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Get this crazy baby off my head!

Rapidshare has locked my account and deleted hundreds of my files. Sorry about the inconvenience, & thanks for all your support and encouragement. Paul

What's On Your Mind?

18.4.14

Strings 24


Strings 24 - Strings 24 - 2009 - Lion

Strings 24 are a new project created by Frank Caruso, Stefano “Sebo” Xotta and Gianluca Ferro. These three axemen coming from different musical experiences decided to mix their styles into a new band dedicated to guitar, with the aim to raise its musical expression and compositional potential. The bands name comes from the three guitarist’s use of 8 string guitars (3x8=24). The three musicians have a pedigree of being in the music business for many years. 24 Strings, their new project immediately gathered broad attention from Italian record labels, magazines, radio and TV networks along with attention of Lion Music. Their self titled debut album is unashamedly full of virtuoso rock guitar across 12 identifiable tracks and will appeal to fans of Vai and Satriani as well as those into newer guitar virtuosos such as Rusty Cooley and Marco Sfogli. The three guitarists of Strings 24 have identifiable styles. Sebo is a typical rock player, very pentatonic oriented with a passionate vibrato coming from the Gary Moore, Zakk Wylde, Marty Friedman school of thought. Frank is a perfect blend of Ritchie Blackmore and Yngwie Malmsteen, very precise with solos and really powerful with riffs! Gian’s style is best defined as “liquid”, because his arpeggios and licks are really like water coming out from a bottle. Very prog metal influenced, Gian’s composition style is really complicated, but in a very musical way. These three variations on rock guitar are important in bringing a different style and touch to the songs, creating the unique Strings24 style. The trio began writing songs for the album at the end of 2007 before selecting the material to feature on the album in the summer of 2008. Each of the three guitarists have home studios, so they started composing and sharing the projects, adding new parts in the different studios and putting them together. All the drum parts were initially done drum software, before the real drums of Roberto Gualdi (Glenn Hughes) were tracked at Damage Inc. Studio in Ventimiglia. IT. Roberto’s drum work added a lot of dynamics and musical ideas, giving the album a new punch. Finally the album was mixed at Fran Caruso’s Phantom Studio, and the mastering was shared with Luca Pilla, a very talented Italian sound engineer. © Lion Music 2013 http://www.lionmusic.com/cd/strings24.htm

A great virtuosic rock, metal, and blues instrumental album using three 8 string guitars. Unusual, but sounds great. Try and listen to the band’s “Speak” album [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 122 Mb]

TRACKS

1 Introspective (Intro) 2:06
2 Outraged Dimensions 5:18
3 Running In The Wind 3:26
4 Double D 4:20
5 Schizophrenic Disorders 3:49
6 Remember Blues 4:54
7 Mystical Thoughts 5:36
8 G String Song 4:45
9 Psychedelic 4:54
10 Flown 5:48
11 Besides Nowhere 5:13
12 Go Down Peter! 3:30

All tracks composed by F.Caruso, S.Xotta, & G.Ferro except “Go Down Peter!” based on the “Peter Gunn Theme” by Henry Mancini

MUSICIANS

Franco "Frank" Caruso, Gianluca Ferro, Stefano "Sebo" Xotta - Electric Guitar & 8 String Electric Guitar
All Guitar Solos by Strings 24 except Stefano "Sebo" Xotta on Track 4: Franco "Frank" Caruso on Track 8, & Gianluca Ferro on Track 11
Gabrielle Baroni - Bass
Lorenzo Feliciati - Bass on Tracks 6 & 12
Alessandro Del Vecchio - Hammond on Track 6
Roberto Guialdi - Drums

Rob Balducci


Rob Balducci - Balance - 1995 - Circumstantial

"On his debut album, Rob Balducci, like many notable purveyors of guitar instrumental music before him, flirts with overindulgence. Luckily, however, Balducci knows when to say when, and, on Balance, showcases his musicality rather than merely his technicality. Balducci's got a crisp, clean attack, and thankfully, he's clearly more concerned with melody and construction than speed (although he can certainly handle all three), which makes the album work as an enjoyable entity, not just a collection of runs and fills. Hummable shred -- what a concept." - Guitar World Magazine

"Playing since he was 11, this New Yorker won Best New Guitarist honors in 1990 in NYC. His most recent release, Balance (on Circumstantial, distributed by Relativity), highlights Balducci's shreddability. The instrumental music, a combination of hard rock, metal, and blues (his influences range from Van Halen to Vai to Gary Moore), is currently on the college music charts. A fixture of the regional and New York City club scene, Balducci counts Joe Satriani as a mentor, and he has endorsements from Ibanez, DiMarzio, Eventide, and D'Addario." - Guitar Magazine

In 1995 “Balance” received unanimous praise from press and guitar enthusiasts alike heralding this promising new talent. After hearing Balance, Guitar World Magazine said “Hummable Shred! What a concept.” “Balance” is an exceptional album of hard rock, metal, and blues by a great guitarist, musician, composer, producer, and instructor. This guy can shred with the best of them and also play understated quiet melodic passages without compromising his remarkable talent. The album is HR by A.O.O.F.C. Buy Rob’s great “The Color Of Light” album and check out his “Violet Horizon” album on this blog with special guests Guthrie Govan and Dave Weiner. Support real music [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 104 Mb]

TRACKS

1 Seduction 4:09
2 The Evil 4:33
3 Waiting for the Son 5:05
4 Baby Brother 3:10
5 Ghost 4:40
6 Child 5:54
7 Max 5:10
8 The Sentinel 4:44
9 Remember the Time 5:46
10 Masquerade 2:52

Tracks 1,2,3,6,8,9,10 composed by Rob Balducci: Track 4 composed by Keith Ciaramello: Tracks 5,7 composed by Rob Balducci & Keith Ciaramello

MUSICIANS

Rob Balducci - Guitar
Danny Miranda - Bass
Jeff Bova - Keyboards, Organ
Keith Ciaramello - Drums
Café – Percussion

BIO

A native of New York, Rob Balducci has defined himself as a guitarist, musician, composer and one of the most sought after instructors in New York. Balducci’s music is drenched in layers of sonic colors, each representing a tangible emotion, desire, depth, feeling, thought and mood. Rob said "There's this cliche that instrumental guitar music has gotten to be too much of a vehicle for soloing and showing off technique. That's completely the opposite of what I'm trying to do. My music is really like vocal songs with the guitar as the vocals.” Guitar World said after hearing Balducci’s debut CD “ Hum-able Shred! What a concept.” “ Rob is an excellent guitarist… I’ve always had his CDs around and I am waiting for him to become the next big guitar player ” - Joe Satriani “ Rob is a great player and is as dedicated to his work as one can get and it shows in the construction of his audio emotions”- Steve Vai Having played guitar for the past 24 years, Rob spent years dedicated to mastering his instrument. These well-spent years of woodshedding, and perfecting his technique would pay off handsomely. In 1990, Balducci would go on to win a local contest sponsored by Guitar For The Practicing Musician proclaiming him as New York's best guitarist. Balducci also furthered his six-string education, earning a degree in music performance and theory from Five Towns College. Balducci's debut CD, 1995's BALANCE distributed through Sony Music reaped unanimous praise from press and guitar enthusiasts alike heralding this promising new talent. After his debut CD Balance, Rob worked on new material and starting shopping his music to record companies. The new CD was sent to Steve Vai in hopes of Steve wanting to release it on his new record label Favored Nations Entertainment. “Favored Nations was created with the intent of bringing music that's energetic and emotional, with performances by artists of the highest caliber. The artists signed to Favored Nations are a unique, dedicated breed that have attained the highest performance level on their chosen instruments – Steve Vai “ Vai signed Balducci to Favored Nations and released Mantra and The Color Of Light CDs worldwide. Balducci’s newest 2009 Favored Nations CD is titled Violet Horizon and features 15 new tracks of his best work to date with special guest appearances by Guthrie Govan and Dave Weiner. 2009 has been a busy year, not only has Balducci recorded Violet Horizon he also collaborated with Bassist Randy Coven and drummer John Macaluso on a new CD that will be coming out on BHP/NuGroove records. The CD features songs written by Randy, Rob and John and is produced by Emmy Award winning producer Brian Tarquin. Joining Rob on this CD is fellow guitar players Steve Vai, Leslie West and many more…. Rob is currently working on his debut instructional DVD which will be released through The Rock House Method company. His stellar guitar stylings can also be heard on "Rewired: A Tribute To Jeff Beck," "Crushing Days: A Tribute To Joe Satriani" and a salute to Carlos Santana. Rob Balducci has the pleasure of working with and endorsing Ibanez Guitars, Cornford Amps, Intellitouch tuners, D’Addario Strings, Dimarzio Pick-ups, George L’s cables, Morley pedals, Keeley Pedals, Xotic pedals, Dunlop, Maxon and performs clinics around the world in support of these companies. The musical community has also taken notice of this guitar giant, with scores of global publications loudly singing his praises (most notably Guitarist UK, Guitar World, Young Guitar, and Burn). What remains constant about Rob Balducci is his intoxicating cinematic scope of sounds, skin-tight arrangements and extraordinary six-string dexterity. Music is a highly personal experience for each and every listener, a uniquely exotic adventure conjuring up a kaleidoscope of different emotions and feelings. Like a master snake charmer, Balducci's music seduces, inspires, challenges, and ultimately takes you onto a new dimension of light and shade and into the " Violet Horizon ". © Facebook 2014 https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Rob-Balducci-Band/48340240834?id=48340240834&sk=info

17.4.14

stOrk


stOrk - stOrk - 2009 - Muso

stOrk is an American avant-garde metal supergroup, formed by ex-Korn guitarist Shane Gibson and session drummer Thomas Lang in 2010. The band's debut album, stOrk, was released on January 11, 2011 via MUSO Entertainment. Their second album, Broken Pieces, is set to be released on April 29, 2014. – Wiki

"This is easily some of the best prog metal I've heard all year! which is an incredibly grand statement in a year when Scale the Summit, Protest the Hero, Devin Townsend, Mastodon, Dream Theater, Opeth and Meshuggah all have albums coming out or already out." - Vince Neilstein, Metal Sucks

"With his new band stOrk, the super-human Austrian has more going on than polyrhythmic trickery and ridiculous speed - but there's still plenty of that too." - Dave Constantine, DRUM! Magazine

"Praise for Shane Gibson of stOrk: "... Gibson's ability to emphasize different pulses in each measure has evolved into a monstrous skill for creating compelling riffs. Combined with his penchant for heavy distortion and his love of 7-string guitars, these phrases often retain a pummel-you-in-the- chest feel while having a refreshingly "odd meter" sound." - Jude Gold - Guitar Player

Combining thrash metal with progressive rock, Los Angeles-based progressive, instrumental heavy metal trio STORK is the brainchild of guitar ogre Shane Gibson (KORN) and über-drummer Thomas Lang. The band's debut CD, "stOrk", was released on January 11 via MUSO Entertainment.,Best known as the touring guitarist for KORN, Gibson's unique soloing, frequent use of odd time signatures, heavy riffing, poly-rhythms, innovative tapping sequences and his impressive sweep picking technique provide the sonic spine of STORK's masterful, musical progeny. Songs like "Changing Lanes" and "Alien" on STORK's debut album perfectly showcase Gibson's considerable shredding skills. World-renowned drummer Thomas Lang (Rhythm magazine's "Best Drummer in the World") provides the percussive punch to STORK's sonic uppercut. With Lang's incredible interdependence, powerful double bass drumming combined with an innate musicality, his drumming on STORK is both insanely heavy and musical at the same time. Featured on "Metal Fatigue" and "Nautilus", Lang's drumming is legendary. Rounding out this ultra power trio is bassist Eloy Palacios (VENISON), the sonic superglue that binds Gibson's guitar and Lang's drums together. On STORK's debut album, Palacios' virtuoso playing and bottomless bass pocket are not to be missed. © 2013 BLABBERMOUTH.NET http://www.blabbermouth.net/news/korn-touring-guitarist-shane-gibson-and-super-drummer-thomas-lang-unleash-stork-debut/

