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

20.8.14

Mike Stern


Mike Stern - Give And Take - 1997 - Atlantic

This is a relatively straight-ahead set by the distinctive guitarist Mike Stern, whose airy sound seems quite fresh in this context. Stern performs three standards ("I Love You," "Giant Steps" and "Oleo"), Jimi Hendrix's "Who Knows," and six originals, mostly in a trio with bassist John Patitucci and drummer Jack DeJohnette. Percussionist Don Alias helps out on a few tracks; pianist Gil Goldstein is on two, and tenor great Michael Brecker nearly steals the show with three high-powered solos. Actually, the biggest surprise is "That's What You Think," a straight-ahead blues that has a very credible alto solo from guest David Sanborn. All in all, an excellent outing. © Scott Yanow © 2014 AllMusic, a division of All Media Network, LLC. | All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/album/give-and-take-mw0000027558

Mike Stern played with The Brecker Brothers Blood, Sweat & Tears, Billy Cobham's band, and Miles Davis' group but after releasing many solo albums, and despite receiving three Grammy nominations, he has still not achieved full recognition for his extraordinary guitar talents. Douglas Payne writing for AAJ made the comment that "If Mike Stern were a guitarist coming out of the 1960s, he'd be a hero today. Sure, there's always John McLaughlin. But not many other guitarists then - or now - could play rock guitar with the high degree of intimacy and the non-assaulting technical prowess that Mike Stern has always possessed". Mike Stern was hailed as the Best Jazz Guitarist of 1993 by Guitar Player magazine. In 2009 he was listed as one of Down Beat's 75 best jazz guitar players. On “Give And Take”, his 9th solo album Mike continued to prove why he's earned so many "Best Jazz Guitarist" honours through the years. His exceptional guitar skills are undeniable, and when he's at work, he never fails to create new ideas. But what makes him stand out from the pack of many other great guitarists is that he never “hogs the limelight”, and lets his backing players’ display their own abilities as much as possible. Mike composed seven of the tracks on this album, but he also covers Cole Porter’s “I Love You”, John Coltrane’s classic “Giant Steps”, Sonny Rollins’ “Oleo”, and Jimi Hendrix’s “Who Knows?”. Some of the wonderful artists playing on this album include John Patitucci on bass, and Michael Brecker and David Sanborn on sax. Great music and HR by A.O.O.F.C. Listen to Mike's "Standards (and Other Songs)" album and check out his "Between The Lines" album [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 139 Mb]

TRACKS / COMPOSERS

1 I Love You - Cole Porter 6:20
2 Hook Up - Mike Stern 7:04
3 Everything Changes - Mike Stern 5:40
4 One Liners - Mike Stern 8:18
5 Jones Street - Mike Stern 7:34
6 Lumpy - Mike Stern 3:15
7 Rooms - Mike Stern 5:03
8 That's What You Think - Mike Stern 6:42
9 Giant Steps - John Coltrane 5:09
10 Who Knows? - Jimi Hendrix 3:04
11 Oleo - Sonny Rollins 5:33

MUSICIANS

Mike Stern - Guitar (All Tracks]
John Patitucci - Acoustic Bass (All Tracks)
Gil Goldstein - Piano (Tracks 6 & 7)
Jack DeJohnette - Drums (Tracks 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8 & 9)
Don Alias - Percussion (Tracks 6 & 7, 10 & 11)
Michael Brecker - Tenor Saxophone (Tracks 2, 4 & 5)
David Sanborn - Alto Saxophone (Track 8)

