of Rock, Pop, African, Classical, Jazz, and ambient music. The group came to life in spring 2001 when Simon L’Espérance on guitars, Thomas Brodeur on drums and Mingan Sauriol on Keyboard shared a common interest in writing adventurous music together. Sylvain Auclair on bass and vocals joined the group in 2009. Each of these solid musicians are constantly active in the local and international music scene, especially in Europe. Their experience and maturity has enabled them to diversify their sound and explore boundless opportunities within this vehicle that is Karcius. With all of their album distributed internationally, the band broke into new markets and gained global recognition in the art-rock music scene. They performed in some of the most important progressive music festivals in North America, South America and Europe and left quite an impact, creating a growing interest and fan base. Their dynamic personality, the energy they have on stage and their driving force leaves no one indifferent. Karcius’s sense of unity and cohesion makes them hard- hitting and determined. On “Episodes” the band redefined and brought new colors and complexity to their sound, authenticating their need to re-invent themselves musically and professionally. The future holds many surprises as the band increases their presence internationally. The recent addition of vocals is very exciting for the band and will surely allow them to reach larger audiences. © 2012 KARCIUS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. http://www.karcius.com/us.html