“Intense, dark, aggressive, futuristic and somehow familiar, stOrk sounds like nothing you’ve ever heard — but always hoped you would.” © 2014 stOrk http://www.storkband.com/#!store/c61v

Dark and often savage but brilliant progressive power hardcore metal from the Los Angeles based stOrk formed by the late ex-Korn guitarist Shane Gibson and the incredible Austrian drummer Tom Lang. Described as “Intense, dark, aggressive, futuristic and somehow familiar, stOrk sounds like nothing you’ve ever heard — but always hoped you would.” Check out stOrk on Facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/officialstOrk and listen to Thomas Lang’s “Mediator” album [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 127 Mb]

TRACKS

1 MoonRock 5:03
2 Doooosh 5:03
3 Alien 5:15
4 Changing Lanes 5:16
5 Nautilus 4:21
6 Prelude In The Key of Shut The Hell Up 0:37
7 Loki 7:17
8 DucksInAPond 4:12
9 Metal Fatigue 4:18
10 Asian Manipulation 3:42
11 Emo Village Pillage 2:52
12 Tripola 7:11

All tracks composed by Thomas Lang & Shane Gibson

MUSICIANS

Shane Gibson RIP - Guitar, Vocals
Jonathan Weed - Guitar, Soloist
Eloy Palacios - Bass
Thomas Lang - Drums
JP Von Hitchburg - Vocals

16.4.14

Vanessa


Vanessa - Black And White - 1976 - Compendium Records (Norway)

Vanessa were one of the finest of Norwegian jazz-fusion outfits (part of a family of bands including the also excellent Moose Loose). They had an original style that did not shy away from it's influences of Hugh Hopper era Soft Machine and classic heavy Terje Rypdal. On their earlier album City Lips they played it a lot more safe with some patent/funky Miles Davis type grooves holding it together, whereas they'd matured a lot on Black And White and become far more technical, composing huge complex works that surge and buzz, riddled with all sorts of electronic processing. A classic indeed. Winds player turned multi-instrumentalist Svend Undseth later went on to make an excellent electronic based solo that sit midway between the early pioneering Peter Frohmader (Nekropolis) and the spacier parts of Black And White, and has done other works since that I've not yet encountered. – from & © ultimathulerecords June 19, 2012 edited about 1 year ago © 2014 Discogs http://www.discogs.com/Vanessa-Black-And-White/release/1701031

Here's a truly over the top monster prog lp from Norway that was recorded in 1976. This lp features four long mind melting tracks of 1970s style top-notch musicianship that takes the listener on a voyage to the peak of conciousness. The killer jacket artwork doesn't hurt one little bit either! © http://www.cdandlp.com/item/2/0-1112-0-1-0/113266420/vanessa-black-and-white.html

Recorded at the Basement, Oslo, September 1976, this is a very good mid-seventies funk and progressive jazz rock album from Norwegian band, Vanessa. Has anybody any info on Vanessa’s “City Lips” album? [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 97.8 Mb]

TRACKS / COMPOSERS

A1 Sun Walk - Svend Undseth 10:12
A2 Summer Poem - Svend Undseth 12:16
B1 Street Talk - Svend Undseth 3:26
B2 Fragmomentum - Frode Holm 17:32

MUSICIANS

Svend Undseth - Guitar, Saxophone [Saxes], Flute, Alto Clarinet
Harald Salater - Bass, Effects [Boxes]
Frode Holm - Piano, Synthesizer, Synthesizer [String-Ensemble], Voice [Mouth]
Thorsten Dulsrud - Drums

15.4.14

Thomas Lang


Thomas Lang - Something Along Those Lines - 2007 - Muso

The latest album from the drumming community’s resident monster has a muscular opening in the aptly named “Pinball”. The album opens with a sequence of seemingly random, (but perfectly executed) hits and that is much the order of the day for the whole thing -perfectly executed playing on all levels. That’s not where it ends though. Because, with a player like this, you’d expect to see everything Thomas has got again and again. Far from it. All of the songs are very musical and demonstrate Thomas Lang the composer just as much as they showcase Thomas Lang the drummer. All eight songs on the disk are written and produced by Thomas himself, and if you can believe this, he plays every instrument himself, with the exception of the guitars. They cover all bases, from balls out rock, to fusion, to drum & bass, to swing and jazz. The completion of this album took nearly five years, fitted around deaths, loss, two babies and even a move of continent! According to Lang himself, “In the time it’s taken me to finish this album, my life has changed immensely…and it’s all represented here.” Represent away, especially if this is what comes of it… © Mark Pusey August 2007 http://www.mikedolbear.com/story.asp?StoryID=1379&Source=Search&txtSearch=Guru

Viennese drummer Thomas Lang’s “Something Along Those Lines” is an eclectic and contemporary hybrid sound of "chill out" jazz, fusion, and progressive rock with rapid and powerful drum beats, shredding guitars and great grooves throughout. Although this album is primarily a demonstration of great jazz drumming, taken on it’s own it has a lot of merit with great musicianship and well structured compositions. As well as his session work Thomas has played with artists that include Paul Gilbert, John Wetton, Robert Fripp, Glenn Hughes, Tina Turner, Steve Hackett, Nina Hagen, Steve Jones, Mick Jones (the Clash), Bonnie Tyler, and many more. Check out Thomas’ “Mediator” album [All tracks @ 192 Kbps: File size = 70 Mb]

TRACKS

1. Pinball (4:50)
2. Mylar vs Nylon (6:53)
3. Dragster (7:39)
4. Hollow (6:21)
5. Nickel (5:20)
6. Cannonfodder (8:30)
7. Cote d'Azur (6:06)
8. Sandcastles (5:37)

All tracks composed by Thomas Lang

MUSICIANS

Bill Liesegang - Torsten de Winkel, Steve Jones - Guitar
Christian Lohr – Keyboards
Thomas Lang – Drums, Various Other Instrumentation

BIO

A native of Vienna/Austria, Thomas took up drumming at the age of 5. In addition to lessons at local music schools and years of private tuition, Thomas was formally educated at the Vienna Conservatory of Music. After leaving the conservatory, Lang began working professionally – working his way through the European Pop, Rock and Jazz scenes. In addition to his work as a session musician (Thomas has played with Paul Gilbert (Mr. Big/Racer X), John Wetton (UK, King Crimson), Robert Fripp, Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple), Tina Turner, Robbie Williams, Kelly Clarkson, Sugababes, Geri Halliwell (Spice girls), Emma Bunton (“baby spice’), Victoria Beckham (“posh spice”), Ronan Keating, Steve Hackett, Boyzone, 911, Falco, Nina Hagen, Steve Jones, Mick Jones (the Clash), The Commodores, George Michael, Doogie White (Rainbow), Bill Liesegang, Gianna Nannini, Sertab Erener, Vienna Art Orchestra, Bonnie Tyler, the Vienna Art Orchestra, Save the Robots, Stork, Terabite, Schwarzenator and many more) Lang’s 1995 solo release, “Mediator” topped the charts in Europe and garnered rave reviews for its innovative Jazz/Dance/ProgRock sound. Thomas has performed at every major international drum festival and has toured the world many times over as a sideman as well as solo performer. Thomas has appeared everywhere from “Top of the Pops” to the Eurovision Song contest, from sold-out football stadiums to the Modern Drummer Festival. Lang’s original practice regime eventually became the basis for his 2-part series of instructional videos, “Ultimatives Schlagzeug I & II” which were originally released in 1995. Due to overwhelming demand, these videos were re-released on DVD in 2004 by Hudson Music (www.hudsonmusic.com). In 2003 Lang released the multi award-winning instructional DVD and book “Creative Control” which was an instant hit with drummers and drum teachers around the world. His highly anticipated follow-up DVD and book, "Creative Coordination & Advanced Foot Technique" (www.halleonard.com) was released in November of 2006. This ground-braking DVD has also won worldwide awards and and marks a milestone in modern high-end drumming concepts and technique. All of Thomas Lang’s DVD’s and books remain Best-sellers and are also available through his offical merchandise site: www.muso-mart.com. In his quest to, “play the unplayed,” Thomas has worked cooperatively with the research and development team at Meinl Cymbals to create, “Tom’s Becken” – a pitch-matched range of contemporary crash cymbals that provide acoustic and electronic drummers with modern sounds that resemble artificially engineered cymbal samples. Launched in 2002, “Tom’s Becken” were so well received that in 2004 Thomas Lang worked with Meinl once again to design the “Fast Hats” , and a whole series of “Filter Chinas” (www.meinlcymbals.com). In 2002, the Remo Corporation approached Thomas to produce the “Thomas Lang Practice Kit” (www.remo.com) Other Thomas Lang signature products are Vic Firth’s “Thomas Lang signature model” stick (www.vicfirth.com) and the “Thomas Lang signature Bigfoot bassdrum beaters” .Thomas Lang endorses DW drums and pedals, Meinl cymbals, Vic Firth sticks, Remo drum heads, Roland electronics, Gibraltar hardware, Ahead Armor cases, Puresound snare wires, Bigfoot beaters, Hansenfutz practice pedals, E-pad and Audix microphones. Awards include:-
1999, 2001: Best studio drummer (Rhythm magazine)
2002: Best pop drummer, Best all-around drummer (Rhythm magazine)
2002: Best drummer (Drums and Percussion magazine)
2003: Best clinician (Modern Drummer magazine)
2004: Best DVD, Best clinician runner up, Best drummer runner-up (Modern Drummer magazine)
2004: Best DVD, Best new signature product, Best drummer (Drummer magazine). Best studio drummer (Rhythm magazine). Best recorded drum performance (Sticks magazine)
2005: Best pop drummer, Best Clinician, Best Solo Drum performance (Rhythm magazine). Best DVD, Best all around drummer, Best drum event (Drummer magazine)
Best drum clinician (DRUM! Magazine) Best drumming video/DVD (Drum! Magazine)
2006: Best DVD, Best drummer (Rhythm magazine)
2007: Best DVD, Best drummer (Rhythm magazine, Modern drummer magazine)
Aurora Gold Award 2007 (Best Video Production)
Best Clinician 2007 (Modern Drummer magazine)
Best Clinician 2008 (Modern Drummer Magazine)
Best Clinician 2008 (Drum! Magazine)
© http://www.thomaslangdrumcamp.com/www.thomaslangdrumcamp.com/Thomas_Lang.html