BIO

Recognized as one of the finest guitarists among his peers, Mike Stern was born on January 10, 1953, in Boston, MA, but grew up in Washington, D.C., before returning to Boston to study at the Berklee School of Music. Stern was only 22 when he joined Blood, Sweat & Tears, for whom he played three years before signing on with Billy Cobham's jazz fusion outfit, which led to Stern's big breakthrough when Miles Davis enlisted him as guitarist for Davis' return from a five-year musical hiatus in 1981. Stern played and recorded with Davis until 1983, when Stern toured with Jaco Pastorius, but he rejoined Davis in 1985, which also brought about Stern's debut release as a leader, the warmly received Neesh. This time, Stern remained with Davis for a year, after which he cycled through projects by David Sanborn and Steps Ahead while simultaneously recording his follow-up to Neesh, titled Upside Downside, which marked his first release for Atlantic Records' jazz division. Stern continued a steady string of releases for Atlantic over the next few years while continuing to play with several other projects, including Michael Brecker and the reunited Brecker Brothers, eventually scoring his first Grammy nomination with the release of Is What It Is in 1994, then garnering another nomination for his 1996 follow-up, Between the Lines. Stern received his third Grammy nod for his 2001 release Voices, which was Stern's first recording with vocals -- albeit wordless vocalese -- and also marked the end of his tenure with Atlantic. Stern issued his debut album for ESC in early 2004, and two years later, with a cast of impressive backing musicians (Richard Bona, Me'Shell NdegéOcello, Roy Hargrove, and Kim Thompson, among others), Who Let the Cats Out was released. © Gregory McIntosh © 2014 AllMusic, a division of All Media Network, LLC. | All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/artist/mike-stern-mn0000413405/biography

19.8.14

Gregor Hilden


Gregor Hilden - Westcoast Blues - 1998 - Acoustic Music Records

"His style has matured, its lines have even more charm and his sound is very direct and straightforward." (Udo Pipper, music scene, January 1999) "The new CD" West Coast Blues "the most comprehensive, most coherent and imaginative largest work of this Munster blues and soul specialists comes on the market. Hilden stirred with 15 titles on the nearly 70-minute disc atmospheric Blues ballads, jazzy original compositions, driving Shuffles and soulful grooves to an entertaining R & B Cocktail of the extra-black variety. " (City Sound, October 1998) "The guitar work of Germany's Gregor Hilden is phenomenally calculated is and Measured. ... The ax work of Mr. Hilden is indeed a pleasure to take in, unadulterated blues with masterful executions. ... These are brilliant Compositions and arrangements ... "(Mark A. Cole, Big City Blues, February / March 1999) "Guitarist Hilden Has a great touch on his guitar and a feel for a wide range of material ... Watch for this guy. " (Blues Access, Spring 1999) ,, Very relaxed plays the likeable guitarist Gregor Hilden, although supported by a restrained but swinging band and the excellent singer Fay Victor, from all his skills. And they are considerable. "(Concerto)

German guitarist Gregor Hilden has been active in the soul/jazz/blues scene for over 15 years and proves that the authentic blues sound is not only heard in American cities like Memphis or New Orleans, but can also be heard in places like Münster/Westphalia. The trade magazine "Gitarre und Bass" in a feature article appropriately described Gregor Hilden’s playing as "economical, flexible and elegant". Gregor plays a blend of soul, blues and swing and his influences come from guitarists like Peter Green, Larry Carlton, Wes Montgomery and many more. His playing is "honest" but highly skilled. He is not a "flashy" player, but his phrasing is lean, very cultured, and he celebrates traditional and modern blues and jazz with great panache. He plays his Telecaster in a razor-sharp crisp, clear style and he can graduate from a cool, laid back style to a much more "grittier" style in a few chord changes, and he has the ability to demonstrate these great tonal qualities without adding any dramatic changes or special effects in the studio. Brooklyn vocalist Fay Victor complements Gregor’s playing beautifully with her bluesy, melancholy vocals. If you like the sound of authentic vintage guitar with a slight retro blues style and melodic jazz sounds, you may enjoy this album of original songs and covers, by greats including Wes Montgomery, Sonny Rollins and Peter Green. In Gregor's case, "less is definitely more". Listen to Gregor’s great “Blue In Red” album [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 149 Mb]

TRACKS / COMPOSERS

1. Down Home Blues - Trad (3:58)
2. The Ghetto - Hathaway & Hudson (5:08)
3. Heart Of The City - Hilden, Victor, & Musikverlag (7:20)
4. Ocean Breeze Motel - Hilden & Musikverlag (3:49)
5. Ooh Wee Baby - Hill (2:32)
6. Sleepwalk - S.Farina, J.Farina, & A.Farina (6:26)
7. New York Blues - Hilden & Musikverlag (3:40)
8. Mercy, Mercy, Mercy - Zawinul (4:15)
9. Sunnymoon For Two - Rollins (2:33)
10. Since I Fell For You - Johnson (7:32)
11. Proud Pinto - Green (4:53)
12. Westcoast Blues - Montgomery (3:28)
13. Little Funky Thang - Hilden & Musikverlag (3:29)
14. Beale Street Strut - Hilden & Musikverlag (5:06)
15. Apostle - Green (2:11)