Warren Cuccurullo


Warren Cuccurullo- Road Rage - 1998 - Bandai Records

I have to admit, I've been looking forward to this one. While I really dig Machine Language, this is more my style. This CD fills in the gaps for those of us who loved his 1994-96 solo shows so much and wanted to be able to hear them clearly (as opposed to all the bootlegs that floated around). With Thanks 2 Frank and Roadrage, you now have a fairly complete portrait of Warren's solo shows that are so breathtaking, even if you haven't had the chance to see one. Overall, I must say that this album ranks right up there with Thanks 2 Frank as a must-have for any fan of Warren's. The only thing that could have made it even more fantastic would have been if he could have recorded "Watermelon in Easter Hay," but since Gail Zappa has stated her wish that the song never be recorded again by anyone, he could hardly do that (you can find it on several bootlegs from the Dec 1993-Feb 1994 part of the 1993/94 Duran tour and it is well worth the effort to do so). While Thanks 2 Frank had, in my opinion, two types of songs, generally speaking, this CD is much more diverse. The older album had some songs that were bluesy, rocking, crisp and clear, hot stuff, and then it also had some more melodic, brooding and textured songs that ended up being the ones I preferred (such as Galactic Ballerina, Orgasmatron, Tardinha, Indian Time Zones, etc). On Roadrage, we are treated to both sounds and more. Two of the songs on this album showcases Warren's talent in the first way that the world was introduced to it: with Zappa music. Transylvania Boogie and Willie The Pimp are both Zappa classics that Warren was more than able to execute. The former was recorded live in March 1996 at Tower Records with Joe and Wes, who proved themselves more than capable of handling the job. The latter song was recorded live at the Stone Pony show (July 1994), with Warren's Canarsie buddy Jon Kiebon on vocals, Jay Cuccurullo on drums and Nick Beggs on bass. Having been privileged to witness this performance, I must say that even though I had never heard the song, it was something special to behold, and all the spontaneity of that night was captured in this track. There are two totally-solo cuts on the album: Suddenly Spring and A Little Exit Music. Suddenly Spring shows us a new side of Warren (unless we've been following Duran Duran over the last few years) and is a beautifully arranged, acoustic guitar bouquet of sound. A Little Exit Music ends the album with one guitar figure repeated over and over in a weirdly frenetic and delicate way, backed by a lower part that returns you right to the root of the song at every turn, and then toward the end, the whole thing gets skewed into something even more strange. Something that I was quite pleased to see is that the three new songs that Warren added to his live shows in 1996 have been captured for posterity on this album. Hearing these songs shows you how Warren's musical mind has grown and changed just since 1994. Whatever You Say, Mac and Roadrage are sheer masterpieces, especially Roadrage, which is moody and dark enough to please anyone. I must single out Wes for praise for his bass work on this song, too. The Beating is something that I wasn't sure at the time was an actual song, seeming to be a way for Warren to work out his sound and test his equipment, but I remember being totally fascinated by it. Duran fans will recognize this jagged, echoey sound from the song "Silva Halo" (Medazzaland), though he toned it down a lot before its use in the Duran song. Perhaps most exciting to me and other Missing Persons fans is the inclusion of In-Flight Entertainment, which we were introduced to at the 1994 Stone Pony show (it was then titled "Discoveries"). At that time, Warren told the audience that Missing Persons used this song to warm up. This song blasts into orbit with Chapman Stick bass by Nick Beggs, and Steve Alexander handily fills the Terry Bozzio slot, even getting a long and frenetic drum solo. This all works together and folds into a blasting, euphoric sequence of chords on Warren's guitar. The showcase of the album, in my opinion, is Ordinary World (recorded live with Joe and Wes in March 1996). As all of you know, Warren wrote the majority of this song and contributed it to Duran Duran, giving them their first top 5 hit in years. The way Warren performs it with his own band, in his own way, will send chills down your spine as you hear all the passion and honesty that has always infused this song and you begin to realize that the lyrics and vocals only carry half the load. In Warren's instrumental version, shared with you here, Warren's guitar fully orchestrates every shred of emotion in the song as you journey from the delicate beginning to the soaring middle part to the roaring climax and right back to a satisfying, gentle end that leaves you feeling as if you have experienced the ultimate performance of the song. At any rate, Warren's talent is phenomenal, and we're all so lucky to have the honor of experiencing it. My hope is that he continues to record music like this and share it with the world. – from “Roadrage: The Privacy Review” By & © Cyndi Glass © http://www.cuccurullo.tv/archives/fanzine/iss26.html

"Road Rage" is legendary Brooklyn born guitarist Warren Cuccurullo’s (Zappa/Missing Persons/Duran Duran) 1998 live project featuring tracks recorded live in Los Angeles (CA, USA), New York (NY, USA), London (UK), and Asbury Park (NJ, USA) between 1994 and 1996. Essentially, the album is a sequel to the great "Thanks 2 Frank" album, providing the rest of the songs Warren played in his solo shows from 1994-96 except for Zappa's "Chunga's Revenge". "Road Rage," "The Beating" and "Whatever You Say, Mac" were all brand new in the March 1996 shows. A few Zappa covers are included, "Transylvania Boogie" and "Willie The Pimp", and a positively scalding, amped up instrumental take on Duran Duran's "Ordinary World". Also included on "Road Rage" is "Suddenly Spring", a live solo acoustic piece performed for VH-1 in London. "Warren said that "This is the most emotional, spirited, fiery guitar playing that I've ever done. You have never heard it like this. This sounds like it was recorded in a studio." Warren blazes through this 9-song set which also features featured drummer Joe Travers and bassist Wes Wehmiller among others. HR by A.O.O.F.C. Check out Warren Cuccurullo’s “Thanks 2 Frank” album [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 110 Mb]

TRACKS / COMPOSERS

1 Road Rage - Warren Cuccurullo 8:32
2 Transylvania Boogie - Frank Zappa 4:53
3 Suddenly Spring - Warren Cuccurullo 3:39
4 Whatever You Say, Mac - Warren Cuccurullo 7:34
5 The Beating - Warren Cuccurullo 1:54
6 Willie The Pimp - Frank Zappa 8:57
7 In-Flight Entertainment - Terry Bozzio, Warren Cuccurullo 3:14
8 Ordinary World - J. Taylor, N. Rhodes, S. Le Bon, Warren Cuccurullo 7:23
9 A Little Exit Music - Warren Cuccurullo 2:03

Tracks 1, 2 & 8 recorded in Los Angeles on 3/29/96, format: DAT: Track 3 recorded in London for VH-1 in June, 1996, format: Video: Tracks 4 & 5 recorded in N.Y.C. on 3/27/96, format: DAT: Track 6 recorded in Asbury Park, N.J. on 7/6/94, format: Sony Mini Disc: Track 7 recorded in London on 9/30/94, format: DAT: Track 9 recorded at a soundcheck somewhere, format: Sony Mini Disc.

MUSICIANS

Warren Cuccurullo - Electric & Acoustic Guitar
Wes Wehmiller - Bass on Tracks 1, 2, 4, 8
Nick Beggs - Bass on Track 6, Stick on Track 7
Joe Travers - Drums on Tracks 1, 2, 4, 8
Jerry Cuccurullo - Drums on Track 6
Steve Alexander - Drums on Track 7
Jon Keybon - Vocals on Tracks 6

BIO (WIKI)

Warren Bruce Cuccurullo (born December 8, 1956 in Brooklyn, New York) is an American rock musician who worked with Frank Zappa, was a founding member of Missing Persons, and has been a long term member of Duran Duran. Warren Cuccurullo is the son of Jerry and Ellen Cuccurullo, the oldest child of four. He has two brothers, Jerry and Robert and a sister, Stephanie. His Italian American heritage has its roots in Nocera Inferiore in Campania, Italy, and he also has some Greek ancestry. He grew up in the Canarsie neighborhood of Brooklyn, and began playing drums and guitar as a young child. He graduated from Canarsie High School in 1974. Cuccurullo has one adopted child, Mayko Cuccurullo (born 1983) who lives in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, who is actually the son of Claudia Bueno (Warren's former longtime girlfriend). Mayko is featured in the Duran Duran video Breath After Breath, filmed in Argentina in 1993 and contributed some minor vocal work on the N'Liten Up project. Cuccurullo returned to the United States in 2001 and lives in Venice, California. His current focus is on musical projects having to do with film scores. In his teen years, Cuccurullo became a devoted fan of Frank Zappa and began traveling to every show within 500 miles of his Brooklyn home. During the mid-1970s, he befriended several members of Zappa's band, including Terry Bozzio and Patrick O'Hearn. Over the next three years, he appeared with the band on stage at a couple of shows as well as in the 1979 Zappa film Baby Snakes (filmed October, 1977). He impressed Frank Zappa by knowing the guitar parts to every Zappa song in the catalog, including the strangest sounds and most bizarre time signatures. In December 1978, at the age of 22, Cuccurullo was invited to audition as a guitarist for Zappa's new road band, in which many members were replaced (including Bozzio and O'Hearn). Several shows on the early 1979 "Human Jukebox" European/Asian tour were recorded for Zappa's live albums. After the tour, Cuccurullo returned to the studio with Zappa to work on the Joe's Garage albums, for which he provided rhythm guitar and several vocal parts. Terry Bozzio's wife Dale Bozzio, also contributed vocal parts to the album. Cuccurullo and Dale Bozzio began writing songs together, and eventually they convinced Terry Bozzio that the three of them should launch their own band. Zappa asked Cuccurullo to play on his 1988 tour, but the latter's involvement with Duran Duran had begun by then and so he declined. Cuccurullo is name-checked four times on Zappa's Joe's Garage, first by (Dale Bozzio's character) Mary in "Catholic Girls", by Zappa (in character here as Larry) in "Crew Slut", when reassuring Mary, "of course I'll introduce you to Warren!", in the track "Sy Borg" when Ike Willis sings "little leather cap and trousers -- they look so gay... Warren just bought some," and once again by Zappa during "Little Green Rosetta" 'Then everybody moves to New York and goes to a party with Warren. hey!' In 1980, Cuccurullo and the two Bozzios formed Missing Persons, added Patrick O'Hearn and Chuck Wild, recorded a 4-song EP called Missing Persons, toured, promoted the EP, and appeared in the movie Lunch Wagon. Two years of hard work led up to a signing with Capitol Records in 1982, the release of the album Spring Session M, and the subsequent success of Missing Persons on radio and MTV. The singles "Mental Hopscotch", "Destination Unknown," "Walking in L.A.," "Words," and "Windows" all met with success. They appeared at the three-day Southern California concert, the US Festival in May 1983. In 1984, Cuccurullo invented a new type of guitar he called the "Missing Link", and used it on the experimental album Rhyme and Reason (1984). The band followed up with the more conventional Color In Your Life in June 1986, but during the short-lived promotional tour, increasing tensions between then-husband and wife, Terry and Dale Bozzio, led to the end of the tour and the band. On his own again, Cuccurullo began recording some music in his bedroom that was eventually released on his solo album Machine Language. Missing Persons shared their label Capitol Records with British band Duran Duran. As Missing Persons fell apart, Bozzio and O'Hearn were approached by Duran guitarist Andy Taylor in Los Angeles for work on a solo album. In this way, Cuccurullo learned that Taylor did not intend to rejoin Duran in England to work on their next album, even before the rest of Duran Duran knew. Cuccurullo sent a tape and a request for an audition, but was turned down, with some puzzlement. As it became clear that neither enticements nor lawsuits would get Taylor back in the studio, Duran Duran hired Cuccurullo as a session guitarist to complete the album Notorious. He went on to tour with the band, and returned to contribute his increasingly experimental guitar work to the album Big Thing. At the end of the grueling ten-month Big Thing world tour (in June 1989), Cuccurullo was made an official member of the band, and moved to London. Shifting record label politics and the unsuccessful album Liberty almost derailed the band, but after Cuccurullo offered them the use of his home studio (named "Privacy") in Battersea, Duran Duran was able to shift to a more comfortable and controlled music-making style. Cuccurullo's songwriting, guitar skills and driving personality contributed to the band's return to fame with 1993's Wedding Album. He was the primary composer of the hit singles "Ordinary World" and "Come Undone", although the lyrics were written by Simon Le Bon. He created new arrangements for many of the band's old hits for the acoustic-flavored tour that followed, as well as arranging full acoustic pieces for the piano and six-piece string section that performed with them on the MTV Unplugged show. After Frank Zappa's death in December 1993, Cuccurullo performed the instrumental guitar piece "Watermelon in Easter Hay" (from the Joe's Garage album) in his honor at several Duran Duran shows. Tentative plans for a Missing Persons reunion in 1994 were shelved over remaining tensions between former band members. Cuccurullo and keyboardist Nick Rhodes continued to hold Duran Duran together during the band's lean times in the 1990s. The covers album Thank You (1995) was an attempt to keep the peace among band members who had increasing trouble writing music together. Medazzaland (1997) and Pop Trash (2000)—written after the departure of bassist John Taylor and Duran Duran's separation from Capitol Records—featured mostly new Cuccurullo/Rhodes songs and reworked TV Mania material, but failed to dent the charts even though the band sold out multiple nights in most cities on the 2000/2001 tour. In early 2001, Cuccurullo was asked to leave the band so that the original members of Duran Duran could reunite. At first the split was amicable, hinging on a financial settlement which granted him compensation from the band's forthcoming reunion album (to which he was not expected to contribute). Two years later relations soured considerably during the reunited band's American tour when he was asked by management not to attend the Las Vegas show after the band had invited him (no reason was given), and he began confirming some of the rumors that had spread about the 2001 split. Cuccurullo claimed that he was fired from Duran Duran by letter because Rhodes and Le Bon feared his reaction, though he told Duran Duran biographer Steve Malins: "I would never get aggressive in a situation like that. There were things that had to be sorted out in a professional manner, so, that's what I did." Cucurrullo remained on good terms with Rhodes however, and in 2013 they released an album containing material from their side project TV Mania. Beginning in the early 1990s, Cuccurullo collaborated with Duran bandmate Nick Rhodes, calling themselves TV Mania, and began writing an experimental rock opera trilogy called Bored With Prozac and the Internet? (initially unreleased save for a few songs on Cuccurullo's website and in the movie Trollywood). Rhodes and Cuccurullo wrote and recorded a song called “Tomorrow Never Dies” with vocalist Tessa Niles for the James Bond film ‘’Tomorrow Never Dies’’. The song wasn't chosen, so Duran Duran re-recorded it for the Pop Trash album with new lyrics under the title "Last Day On Earth". In December 1996, Rhodes and Cuccurullo wrote and produced two songs for a never-completed Blondie project ("Pop Trash Movie" and "Studio 54"); the re-recording of the former gave the Pop Trash album its name. The Duran Duran albums Medazzaland and Pop Trash were made up of reworked TV Mania songs, with Rhodes writing all lyrics to both albums except the song Someone Else, Not Me. The full, 11-track album Bored With Prozac and the Internet? was given an official release on March 11, 2013. During breaks in Duran Duran's 1989-1990 tour schedule, Cuccurullo worked with Tetsuya Komuro, Shenkar and Patrick O'Hearn. In 1994, the preparations for a solo show near his hometown led to a burst of creativity; he recorded and mixed the Thanks 2 Frank album in less than ten days, with bassists Pino Palladino and Nick Beggs and ex-Zappa drummer Vinnie Colaiuta. The album was released on Imago Records in 1996. In 1997 Cuccurullo completed Machine Language, an ambient instrumental guitar album, also released on Imago. He followed up with a live album, Roadrage in 1998 (on Bandai Records). The Blue (recorded with Shenkar in 1992) was self-released in 2000. Another ambient album, Trance Formed, was released on One Way Records in 2003. In 2005, Cuccurullo and Terry Bozzio collaborated on a CD titled Playing in Tongues, which was released in Europe on Edel Records and in the U.S. on Zappa Records in 2009. Cuccurullo still has as-yet-unreleased projects including a concept album titled N'Liten Up, recorded at The Village studios in West Los Angeles by Kent Huffnagle and produced by Simone Sello. Begun prior to Playing in Tongues, N'Liten Up is currently planned for release in Europe prior to its debut in the U.S. Spring Session M was released on CD in 1995, followed by Rhyme and Reason and Color In Your Life in 2000. Each of the three studio CDs were newly augmented by six rare B-sides or live tracks. Classic Remasters is a compilation of remastered tracks and dance mixes issued by Capitol Records with no band involvement. Beginning in 1997, Cuccurullo began work on his "Missing Persons Archival Trilogy" project. The first CD to be released was Late Nights Early Days in 1998, a live concert recorded in 1981 with the added 1980 studio track "Action/Reaction." This was followed up by a compilation of modern remixes of classic MP tracks, Missing Persons Remixed Hits (1999) which included the TV Mania remix of "Destination Unknown." In 2002 Lost Tracks was released, a collection of extremely rare Missing Persons live tracks from five different eras of the band. Meanwhile, in late 2000, Cuccurullo and Dale Bozzio again began discussing a Missing Persons reunion to feature original members Warren, Dale Bozzio and Terry Bozzio, with new keyboardist Ron Poster (of Dale Bozzio's band) and bassist Wes Wehmiller (formerly in Cuccurullo's solo band and Duran Duran's tour bassist from 1997–2001). The short-lived, official reunion consisted of promotional activities and three live performances in July 2001. Late 2002/early 2003 brought us "Missing Persons Featuring Dale Bozzio and Warren Cuccurullo." Filling in were keyboardist Ron Poster, bassist Wes Wehmiller and drummer Joe Travers (formerly in Cuccurullo's solo band and Duran Duran's tour drummer from 1999–2001). This version of Missing Persons was featured on Access Hollywood (performing "Destination Unknown") and did three live performances in February 2003. Following this, Dale Bozzio returned to touring as "Missing Persons" with hired musicians. In 2011 Cuccurullo rejoined Bozzio as part of another short-lived Missing Persons reunion tour. Cuccurullo was raised with a strong Italian-Catholic background and attended a Catholic elementary school in Brooklyn. During most of his adult life, he had a strong disdain for religion of any sort but believed in reincarnation. After a life-threatening illness in 2003, he experienced a spiritual epiphany that he wanted to share with his fans as well as the rest of the world. These new views, which include a somewhat Universalist belief in God's existence inside everything and everyone, are not connected with any organized denomination or religion, for which he still retains a strong antipathy. In mid-2002, Cuccurullo purchased a Santa Monica, California, Italian restaurant called Via Veneto. It has become a Los Angeles-area hotspot and a favorite with celebrities. More recently, he also funded the opening of a restaurant called Hidden and Vietnamese cuisine restaurants with Michael “Bao” Huynh. Re-focusing on his music, Cuccurullo started a new collaborative project with composer Eric Alexandrakis, drummer Steve Ferrone, and producer Anthony J. Resta. Explaining the purpose of that project in a Modern Drummer news release Alexandrakis said, “The four of us decided to create a scoring collective to pursue scoring projects in TV themes, film, and advertising…” Cuccurullo released the debut album from his collaborative effort with vocalist Neil Carlill, Chicanery, on May 11, 2010. Recorded a few years earlier, the album, also titled Chicanery, was released on CD and digital media through dPulse Recordings. Musicians who joined Cuccurullo and Carlill for selected sessions on the Chicanery album included among others, Terry Bozzio, Joe Travers, sarangi virtuoso Ustad Sultan Khan, and producer Simone Sello. Also in 2010, Cuccurullo formed a local free jazz group called Theoretical 5 in Mar Vista, Los Angeles with Frank Zappa alumni Arthur Barrow (bass) and Tommy Mars (keyboards, vocals), and also Larry Klimas (saxophone), and Andy Kravitz (drums, percussion).

14.4.14

Fissio


Fissio - I'mpossible - 1998 - Impossible Music

Fissio is a Finnish band and a noted Scandinavian band formed in 1994. Fissio plays mostly originals composed by keyboard player Timo Pratskin and guitar player Peter Engberg. Fissio has toured in Finland at jazz and rock festivals and clubs, and has performed and recorded with many well known Finnish groups. Keyboardist Timo Pratskin the has played and performed with the Pekka Pohjola Group, Instinct, and H.A.R.P., and guitarist Peter Engberg with UMO, Avanti!, and Samuli Edelmann. Peter also continues his studies at Finland's Sibelius-Akademy and has graduated from the Musicians Institute in California (Vocational with Honors/Outstanding Guitarist). Bassist Mikko Vuorela is one of Finland's most in-demand session players. Drummer Sami Sami Kuoppamiki has played with Kingston Wall and Anssi Tikanmki and has studied in in PIT (California) as well as the Manhattan School of Music. "I'mpossible", the band's debut album was released on February 17th 1998 by Impossible Music and is distributed by Texicalli Records (Finland) and Amigo Musik Ab (Sweden). "Forest Tale", "Pärämäts ", and "U.H.E. (Until Head Explodes)" were recorded live. There are tunes with odd meters like “Dance Istvan Dance” and “Fissio Impossible” and there are also folk music influences on "Pärämäts", as well as beautiful ballads like "Goin' Home" and "Pain and Relief". "I'mpossible" is fresh and dynamic fusion with Timo Pratskin and Peter Engberg playing some incredible solos. A very worthwhile fusion album from a band who are not going to receive the promotion they deserve. Buy this album and support real music [All tracks @ 192 Kbps: File size = 92.6 Mb]

TRACKS

1. Forest Tale 4:11
2. Dance Istvan Dance 5:44
3. Once Upon a Time 4:46
4. Dance of Passion 7:50
5. Fissio Impossible 8:37
6. Pain and Relief 3:41
7. Inspection Fee One Million 6:18
8. U.H.E. (Until Head Explodes) 9:13
9. Goin' Home 5:58
10. Pärämäts 6:42
11. Impossible Fade 2:37

Tracks 1-4, 6-7, & 10 composed by Timo Pratskin: Tracks 5,8,9,11 composed by Peter Engberg

MUSICIANS

Peter Engberg - Guitar
Mikko Vuorela - Bass
Timo Pratskin - Keyboards
Sami Kuoppamiki - Drums
Mongo Aaltonen - Percussion

K.J. Denhert


K.J. Denhert - Girl Like Me - 2003 - K.J. Denhert

When you see KJ Denhert perform you will be drawn in by her artistry as a singer and as a fine guitarist. Each musical set is a tight mix of rhythm, wit, and passion. For KJ, there is only one adventure more fulfilling than songwriting and that adventure unfolds on the stage. Her songs are a calling card, always unique and then familiar. It is the honesty of her performance and the love of what she is doing on stage that will move you. She is an experienced bandleader who plays without a net, and that makes her fun to watch. © cdbaby.com

If you've never heard of K.J. Denhert, then you are missing something really special. This is an outstanding album of pop, folk, jazz , R&B, and soul of the very highest quality. A stunning album beautifully put together by K.J Denhert. It has the cool, urbane Steely Dan sound, and the softness of Roberta Flack. Nine of the songs are written by K.J, and there are three covers, including an amazing version of Sting's "Message in a Bottle." Again, as stated before on this blog, artists like K.J. Denhert, and Kyla Brox should be world famous artists, but the music industry today stinks. This album is VHR by A.O.O.F.C. Please buy this album, and also her "Looking Forward Looking Back" album. Music like this must be heard by more people, and promoted. For more underrated but brilliant music in the same mould, check out The Kyla Brox Band's "Beware" album and Rebecka Törnqvist's "A Night Like This" album [All tracks @ 192 Kbps: File size = 71.2 Mb].......................Hi, Gina! Mail me sometime

TRACKS

1. Silence Was Deafening
2. Oleander
3. Little Mary
4. Violet
5. Girl Like Me
6. She Loves You
7. How Many Ways
8. I Like Your Face
9. Red July Prelude
10. Red July
11. Message in a Bottle
12. Oh Susannah

All tracks composed by K.J. Denhert, except "Message in a Bottle" by Sting, "She Loves You" by Lennon & McCartney, & "Oh Susannah" (Trad.)