MUSICIANS

Gregor Hilden: Guitars
Matthias Rethmann:Bass
Georg Mahr: Hammond B-3, Fender Rhodes Piano
Ralf Nackowitsch: Drums
Markus Paßlick: Percussion
Special Guests: Tommy Schneller: Tenor Saxophone
Fay Victor: Vocals

18.8.14

Jazzsick


Jazzsick - Jazzsick - 1995 - Hotwire EFA

Great jazz fusion from Jazzsick, a temporary international band featuring the brilliant Mike Stern & Dan Gottlieb (USA) Philipp van Endert & Alex Gunia (Germany) Rob Hall (UK) Rene Engel & Jaytee Tetterissa (Netherlands) and others. It’s extremely difficult to find a review of this album. The album title is a play on the german word 'jazzig' which means jazzy. Guitarist Philipp van Endert said "... it's jazz, but it's sick!" If “sick” means good, then this album is dying! This is a very obscure but excellent album recorded in Cologne during 1992-3. Don’t expect any Holdsworthian style guitar here. The album is quite subtle in places, but the guitar work is wonderful and the album is a great listen. The band may have one other release available, but I am not 100% sure of that. I saw one used copy of this album for sale on Amazon UK from £78.04. This is crazy! The album is not going to be hung in The Louvre! It is well worth investigating the work of artists like Philipp van Endert, Alex Gunia and others playing on this album which is HR by A.O.O.F.C [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 146 Mb]

TRACKS / COMPOSERS

1. Shortline - van Endert 7:04
2. Apple's Blues - Gunia 8:14
3. Moon, Moose and Bears - van Endert 3:46
4. Gimmes Never Get - van Endert 7:33
5. Heavy Scrapple From My Apple - Gunia 8:58
6. The Esher - Gunia 6:22
7. Capn' Crunch - Gunia 4:36
8. Kathy - Willmott 7:02
9. Sweet And Sour - van Endert 8:16

MUSICIANS

Philipp van Endert - Guitar, Guitar Synthesizer, Sitarguitar
Alex Gunia - Guitar, Acoustic Guitar
Mike Stern, Rick Peckman, Bret Willmott - Guitar
Stefan Rademacher - Bass
Jey-Tee Teterissa - 5 String Bass
Danny Gottlieb - Drums, Percussion
Rene Engel - Drums
Daniel Moreno, Katrin Birrer - Percussion
Bob Hall - Soprano Saxophone

17.8.14

Peter Greier


Peter Greier - ...Eat This - 2009 - DrumTex

The new CD from the Austrian Guitarist Peter Greier, guitar music not just for guitarists and brilliant composition spiced with excellent playing. Between rocking fusion and catchy tunes and some jazz flavour now and then. Featuring Alex Machacek playing a Solo on "Hendi" and the Austrian Popidol winner Michi Tschuggnall. More info www.petergreier.com Austrian born guitarist Peter Greier started his musical journey at the age of six singing in the church! Learning trumpet at the age of thirteen he switched to guitar one year later. While the first years of playing were mainly self-taught, he studied guitar seriously at the Conservatory of Innsbruck/Austria and the Munich Guitar Institute (MGI) with additional lessons by some of the finest players on the planet (Steve McKenna, Frank Gambale, David Becker,). In the 80s to the early 90s he played in the local rock band "Precious Stone", releasing the Cd "feel it tonight". As a session player he was hired for various musicals like "rent", "jesus christ superstar", "little shop of horrors", "Hair", "Grease" and several bands from rock to funk to fusion. Since 2003 he is in the band of Austrian's Pop Idol winner Michael Tschuggnall. Although since the very beginning of his musical carrier he was writing songs, it took many years to come to bring out his first solo release "eat this!" in 2009, featuring some of Austria's finest musicans like Christian Wegscheider, Willi Langer and Alex Machacek. By merging all the different influences and styles he grew up playing and listening to, "eat this!" seems to cause quite an international stir not only to the worldwide guitar community. © 2002-2014 AbstractLogix http://www.abstractlogix.com/xcart/product.php?productid=24359