MUSICIANS

K.J. Denhert - Electric, Acoustic Guitar, & Nylon String Guitar, Piano, Vocals, Background Vocals
Anthony Robustelli - Electric Guitar, Keyboards, Wurlitzer, Drum Programming, Vocals, Background Vocals
Billy Masters, Sheryl Bailey - Electric Guitar
Phil Gaita, WhyNot Jansveld, Michael Visceglia - Bass
Stephan Crump - Acoustic Bass
David Mann - Piano, Keyboards, Fender Rhodes, Saxophone, Flute
Pete Vitalone - Pete Vitalone - Piano, Organ, Keyboards
Sue Hadjopoulas - Percussion, Conga
Ned Mann - Drum Loop
Michele Rubin - Background Vocals

REVIEWS

New York native, KJ calls her music Urban Folk and Jazz though it is rooted in Funk and R & B. "The Jazz", she explains, "comes from people's perceptions of my guitar voicings and the structure of the tunes themselves... using extended solos and the players working off of each other. Urban reflects my childhood, growing up in NYC, and Folk, I really adored James Taylor, my first guitar influence, and I use acoustic guitar in my songwriting and live shows, as opposed to many years touring as a lead guitarist."KJ and her Band the NY Unit perform in such legendary rooms as The Bitter End, The Bottom Line, The Fez, the Living Room, and plays regularly to "standing room only" crowds at The 55 Bar in NY's West Village. KJ continues to receive very positive responses wherever she appears, resulting in new and exciting opportunities. In the last six months, KJ was invited to open for Roberta Flack, spent three weeks performing in St. Barts in the French West Indes, and headlined at the Blue Note, Las Vegas from April 8-13, 2002. Between appearances, KJ finds time to lend her support to many charitable organizations. She supports efforts to raise money for Aids and Cancer research, and appears annually in the PNW Women's Resource Center telethon. She provides live "on-site" concerts for hospitalized HIV patients through Lifebeat, Inc. (Aids Awareness Organization NYC). KJ also appears on compilation albums such as the "The Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Album" (Mod Music, NYC)(1999) and "Brooklyn Above Ground"(2001), in support of World Hunger Year. KJ resides in Westchester NY and states her goals are simple. As an independent record label owner and founder of Mother Cyclone Records, she says, "I want to grow my label and just keep writing". She dedicates her life mostly to music and explains her passion, "I get to do what I really love and I'm very careful about the quality of what I write, release and perform. I've lived the truth of the slow build as a marketing strategy. I'm a dot.com now and I just keep working hard at putting out the best product I can, whether we're playing live or in the studio". Having spent seven years on the road as a lead guitarist, touring the US, Asia and Europe, KJ shares, "I think we're completely ready to break some new cities in the US now. Then, I'd really love to get back to Europe with my material ... It's finally coming together and I'm having more fun than ever!" © cdbaby.com

In the '70s, no one did more to bridge the gap between soul and the folk-pop/folk-rock/soft rock world than Roberta Flack, who acquired a very interracial following and managed to appeal to Aretha Franklin and Chaka Khan enthusiasts as well as the Joni Mitchell/Joan Baez/Judy Collins crowd. Hits like "Killing Me Softly With His Song" and "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" were played on R&B stations, but they also had enough of a singer/songwriter aesthetic to win over what was essentially a '70s equivalent of today's Lilith Fair audience. It isn't hard to understand why, three decades later, singer/songwriter KJ Denhert was invited to open for Flack; Girl Like Me is the perfect marriage of neo-soul and folk-rock/adult alternative sensibilities (with hints of jazz at times). Flack, in fact, is among Denhert's influences, as are Khan, Mitchell, Janis Ian, and James Taylor (Carly Simon's James Taylor, not J.T. Taylor of Kool & the Gang fame). But while Denhert has her musical points of reference, Girl Like Me demonstrates that she is a talented, expressive storyteller in her own right -- and she obviously doesn't believe in confining herself to one genre. Denhert has a lot to offer fans of Alicia Keys, Macy Gray, Jill Scott, and Erykah Badu, but anyone who is seriously into Sarah McLachlan, Shawn Colvin, or the Indigo Girls also needs to pay close attention to her. While Girl Like Me is dominated by Denhert's own songs, she provides a few memorable covers as well (including a slightly bossa nova-ish take on the Police's "Message in a Bottle" and an unlikely remake of the Beatles' "She Loves You"). This very promising effort demonstrates that while Denhert isn't easy to pigeonhole, she is very easy to enjoy. © Alex Henderson, All Music Guide

Put this in the "It's Always New for Someone" file: Although she has her own loyal following, most people never heard of K.J. Denhert. If we lived in a perfect world she'd be a multi-million selling superstar, and she still may be someday, but for now she's one of those artists you somehow stumble upon if you are lucky. For the uninitiated, consider this your lucky day. This isn't even a review of her latest CD. That one, called "Another Year Gone By" is a live album. Our subject today is the compact disc that is titled, "Girl Like Me," a studio collection that was released in 2003. Strolling through an art show I came upon the music stage and the first thing I noticed was that the band looked sensational . . . very cool. If you had to cast a funky, but chic musical combo for the party scene in a film, these folks would be perfect. It was, of course, K.J Denhert and her group. The music? Hard to describe. How about Alicia Keys with Joni Mitchell backed by a group featuring Michael Franks and James Taylor? Their music is too lush and passionate to be called easy going jazz, but hey, although there are elements of funk, it isn't funk, it isn't pop, and it isn't folk. Enough about what it isn't. It is very 2005-sounding easy going jazz. Great stuff is what it is. So there I was groovin' to this lady playing her guitar with her beautiful wild hair blowin' in the breeze when suddenly I recognize the tune they were doing. I knew the song, but couldn't put my finger on it as they had rearranged it and made it their own. Yeah, I was totally into it, but what was it? Bam, hit me and I couldn't believe it. It was The Police, "Message In A Bottle," and what a performance. Now I never liked The Police . . . don't want to go all negative here but, I always felt they were soul-less and tried too hard to sound like they weren't trying at all. Well K.J.'s interpretation of the tune proves Sting really does have soul. He just needs a sensual vocalist and a great rhythm section to bring it out. Turns out the tune is on K.J.'s "Girl Like Me." It has become one of my favorite CD's so far this summer. What a find, and "Message In A Bottle" alone is worth owning the CD for. It's always fun when you hear a cut you never thought much of and it knocks you out, but there's a lot of original stuff, and a few other amazing covers here as well. "Silence Was Deafening" starts off with a little jazz, slap tap and pow . . . light breezy guitar over a lighter breezy vocal and the silence of the early morning is deafening. You getting this? Of course not, you have to hear it, as she uses words that people usually don't use in lyrics, like…downshift…courageous…unbeknownst…and they cook. I mean this isn't a moon in June tune, ok? This tune feels like waking up on Sunday morning and that's only because there's that stream of sunlight coming in through the side of the window shade. I mean, you know you had a good time last night, but there's a bit of booze still soaking small portions of your mind so you're not 100% sure, but the silence is deafening. That's right, that's what this song sounds like to me. You check it out. You'll see what I'm saying. This music is a groove you see . . . Steely Dan without the pretension, lush jazz for a summer morning at the shore and the lyrics are something else again like on the cut "Little Mary" where she writes, "Don't trust the mirror if it don't feel good." It's a stone cold gas 'bout Mary, you and me and everybody when nobody ain't around to see us in that state. There's even a bit here that elevates rap to an art form and allows you to realize it really can be called music when properly arranged and performed. Sally went round the roses over 40 years ago . . . Little Mary has got to be related. Then there's "Violet" . . . romance, hope, despair and sunlight reflecting off the tops of hundreds of waves just before dusk, with a vocal that is so sincere it's heartbreaking. In the title track she sings in a sophisticated and floating vocal, "With a girl like me you know you won't get bored." Agreed. There's no way to get bored with these unique sounds. The band is as good as it gets . . . period. They are all brilliant and know their roles in creating the overall groove. Excellent! You never heard The Beatles' "She Loves You" like this; a brilliant take on the tune. "How Many Ways" is an acoustic tune, haunting and beautiful, about change and endings; pour a shot of whatever and settle in for this one. Killer, plain and simple. There are three or four more cuts, but words can't describe this amazing CD. K.J. calls it Urban Folk. Cool, I can deal with that, but it's more - it has a tender funky rhythm running through it all. This is very honest music. Find it and listen for yourself. © Ray D'Ariano, 7/2005, http://the-m-files.com/reviews_denhert.html

K.J. Denhurt classifies her music as Urban Folk and Jazz. I'd never heard the term urban folk before but I'd say it describes her perfectly. The music is a little bit folky and a little bit "downtown". It's got a nice jazzy tone to it too. Her voice is velvet, smooth and sultry and the songs are well written and draw you in. It's a very smooth recording. "She Loves You" is a Beatles cover though you might not realize it right away. I was paging through the liner notes to see if Denhert wrote these songs herself and on this song I saw "Lennon/McCartney" and did a double take. It is a very different spin on the song. I like it. She also covers Sting's "Message in a Bottle" nicely. But it is her original songs that I enjoy most. "Violet" is beautiful song with a Carole King feel to it. "How Many Ways" has a beautiful guitar intro and moves into a touching song. "I Like Your Face" show how she can really rock out. It's a fun funky song. The musicianship on this recoding is outstanding. I would love to see her perform live. If the photos on her website (of her playing live) are any indication, she's having a blast…and that makes it fun for everyone. But until you are able to see her live, pick up this great album and get your groove on. - A Review © Amy Lotsberg Producer of Collected Sounds, www.collectedsounds.com/spotlight/kjdenhert.html

BIO

Native New Yorker K.J. Denhert has not been an easy artist to pigeonhole. The far-reaching singer/songwriter is relevant to folk-rock and adult alternative, but she is equally relevant to neo-soul -- and at times there are hints of jazz in her work. Denhert likes to describe her solo material as "urban folk-jazz," and while her folk-rock/R&B blend isn't straight-ahead jazz in the way that Abbey Lincoln and Carmen McRae are straight-ahead jazz, she does incorporate jazz elements when it's appropriate. The singer/songwriter, who plays both acoustic and electric guitar, brings a variety of influences to the table -- influences ranging from Chaka Khan and Roberta Flack to Joni Mitchell, Janis Ian, Simon & Garfunkel, and James Taylor. In fact, Denhert has been quoted as saying that her earliest influence was Taylor (who married '70s soft rock/adult contemporary star Carly Simon and shouldn't be confused with the James "J.T." Taylor who became Kool & the Gang's lead singer in the late '70s). The list of artists Denhert inspires comparisons to is long and diverse. The Indigo Girls, Shawn Colvin, Tracy Chapman, and Sarah McLachlan are valid comparisons, but so are neo-soul artists such as Jill Scott, Alicia Keys, Erykah Badu, Lauryn Hill, and Jaguar Wright. Denhert wouldn't be out of place on a Lilith Fair stage, nor she would be out of place in Vibe magazine. While Denhert was born in New York City in the late '50s and grew up in the Bronx, her parents were immigrants who had moved to the Big Apple from the country of Grenada. By the age of ten, Denhert was studying the guitar and listening to a lot of folk-rock and singer/songwriters (especially Joni Mitchell, Simon & Garfunkel, and James Taylor). After reaching adulthood, she enrolled at Cornell University but ended up dropping out during her sophomore year and joined an all-female rock band called Fire. Denhert spent a total of six years with Fire; she joined in 1980 and stayed with the band until its breakup in 1986. After that, she took a non-musical temp job with the Dannon company (as in Dannon yogurt) and eventually became a business analyst for that outfit. But Denhert never gave up music; when she was based in Cleveland, OH, and working for Dannon during the day, Denhert played guitar in a funk band on the side. After several years in Cleveland, Denhert moved back to the Big Apple in 1995 -- and the mid- to late '90s found her performing as a solo artist on the Manhattan club scene (where she performed mostly original material but also included some covers here and there). Since the late '90s, Denhert (who was 44 in 2003 and now lives in suburban Westchester, NY) has put out several releases on her own label, Mother Cyclone Records, including the EP Looking Forward, Looking Back (her first solo effort) in 1999, Live in 2001, and Girl Like Me in early 2003. © Alex Henderson, All Music Guide