Peter Greier is an Austrian musician, guitarist more precise who release his first album last year , 2009 named Eat this, but also he has a long career dated from late '80's in this business collaborating a long time with many musicians and acting as a session musician as well. The music is from rock, to more jazzy approach here and there, always very catchy and well played. Also are two track with vocals, one with female Sabine Greier and one with Walch. The music is ok, in places even great, but as a whole something is missing, I don't know exactly but if this was released 15 years ago it would be something else but today I'm not so impressed anymore, but doesn't mean is bad, only not really very interisting, just well played. Pieces like G1, Hendi or Saturday shows his talent, but the rest is just ok, good but nothing special. So a worthy 3 stars, but I'm not so impressed now as if I was 15 years in this kind of music. Still, a good record. ***/5 © b_olariu Sep 22 2010 © 2000 - 2013 rateyourmusic.com http://rateyourmusic.com/release/album/peter_greier/___eat_this_/

Cool rocking fusion with some good catchy compositions and a nice jazz touch from the talented Austrian Guitarist Peter Greier. Some awesome playing by Greier and excellent musicianship all round including great guitar soloing from fellow Austrian Alex Machacek on "Hendi". The Austrian Popidol winner Michi Tschuggnall on bass, piano, and vocals also adds hugely to the quality of this album. There is nothing groundbreaking here, and it isn’t mind blowing power fusion in the style of guitarists like Brett Garsed , Greg Howe or Allan Holdsworth. Nevertheless it’s an album that deserves a bigger hearing from an exceptional Austrian guitarist. [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 165 Mb]

TRACKS

1 G1 4:36
2 Hendi 4:21
3 Saturday 4:41
4 The Add 5:14
5 Dott 6:32
6 Hippatti 4:23
7 Rebekka 6:16
8 GeeCee 6:17
9 The Dream 4:20
10 Wohn 3:43
11 170602 6:35
12 Hidden Track [Precious Nights] 4:29

All music composed by Peter Greier. Michi Tschuggnall – Lyrics on Track 7: Sabine Greier – Lyrics on Track 8: Peter Greier & Dave Moskin – Lyrics on Track 9

MUSICIANS

Peter Greier (Guitars)
Alex Machacek (Guitar on Track 2)
Henry Sigl, Jürgen"navy"Nawratil, Robert Zimmermann, Willi Langer (Bass)
Michi Tschuggnall (Bass, Piano, Vocals)
Andy Mayerl (Upright Bass)
Christian Wegscheider, Kristian Tabakow, Raini Patscheider (Piano)
Franz Markt (Keyboards)
Thommy Tschuggnall (Keyboards, Backing Vocals)
Louis Goldblum, Manu Delago, Gerhard Egger, Christian Tschuggnall (Drums)
Charly Fischer (Percussion)
Christian Lamm, Hannes Sprenger (Saxophone)
Sabine Greier (Vocals)
Siggi Walch (Backing Vocals)
Track 12 “Played by Precious Stone”

16.8.14

Patrick Vega


Patrick Vega - 8 Bullets - 2009 - FFF Music

Guitar shredders are ten a penny really, most of them having a unique signature/sound, hell some don’t even bother to try and hide their influences, but that’s a whole other story. I, as you, could spend the next five minutes naming umpteen awesome guitarists, which I/you will try and draw comparison to/against, which is the down fall of guitar shredders. For them to standout in a crowd, they have to have that joie de vivre that le facteur X otherwise they become dull, uninspiring, their albums are listened to once and then gather dust. The secret is to keep it short and succinct adding a few wow factors along the route, maintaining good melody and memorable tones. This is something that Patrick Vega has achieved, making it a most likeable album. 8 Bullets is not a pretentious album by any stretch of the imagination, it holds your attention throughout. What we have here is a guitarist who can ply his trade and entertain at the same time. This is not a prog rock album per se, but what we have here is a good mix in style and presentation, which if I am to be honest, in the way the tracks have been approached, I honestly don’t believe adding a vocalist to the mix would make them any better. The right balance for me has been struck, featuring short passages, good melody, good pedal technique and some fantastic leads. The production and mix of the album is very impressive indeed, guitar, bass and drums levels having perfect balance. It was commented in the review of his first album, “The synthetic drums here aren’t that bad but when you know they’re there you can’t get away from it and they do sound clunky at times. The feel that would be added by the use of a good drummer is missing and, as all the best bands know, a band is only as good as its drummer”. Mr. Vega has addressed this comment and what a difference it has made. The approach of the tracks presented here are modern, powerful and confident. Vega has no intention of slouching and to be quite honest there aren’t any filler’ on the album, which I tip my hat to. Bullets the opening track defines the tone for the rest of the album, having a slight Joe Satriani feel to it, without being plagiarist. As an opening track Vega has chosen well, allowing his guitar techniques to come to the front without being over facing, being fully supported by some rather excellent drum work. Words Of Power sees Vega building lead breaks over some very powerful chord work but never becoming over imposing. The increase in metre part way through was kind of interesting, not necessarily required, not really adding anything. Can’t Make Up My Mind has a really nice bass line, featuring a beautiful melody, with the guitar work somewhat slower than say Words Of Power. I really do like the feel of this track, the tone, metre and feeling; you can just imagine Vega's face on some of the lead breaks. Hear My Train’ A Comin’ uses an opening effect to emulate a train running the rails, featuring a somewhat harder guitar sound and firm drum beats, you can almost imagine the thousands of tons barrelling down the tracks trying to reach its destination. This is a track that has been very cleverly built. Alice’s Nitemare is another powerhouse track displaying Vega's dexterity and technique as does the opening track Bullets. It features a very strong rhythm propped by some fantastic lead and pedal effects. Oceans In Between Us is where Vega has really developed his melodic passages to perfection, using them to great effect, creating some really driving crescendo work, oozing absolute quality. The solos are just note perfect for my taste. Wow. Washed Away opens with some rain effects that pave the way for some sad emotional guitar lead work featuring some very interesting underlying guitar passages that direct the whole piece. This is a multi-layered track with some stunning pedal effects contributing to another storming track. Novocaine displays some great pedal work, sounding vaguely like Satriani including an awesome sounding bass line holding the piece together. I love the way the track builds, the power and magnitude of each note. No Surrender is built around a really funky bouncy bass and guitar passage, which hits all the right passionate tones throughout, a more than fitting closing track. All the instrumentation is really allowed develop and grow with maturity. I am not going to perform the usual reference points here as I honestly believe that this would do a disservice to Patrick Vega as an artist and what he has created here. I will add this though, if you like talented, passionate and classy guitarists that aren’t pretentious, believing that structure and melody is as important as the lead breaks, then this is your man and an album for you. Patrick Vega has produced something special here, with its rather eclectic but approachable rhythms, rather tasty lead work and unusual tunings, which all in all has created a stunning album. This time round Vegas has utilised all his strengths maximizing them to great effect, never once outstaying his welcome, sticking to what had to be done without be distracted or self indulgent. This is a highly recommended album for guitar album lovers, which I can assure, you won’t be disappointed. Patrick Vega is going to be a name to be reckoned with if he gets the correct exposure and continues to produce work of this quality. Conclusion: 8 out of 10 © JOHN O'BOYLE © 1995 - 2014 : Dutch Progressive Rock Page http://www.dprp.net/reviews/201032.php