MORE ABOUT K.J DENHERT

KJ Denhert is a unique artist, singer, guitarist and songwriter who calls her music Urban Folk and Jazz. Her voice is powerful, her lyrics full of intelligent insight, and her musicianship is impeccable. Her eclectic yet unified performances reach out to many different types of audiences without compromising her music and beliefs. She is heard at her best on her most recent recording, Lucky 7 and is known to be especially good live. She performs the unusual feat of being both highly individual and quite accessible. KJ remembers, “I picked up a guitar when I was ten and immediately I started writing music. I loved Sergio Mendes’ songs, liked John Hartford on the Glenn Campbell Show and really got into James Taylor and Joni Mitchell who I still consider my two main influences. I also loved the singer-songwriters of the time including Carole King and Laura Nyro and later fell in love with Steely Dan’s music, and just wore out my copy of Hubert Laws’ Rite Of Spring. I was completely self-taught, by llistening to records and playing them over and over, teaching myself tablature from a great James Taylor book and modal tunings from Joni Mitchell’s For The Roses song book. I didn’t really do anything but play guitar through my teenage years.” In the 1980s, KJ Denhert toured for six years as the lead guitarist and occasional vocalist with an all-female band called Fire, playing rock and top-40 music throughout the US, Canada and Europe. After the group ran its course, she worked at a day job while continuing to write and play music. While working in Cleveland as a financial analyst, she started the Mother Cyclone label and made her first recording. Moving home to New York in 1997, she formed the NY Unit, a group that she still performs with. “I look for players who have an ability to groove and have lots of drama in their playing. Lucky 7 (which is set to be released in September 2007) is KJ Denhert’s seventh recording to date. “I left my day job three years ago and this is the record that I’ve been wanting to record ever since. It combines all of the styles that I grew up with and enjoyed, going all the way back to Sergio Mendes. It has a bit of acoustic guitar, some r&b and it grooves in what I hope after seven recordings is a signature of my style. I took the chance to tip my hat to Steely Dan for the first time in a recording and James Taylor’s influence comes through me in the solo guitar and voice rendition of Sad Song. Lucky 7, was recorded and mixed by Ben Wisch (Marc Cohn, Jonatha Brooke) bringing more focus to KJ’s vocals than previous recordings. She also teamed up with keyboardist and producer Bennett Paster to co-produce five tracks after they worked together in Italy last summer. There are 11 originals and a sensitive version of Over The Rainbow ”When people hear me perform that standard, they regularly ask me if I am going to put it on a CD, so I did”. Among the many other highlights are the funky opener Little Problems the swinging Lucky Seven, the spirited He’s Not Coming Home, the infectious three-part “What‚s My Name, the powerful I Got Time, the wistful Beautiful and Man As A Man, KJ’s unaccompanied performance of Sad Song and the exuberant Rivera which has a passionate electric guitar solo from Sheryl Bailey. Among KJ Denhert’s many accomplishments, in addition to running her own band and label, are three highly successful appearances at Umbria Jazz (“the audience response was very gratifying”), an ongoing residency since 1999 at The 55 Bar in NYC, winning many songwriting contests (including being named among the six winners of the Kerrville New Folk Song contest in June 2006 for Private Angel and the Mountain Stage Newsong contest in August 05 for Little Mary), and successful appearances at other festivals and clubs around the world. Her previous recording, Another Year Gone By, Live won the 2006 Independent Music Award for Best Live Performance. “ For me, the highpoints come from playing and working with people who I really respect. My bassist, Mamadou Ba who is originally from Senegal, has been with me the longest since 1997 when I started the NY Unit. Other long term members include drummer Ray Levier and keyboardist Peter Vitalone, both of whom have been with KJ since’98 and ‘99. I am always interested in stretching myself and performing my music in different ways. The Lucky 7 recordings feature some wonderful pairings of great players that I don’t always get to tour with but who have appeared in with me at The 55 and are wonderful friends too. KJ manages between 120-140 performances a year. New music, places to play and new festivals are what she’s about these days “… so we can keep on performing for new audiences. I can’t stop, this is what I do.” A crowd pleaser whose music is impossible to classify but very easy to enjoy, KJ Denhert is in her own special category. - All material © 2008 All About Jazz and/or contributing writers/visual artists. All rights reserved.

12.4.14

Jim Campilongo


Jim Campilongo - Orange - 2009 - Blue Hen Records

Jim Campilongo was born and raised in San Francisco and began playing guitar in the mid-'70s, buying his first guitar with Green Stamps. His first teacher exposed him to a wide variety of music, but it was hearing Roy Buchanan that convinced him to make a living as a guitarist. By the early '90s, Campilongo was taking guitar students, in addition to playing with a variety of groups in a variety of styles. In 1990, one of those students gave him a 1959 Telecaster in exchange for some bass lessons and it quickly became Campilongo's signature. "Playing that '59 Tele changed everything for me. It was like it told me to get serious.” Around 1993, Campilongo formed the 10 Gallon Cats with steel guitarist Joe Goldmark. They released their debut album of Speedy West/Jimmy Bryant-inspired instrumentals in 1996 and ultimately recorded three albums as a band.Campilongo's first solo album came in 1998; the critically acclaimed Table for One. After a live recording in 2000,Campilongo left San Francisco for New York City in 2002. There he formed his new Electric Trio as well as the Little Willies with Norah Jones. Since 2005, Campilongo's Electric Trio has had a Monday night residency at New York's Living Room, where he as been joined on-stage by the likes of Charlie Hunter, Norah Jones, Martha Wainwright, and Nels Cline. In 2010, Campilongo released Orange, his most wide-ranging effort to date. It was produced by Anton Fier, whose resurrected Golden Palominos have also featured Campilongo. That same year, Campilongo was honored by Fender when their custom shop began producing a Campilongo signature Telecaster. In early 2014, he released Dream Dictionary with his new trio of Chris Morrisey (bass) and Josh Dion (drums). In addition to playing, Campilongo still teaches and is also a contributing editor for Guitar Player Magazine. © Sean Westergaard ©2014 AllMusic, a division of All Media Network, LLC. | All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/artist/jim-campilongo-mn0000846622/biography

Jim Campilongo has received a good deal more exposure after his move to N.Y.C. and subsequent association with Norah Jones. But to expect his own albums to sound like Norah Jones would be ignoring his 20-plus-year career as a guitar player. His own albums have been a mix of country, blues, jazz, and rock and as a sideman he's done everything from straight blues (Preacher Boy) to indie rock (Cake) to avant funk with Click Dark (good luck finding that one). Orange proves to be almost as far-reaching as his résumé might indicate. Campilongo comes charging out of the gate on "Backburner," with harmonics jumping out of his Telecaster-on-steroids throughout. "I'm Helen Keller and You're a Waffle Iron" adds a bit of menace and "Fingerpuppet" gets just plain nasty with some wickedly delightful detuning. But Campilongo can play it pretty, too: "Awful Pretty, Pretty Awful" sounds like a Les Paul exercise with its delightful single-line runs, double stops, and rich chordal work, and "Chelsea Bridge" is all jazz chords and brushwork on the drums. "Orange" and "Because You Like Trombone" feature some nice acoustic/electric work. "Blues for Roy" could be called just about anything and you'd still know it's a tribute to the great Roy Buchanan with its beautiful thick guitar tone and volume swells. The covers of "No Expectations" and "No Fun" are the type of acoustic-guitar-with-female-vocals some people might have been expecting, but they're actually the least interesting tracks on the album. Jim Campilongo is a guitar player, pure and simple. Check your expectations at the door and enjoy. © Sean Westergaard © 2014 AllMusic, a division of All Media Network, LLC. | All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/album/orange-mw0001953230 N,B: Review based on 14 track CD issue

Jim Campilongo’s ninth album, Orange, is a record that dazzles, as expected, with the guitarist’s raw fearlessness and inventiveness. His neat meshing of rock, blues, jazz, and whatever-the-hell-works is invigorating and his ability to pattern his playing with bits and pieces of devastating light and idiosyncratic darkness is astonishing. Orange, out now on Blue Hen Records, is a collection of borderless music. Nomadic and adventurous, Campilongo’s playing belongs everywhere and nowhere all at once. Trying to peg him in a genre is a little like trying to catch a wild rabbit with your bare hands – if you do actually pull it off, you kinda feel bad about it and just let the little fucker go. When Campilongo first started releasing records, he was playing with his band the Ten Gallon Cats. Solo records inevitably followed, with 2007’s Heaven is Creepy touching on a host of styles from rock to folk to jazz. With Orange, new ground is forged yet again and Campilongo’s forward momentum is unstoppable. The record was produced by New York City legend Anton Fier and was recorded in Brooklyn and Manhattan. Campilongo is joined by acoustic bassist Stephan Crump and drummer Tony Mason. The stunning Leah Siegel provides vocals and guitar on two tracks. Orange copes with what can probably best be described as a tight, coarse little bit of roadhouse music. One can imagine Campilongo stringing this groovy piece together on stage behind one of those chain link fences. With beer bottles crashing and drunks fighting it out, “Backburner” lets the guitarist scale the heights of rock with freedom and grit. Other tracks take subtler approaches, like the bluesy homage to Roy Buchanan called, of course, “Blues for Roy.”Siegel’s vocals breathe their way into “No Expectations” perfectly. She joins Campilongo’s guitar to deliver one hell of a haunting, gorgeous, sensual rendition of the Rolling Stones tune. Leah’s also along for the ride on the Stooges’ “No Fun.” A record like Orange just doesn’t come around everyday. It is a graceful, sharp set of soft touches and hard swings. It both dominates and caresses the senses, adding striking taps of mood in all the right places thanks to Campilongo’s remarkable control and patience as a guitarist. Posted by: & © Jordan Richardson February 25, 2010 © Blogcritics http://blogcritics.org/music-review-jim-campilongo-orange/ N,B: Review based on 14 track CD issue

“New York has no shortage of guitar heroes but few cover as many bases as Jim Campilongo…He reveals a range that extends from seductive country-swing to atmospheric jazz and well beyond.” –Time Out New York

'...It is the provenance of a precious few who can so beautifully mine the harmonic depth of a Telecaster with the grace and fluid fantasy of Jim Campilongo. Orange offers another vivid glimpse into the mind of an artist who paints masterpieces with the guitar...' - The Tonequest Report

'Simply stunning - an album instrumental music fans will likely quickly salute as a classic. Orange bursts with succulent playing and juicy compositions, an ear-snagging winner in every regard. - DC, JamBase

'Jim Campilongo's latest record is one of those great guitar discs that serves up new treats every time you listen...' - Vintage Guitar

'His latest masterpiece...his playing style is more than unique, revealing a range that extends from seductive country swing to atmospheric jazz and well beyond...' - Premier Guitar

Orange is yet another collection of remarkable fret work from Campilongo, an astonishingly diverse assortment of instrumentals.' - Direct Current Music

'Our favorite Mad Telecaster SuperGenius, Jim Campilongo, has a brand new album called Orange that sets a broad, new, standard for experimentation in melody and intention.' - Urban Semiotic

A wonderful blend of rock, blues, jazz, Americana, country, and many other influences from the San Franciscan eclectic guitarist Jim Campilongo. This album is HR by A.O.O.F.C. It has to be said that the 14 track CD issue is well worth buying. Check out Jim’s “Dream Dictionary” album [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 83 Mb]

TRACKS / COMPOSERS

A1 Backburner 3:25
A2 I've Got Blisters On My Fingers 4:58
B3 Blues For Roy 6:27
B4 I'm Helen Keller And You're A Waffle Iron 5:42
B1 Awful Pretty, Pretty Awful 2:54
B2 Chelsea Bridge 6:39
B3 Orange 2:52
B4 Fingerpuppet 6:41
B5 When You Wish Upon A Star 2:29

N.B: Most CD versions of this album contain 14 tracks

All tracks composed by Jim Campilongo except "Chelsea Bridge" composed by Billy Strayhorn, and "When You Wish Upon A Star" composed by by Leigh Harline & Ned Washington

MUSICIANS

Jim Campilongo - Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar
Steve Cardenas - Acoustic Guitar on "Blues For Roy"
Stephan Crump - Acoustic Bass
Tony Mason - Drums, Percussion

BIO (WIKI)

Jim Campilongo is a U.S. guitarist/composer from South San Francisco, currently residing in New York City. Most of his original music is instrumental, although he has featured the singers Norah Jones and Martha Wainwright on his last two releases, and he is a member of The Little Willies, which also includes Jones. Campilongo plays a Fender Custom Shop Campilongo Signature Fender Telecaster. Jim Campilongo was born in San Francisco, CAon July 8, 1958. At 9 years of age Campilongo discovered The Beatles and Jimi Hendrix through his two sisters. He became very interested in improvisation saying in one interview, "I knew I liked improvisation and long musical journeys...so I used to buy albums based exclusively on how long the tracks were.... That’s how I discovered John Coltrane Live in Japan, John McLaughlin Devotion, a couple of different Cream albums." Campilongo’s career began in the mid 1970s when he studied guitar in his native San Francisco with Bunnie Gregoire, who taught the pre-teen to embrace everything from George Van Eps toJohn Denver. Campilongo's first instrument was purchased with Green Stamps. During high school he regularly jammed with drummer pal Ken Owen and at 17 began performing with area bands. One of Campilongo's greatest influences at the time was Roy Buchanan whom he saw at least 20 or 30 times in the Bay area. Campilongo started his recording career in San Francisco in 1996 with Jim Campilongo and the 10 Gallon Cats. After several years of performing with the Cats Campilongo left to pursue a new direction with his music and reached a new creative pinnacle with 1998’s Table For One. In 2002, Campilongo left San Francisco and moved to New York, where he formed his Electric Trio, which toured Europe and Scandinavia and recorded the acclaimed album American Hipson Blue Hen Records. In 2003 Campilongo formed the group The Little Willies with Norah Jones, Richard Julian, Lee Alexander, and Dan Rieser. He has performed, live and in the studio, with artists such as Cake, Bright Eyes, JJ Cale, Norah Jones, Teddy Thompson, Al Anderson,Gillian Welch/David Rawlings, Peter Rowan, Jo Williamson, Sunny Ozell, Marilyn Carino and Julia Darling. The wide range of artists that Jim Campilongo has performed with speak to the rich musical style that he has developed. Almost any musical genre or sub-genre can describe his playing style. TimeOut NY's Steve Smith wrote, "His prodigious talent is always evident as the band burns through tunes crammed with rock, jazz and country flourishes." In 2007 he released Heaven Is Creepy which was his best received to date. His latest album is Dream Dictionary (released January 21, 2014). The album features Chris Morrissey (bass) and Josh Dion (drums). Other notable contributions comes from Steve Cardenas who plays on two acoustic numbers and Norah Jones who sings on the album's only vocal number "Here I Am" by Ray Charles. The album is produced by Andy Tommasi. One reviewer wrote, "…Campilongo plays like he’s engaging in a long, very personal conversation: It ranges from heated to relaxed, angst-ridden, and even a little flirty—but it’s always fluent, spontaneous and full of nuance, texture, and emotional truth." Prior to Dream Dictionary Campilongo released Orange in 2010. Produced by New York based Anton Fier of Golden Palominos and recorded in Brooklyn, Orange features Campilongo with acoustic bassist Stephan Crump and drummer/percussionist Tony Mason. Campilongo maintains a residency at Rockwood Music Hall on the Lower East Side in New York City where he plays nearly every Monday night. Notable guest artists that have joined him on stage at The Living Room include; Charlie Hunter, Steve Cardenas, Norah Jones, Adam Levy, Martha Wainwright, Chris Cheek, Leah Siegel, and Nels Cline. Jim Campilongo's original music can be heard on national commercials including National Grid,Volkswagen, SBC, Michelin and Jack Daniel's. Campilongo is also a published guitar teacher and contributing editor for Guitar Player Magazine. In January 2011, Jim Campilongo was nominated for The 10th Annual Independent Music Awards under the Instrumental Song category for "Awful Pretty, Pretty Awful"

10.4.14

Garaj Mahal


Garaj Mahal - Blueberry Cave - 2005 - Harmonized

If it's jaw-dropping, jazz-rock technical proficiency you're after, look no further than this quartet of astonishingly talented musicians. One spin of "The Shadow," the head-spinning nine-minute opener that meshes classic prog circa Brand X with a sped-up James Brown funk attack will prove conclusively that in the chops department, these guys are pretty much untouchable. But rather than fashioning themselves as a contemporary version of the '70s Mahavishnu Orchestra or Return to Forever, two obvious influences on the band's sound, Garaj Mahal expands its palette to incorporate elements of rap and world music. That is particularly evident on the sitar driven "'Spect Rap," which shifts into the edgy, slow burn of "No 'Spect." Even when jamming over a driving, repetitious rhythm, as in "Massive," the layers of electric and acoustic guitar keep the approach from getting stale, and the extraordinary individual instrumental talents, especially from bassist Kai Eckhardt, keep the music focused. Some of that dissipates, though, on "Cosmic Elevator" when vocals with sophomoric lyrics nearly derail the quartet's tough Sly Stone funk. Things get back on track for the album's closing three songs that comprise the disc's final 25 minutes. Fareed Haque's sitar guitar dominates "Bicycling in Bombay," infusing an East Indian slant to the taut, slow groove as guest DJ Fly Agaric 23's turntables add subtle hip-hop effects. "Celtic Indian" shifts through so many mood changes in its 11 minutes that it seems like a suite of different tunes all connected by the phenomenal interplay of the members. Recorded in July of 2004 but not released until nearly a year-and-a-half later, Garaj Mahal raises its already high musical bar on Blueberry Cave and sets a new standard for innovative jazz/funk/rock/prog/world music that few, if any, other bands are technically accomplished enough to meet. © Hal Horowitz © 2014 AllMusic, a division of All Media Network, LLC. | All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/album/blueberry-cave-mw0000350351

The masterful San Francisco's fusion band, Garaj Mahal continue to fuse the concept of jazz with a unique, original and eclectic mix of world rhythms encompassing pop, soul, progressive rock, studied jazz and modern jazz fusion, Indian music, focused funk, and jam-band styles. "Blueberry Cave" is a welcome sign that the future of good, spontaneous, innovative and original jazz fusion is alive and well. Not for the snobby progressive fusion purists, but great, progressive music just the same and HR by A.O.O.F.C. In 2007, "Blueberry Cave" won in The 6th Annual Independent Music Awards for Best Jam Album. Buy Garaj Mahal's "w00t" CD and support great modern fusion and real music. Read a lot more about the band @ http://kaizone.com/Garajmahal/pages/storyoftheband.html [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 158 Mb]

TRACKS / COMPOSERS

1.The Shadow - Kai Eckhardt 9:15
2.Alvin - Alan Hertz 5:08
3.Blueberry Cave - Eric Levy 7:04
4.Spect Rap - Kai Eckhardt 2:20
5.No 'Spect - Fareed Haque, Alan Hertz 5:27
6.Massive - Alan Hertz 8:52
7.Cosmic Elevator - Kai Eckhardt 8:03
8.Paladin - Eric Levy 7:32
9.Bicycling in Bombay - Garaj Mahal 6:13
10.Celtic Indian - Alan Hertz 11:15

MUSICIANS

Fareed Haque – Guitar, Sitar, Vocals
Kai Eckhardt – Bass, Vocals
Eric Levy – Keyboards, Vocals
Alan Hertz – Keyboards, Drums, Percussion, Sampler, Vocals

BIO (WIKI)

Garaj Mahal is a four piece band, based in the United States, playing a fusion of jazz, Indian music, rock, and especially funk: Kai Eckhardt (bass), Fareed Haque (guitars), Alan Hertz (drums), Sean Rickman (drums) and Eric Levy (keys). The band was formed in 2000 with the largely fulfilled expectation that the technical virtuosity each band member has been known for would bring about great music. They are one of the modern low- to mid-profile bands that allow their music to be recorded live at shows, and distributed in torrents, and musical archives. In early 2007, Mahal's "Blueberry Cave" won in The 6th Annual Independent Music Awards for Best Jam Album. According to Bassist Kai Eckhardt the band has disbanded with no plans to play again. After 11 years of touring, nine albums recorded and roughly 1000 shows played, the East/West Coast band Garaj Mahal has put an end to its appearances. There are currently no plans for future shows. Kai Eckhardt, August 14, 2011

8.4.14

Neil Sadler


Neil Sadler - Theory Of Forms - 1999 - Bleeding Arts

By recruiting a band of Frank Zappa veterans circa Make a Jazz Noise Here including guitarist Mike Keneally and horn players Albert Wing, Kurt McGettrick, and Fowler brothers Walt, Bruce, and Steve keyboardist-percussionist Neil Sadler signals his radical musical intention of carrying on the tradition of wildly imaginative, composition-based, instrumental jazz-rock.... - San Francisco Bay Guardian

This is delightfully frenetic, jazzish, and fusiony art executed with quirky, energetic, odd-metered, free-blowin' yet structured abandon. Neil Sadler's seven compositions are whirlpools of beat, whole-tone scales, and staccato attacks and explosions -- all geared for great improvs and dynamics. Ah, there is also room for Keneally fusion riffs and Torn-like howling sustain. Walt, Steve, and Bruce Fowler bring in a definite Miles Davis/Mark Isham aura along with that Steve Coleman, Dave Binney, and Brecker feel in many places. There are Lost Tribe echoes as well. That Zappa-esque or Raymond Scott eclectica fills many a niche in these complex pieces. A sense of early Larry Coryell and the Eleventh House is present on "Suehiro." If you're into hot sax, brash brass, wild'n'weird guitar, bizarre synth atmospherics, complex percussion lines, and tight compositions, you'll get off on this. Guaranteed. This is beyond acid jazz, eludes fusion, twists tighter than free form, and just flat out smokes! You hear it said that Miles Davis' Bitches Brew set a standard, started jazz fusion, and so forth. Well, Sadler's Theory of Forms would have made Davis grin, then smile and whisper, "Neil, you da man, this is the $#!* man. Yeah, this is the good stuff!" © John W. Patterson © 2014 AllMusic, a division of All Media Network, LLC. | All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/album/theory-of-forms-mw0000752702

"Somewhere between post-Zappa jazz-rock and serial music. Keyboardist Sadler and guitarist Mike Keneally offer dense, challenging lead parts, while Beller and Woods wrap their angular lines around the tunes like a caduceus." - © Karl Coryat BASS PLAYER MAGAZINE April 1999

A horn section comprising the Fowler brothers, Albert Wing and Kurt McGettrick, plus high profile guitarist Mike Keneally equals instant cult status among Zappa aficionados, but Sadler's music merits more widespread attention. His complex, oblique scores generate vigorous, purposeful music, architectonically rugged yet sufficiently pliable to offer surprising twists and turns. Sadler's keyboard work adds Gothic flourishes of the kind that Don Preston has supplied for Michael Mantler. A conceptually mature and brilliantly executed amalgam. - Displayed by kind permission of 'The Wire' Magazine http://www.neilsadler.com/NEIL6.HTM

Theory of Forms is a high-energy blast of horn-powered energy almost from start to finish. Sadler is an accomplished composer, keyboardist and percussionist and he's recruited a crew of Zappa alumni to realize his tightly arranged musical vision. Most prominent is guitarist Mike Keneally, whose inventive playing shines on every track. Other than the obvious link in personel, though, the Zappa connection is irrelevant. This is electric jazz that simply kicks butt in complicated ways. In the midst of the tricky rhythmic arrangements, there's a lot of improvisation. The opening cut, "Jazz Bastards," features a great solo from trombonist Bruce Fowler and some wild Keneally guitar work. The second starts with some eerie string synth, and works into a disjointed improv session with both muted and straight trumpet from Walt Fowler over a stuttery groove. These first two cuts illustrate the opposing poles of the album: insanely complex horn and guitar arrangements on the one hand, flowing improvisations on the other. This recording packs the energy of early electric jazz classics by Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever and the rest, but manages a style all its own. Sadler's compositions are complex without being freakish, and he uses advanced techniques like bitonality and rhythmic cycles fluently. Casual listening may ellicit a response like, "That sounds interesting - I wonder what's going on." Further study (or checking the website) reveals some of the technicalities for those interested. - Displayed by kind permission of 'Exposé' Magazine http://www.neilsadler.com/NEIL6.HTM

Now this is surprisingly different. First off, you must put yourself in a Frank Zappa frame of mind (if that's possible). English born composer, keyboardist / percussionist Neil Sadler has created the quintessential fusion release, combining rock, Latin, funk, jazz, big band and orchestral styles with very complex harmonies and rhythmic changes. In keeping with the Zappa tradition, many of the players on this release are Zappa alumni including the horn section of Walt (trumpet, flugelhorn), Bruce (trombone) and Steve (alto sax) Fowler, Albert Wing (tenor sax), Kurt McGettrick (tenor sax) along with guitarist Mike Keneally and bassist Bryan Beller, all from the Zappa family tree. You've really got to have a versatile musical appetite to enjoy the twisting arrangements and sharp turns that the composition takes at a moments notice. Guitarist Keneally is the featured soloist on many of the tracks and it's interesting to hear where he takes the music, at times it's as if he's hanging on for dear life. The horn arrangements are superb, very well thought out and executed to perfection. Zappa would be very proud of his students and the compositional skills of Sadler. Sadler's keyboard and percussion skills are noteworthy as well. © MH, FUSE magazine http://www.fusemag.com/

There are always some records that get your attention more effectively than others, and usually when you listen to them, you find that there is a reason for that. This time, I think that the reason why I paid special attention to Neil Sadler’s album is that few works have made me wonder how extensive the jazz fusion field can be. Indeed, fusion is, just like symphonic rock, electronic music or RIO, a style in which people tend to copy those who succeeded with a particular formula. The fact is that Sadler’s album has an enormous influence of Frank Zappa or Miles Davis, but the variety of fusion-like styles that were included in this album is definitely impressive. First of all, it is important to talk about the musicians. Who plays on this CD? Where do they come from? Easy... Neil Sadler is a British keyboard player and percussionist that was in charge of composing all the tracks and getting the whole band together. The result was a meeting of jazz masters with a common Zappa background. A horn section led by the Fowler Brothers, Walt (trumpet), Steve (alto sax) and Bruce (trombone), Albert Wing (saxes), Kurt McGettrick (saxes), two bass players: Joel Woods and Bryan Beller (Beer for Dolphins) and the great Mike Keneally (Zappa, Sting, XTC) on guitar. The album includes 7 tracks, all of them in the fusion vein. The record begins with "Jazz Bastards" (6:46), a song full of mood changes, sometimes guitar led, sometimes with a remarkable trumpet guiding the melodies, while Sadler’s percussions provide an excellent support. There is something that can be noticed in this song and that will stay there for the whole album: a clear influence from Miles Davis on Walt Fowler’s trumpet parts. "Dna for beginners" (9:36) is a more rock-styled track, with a Crimson-like guitar (?) and a more atmospheric (though still jazz oriented) and changing support from the drums. The Zappa influence can be heard on pieces like "Suehiro" (4:36) and "Theory of Forms" (12:36), a track that also includes a more traditional jazz approach, mixed with the modernity of fusion. Wonderful. Sadler also presents a more experimental side on "Sid Sings" (5:38) and a more orchestral jazz line on "runRim" (7:21), a delicate and inspired track. The album closes with "wFb" (9:00), a powerful rocking theme with a jazzy dialogue between the saxes and the trumpet (at some moments reminding of the Canterbury school), an inspired impressive guitar, and the keyboards layers that give the opportunity to the other musicians to express themselves. Finally, I might say that, as a big fan of jazz, this album caused me a particular reaction: the impression of rediscovering fusion. One more thing must be said about Sadler’s style: he provides an excellent support and generates music that can be suited for other musicians to play and contribute with their own ideas. "Theory of Forms" is impressive, but I don’t think that this is the highest point that Sadler can reach. If he considers what he did on this album and tries to go beyond, then we might be talking about the next fusion master. © Enrique Gómez - January 2001© 2000-2011 progVisions - All rights reserved. http://www.progvisions.com/reviews_uk/ns_tof_uk.htm

“Theory Of Forms” is composer/percussionist/keyboardist Neil Sadler's debut album. The music is a dynamic, complex and incendiary inventive fusion of jazz, rock and great dark percussive work from Neil which adds depth and perspective to the album. Neil’s music is intensified and elevated by the presence of music legends that include guitarists Mike Keneally and Bryan Beller, the great LA bassist Joel Woods and Zappa horn greats Walt Fowler, Albert Wing, Bruce Fowler, Kurt McGettrick and Steve Fowler. FUSE' magazine stated that "Sadler has created the quintessential fusion release", and Mike Keneally said that "Neil knocks me out completely. I LOVED playing that stuff." An article by AAJ STAFF, published on May 1, 1999 said, “If you're into hot sax, brash brass, wild-n-weird guitar, bizarre synth atmospherics, complex percussion lines, and tight compositions, you'll get off on this. Guaranteed. This is beyond acid jazz, eludes fusion, twists tighter than freeform, and just flat out SMOKES!” The album is HR by A.O.O.F.C. Read more @ http://www.neilsadler.com/index.htm [All tracks @ 192 Kbps: File size = 76.7 Mb]

TRACKS

1. Jazz Bastards 9:36
2. DNA For Beginners 4:36
3. Suehiro 4:36
4. Theory Of Forms 12:36
5. Sid Sings 5:38
6. runRim 7:21
7. wFb 9:00

All tracks composed by Neil Sadler

MUSICIANS

Mike Keneally - Guitar
Bryan Beller - Bass (1,2,7)
Joel Woods - Bass (3,5,6)
Neil Sadler - Keyboards, Percussion
Albert Wing - Tenor Sax (1,4,7)
Kurt McGettrick - Tenor Sax (3,5)
Steve Fowler - Alto Sax (3,5,6)
Walt Fowler - Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Bruce Fowler - Trombone (1,4,7)

ABOUT NEIL SADLER / ALBUM

Neil Sadler is probably not well known to most progressive rock fans. Although very progressive in nature, his music lies somewhere between classical and jazz. As a classical percussionist and keyboard player, he has worked with members of the the London Philharmonic, European chamber orchestras, and made appearances at various European jazz festivals. Neil, born in England, moved to LA to work with numerous American artists on this, his debut instrumental album. Along with Sadler on keyboards and percussion, the band features Mike Keneally (guitar) who has worked with both Steve Vai and Frank Zappa, Bryan Beller (bass), along with a slew of Frank Zappa horn alumni - Walt Fowler (trumpet, flugelhorn), Albert Wing (tenor sax), Bruce Fowler (trombone), Kurt McGettrick (tenor sax), plus Steve Fowler (alto sax) and Joel Woods (bass). The level of musicianship appearing on this album is second to none, easily out-doing most progressive bands. However, musicianship alone does not make the perfect album.
The CD bursts into life with "Jazz Bastards", a very lively track, which immediately establishes the ground for what is to come with unusual melodic scales, and complex patterns. Perhaps surprisingly, the drumming almost entirely straight 4/4, albeit decorated with odd beats here and there within a conventional rock-style drum framework. After a few minutes, psychotic trumpet and sax solos burst in over a more conventional jazz rhythm, making a blatant right-angle change in direction, followed by some extremely expressive and experimental lead guitar work (not surprisingly, reminiscent of some of Steve Vai's work). Throughout the song, various atonal motifs keep reappearing, which go some way to helping maintain a sense of continuity through the mayhem of changes.
Track 2, "DNA for beginners", starts with some rather ominous orchestral string parts, percussion and gongs, which would probably work very well as film music. This kind of style is probably much more familiar to progressive rock fans, with its mysterious textures and atmospheric feel. Before long, a very Fripp-like lead guitar comes in with some very unusual synthy percussion. The overall sound is a lot like much of Zappa's work with synth percussion and strings. Later on in the track, a more Eastern feel emerges, with tablas and splashes (perhaps a faint Trilok Girtu influence?) and far-Eastern guitar scales. At over nine minutes of mostly soloing, with very little overall structure or development, it's hard not to make accusations of muso-pretentiousness, but some hard concentration on what's going on really does pay off, if you have the stamina! The next track, "Suehiro", is virtually a pop song by comparison, at four and a half minutes, with a definite upbeat feel. No rest from the atonal scales however. Suehiro is mostly a guitar/sax workout, again mostly over surprisingly straight 4/4 drum pattern. The song is mostly led by brass harmonies and unison parts, along the same lines as some of the material from Andy Sheppard's electric band. The twelve and a half minute title track, "Theory of forms" comes next, opening with more jazzy unison melodies. Definitely no traces of prog here, but nonetheless very progressive to the open mind. Some lovely tension-building atmospheres with sound effects follow, taking the pace down a notch, with the distant feel of something bigger approaching. Then, after several minutes of interesting layered sounds, aggressive piano-like percussion patterns come in, not unlike some Earthworks patterns, but with more power and aggression. What begins as a nice track, building up with direction, then moves on into minutes of seemingly endless improvised soloing, in different forms. Great for Zappa fans, but perhaps a little too much for more mainstream prog fans. "Sid Sings" comes next, opening with a muted trumpet, piano and synth strings. After a relaxed start, and a brief exploration into piano/percussion unison lines, the pace chances with an upbeat jazz rhythm and walking basslines from Joel Woods. Plenty of interesting ideas packed into under six minutes in this song ensures little excuse for distraction!!! Probably one of the more accessible tracks on the album. Next up is "RunRim", featuring very synthetic but effective synth strings and some more quiet Fripp-like guitar. Many of the tracks on the album throb along over an undercurrent of unusual percussion, and this one is no exception, with some beautifully indescribeable sounds. A fairly dark, moody track, with jazz tendencies. The last track, "wFb" could be an Andy Sheppard track, very sax-led, with more brass harmonies and unison parts. The drums on this track are extremely mechanical, almost to the point of sounding like a very dull drum machine. However, they do keep the momentum going, with various layers of melodies weaving about on top. All in all, a superly technical and experimental album, with some very interesting ideas, particularly in the percussion department. However, where there are conventional "drum" parts, they tend to be very standard, and not particularly innovative, which is surprising considering the high level of percussive experimentation elsewhere on the album. Lots of jazzy sax playing, and impressive soloing, though perhaps a little too much for many prog fans. The lead guitar work of Mike Keneally ensures that the overall sound doesn't stray too far into the jazz world, with some very extreme and unusual sounds and solos. Fans of Frank Zappa, Earthworks, or Andy Sheppard will probably love it, but I think it would only appeal to the more open-minded or jazz-friendly prog fans. - Overall: 7/10 © Neil Durant © http://www.dprp.net/reviews/9905.htm#neil