When I checked YouTube a while ago, I saw a guitarist performing a wonderful guitar piece with lots of expression. He immediately attracted my attention. The man involved was the Austrian-born American guitarist Patrick Vega and the song was No Surrender. I gave him my compliments for his guitar playing and he spontaneously offered to send me his album. After a week or so, I received a huge envelope in my mailbox. I only expected the new album, but on opening the package, I was happily surprised that beside his new album 8 Bullets he had also sent his previous album Freefall, Faith, Firestorm, together with some guitar picks and information cards including his business card. In short: his complete promotion package! The least I could do in return is writing a review and giving this guy some credits. Concerning guitar playing, there are roughly two ways of playing for me. The first is using all the technical skills just to impress people; the second is using one’s instincts and playing with expression, with feeling. Well, I do like both ways and on this album Patrick Vega impressed me with a fantastic guitar technique, as you can experience from the likes of Steve Vai or John Petrucci, combined with the sensibility and the touch of musicians like Jose DeCastro or even Stevie Ray Vaughan. On this instrumental album, Patrick Vega plays the guitar and the bass. On his previous album he used a drum machine, but now he had the chance to work with two very talented drummers. Real drummers always sound more natural, I think. So the drum parts on this album are done by Oren Halmut and Glen Sobel. The latter toured with Tony MacAlpine and Jennifer Batten and more well-known musicians. In his songs, Patrick Vega transcribed his influences into metal riffs that still have a bluesy feeling, especially in the opening song Bullets, or perhaps the groove in Alice’s Nitemare. Both songs are perfectly played creating a fine atmosphere. The metal groove with the distorted guitars in Hear My Train A Comin’ makes me play this music with a big smile on my face. I love this song. Can’t Make Up My Mind is a more relaxed piece that reminds me a bit of Gary Hoey. I think he comes closest to the music of Patrick Vega. The clear and ambient sounds in the opening of Washed Away lead to one of the finest guitar parts of the album: very relaxed and performed with great feeling. The structure of Novocaine also has been perfectly built up with an outstanding technique. The album ends with a remix of the song I watched on YouTube originally recorded for Patrick’s debut album. I still think this is one of the best and catchy melodies I’ve heard recently. When you see him play this piece on YouTube, it all seems so easy… Patrick Vega’s 8 Bullets is a great album. His music is both technical and emotional blending metal, hard rock and blues into a very tasty stew. I’m sure that people, who love true and honest guitar playing with the aforementioned elements, will discover this album and love it immediately, just like I did. **** © Pedro Bekkers (edited by Peter Willemsen)© All Rights Reserved Background Magazine 2013 http://www.backgroundmagazine.nl/CDreviews/Vega8Bullets.html

"Structured rock songs, heavy riffs, melodic lines and a lot of taste and skilled production." - (Guitar 9 Records, SEPT'09)

IF YOU DIG ROCK GUITARS BUT DON'T WANT TO BE GUNNED DOWN WITH 1,000,000 NOTES, THIS IS FOR YOU! - http://www.cdunsigned.com/artist/patrick-vega.html

Austrian-born American guitarist Patrick Vega is not only heavily influenced by artists like Gambale, Hendrix, Page Satriani, Vai, Malmsteen, & Eddie Van Halen but also the classic blues players of yesteryear like BB King, Albert King,and Robert Johnson. Read an interview with Patrick @ http://www.silbermedia.com/qrd/archives/42PatrickVega.html and http://www.guitar9.com/interview156.html Patrick is totally against the “illegal” downloading of his music, but this blog is trying to promote musicians like him! Check out CDBaby for more of his work and check out his "Essay in Light" album [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 78.8 Mb]

TRACKS

1 Bullets [3:04]
2 Words Of Power [3:33]
3 Can't Make Up My Mind [3:52]
4 Hear My Train A Comin' [3:07]
5 Alice's Nitemare [4:02]
6 Oceans In Between Us [4:16]
7 Washed Away [4:47]
8 Novocaine [3:54]
9 No Surrender (Remix) [4:17]

All tracks composed by Patrick Vega

MUSICIANS

Patrick Vega - Guitars, Bass
Glen Sobel - Drums on Tracks 1,3,5,6
Oren Halmut - Drums on Tracks 2,4,5,8,9

BIO

Rock guitarist Patrick Vega was born in Austria/Europe. Already as a little kid he wanted nothing more than to become a professional rock guitar player. Being amazed by music as diverse as: Prince, Scorpions, Santana, Dire Straits, a Chris Rea Album Cover featuring a beat up red strat on a piano and various Jazz music his older brother listened to (Miles Davis, Brecker Brothers, Chet Baker, etc). Patrick's first record ever owned was 'Blackout' by The Scorpions (a christmas gift from his brother). Finally at the age of 14 (after being "harassed with classical music education") Vega was "allowed" to learn how to play the guitar. His dad bought him the long promised electric guitar as a birthday gift, showed him his first chords and so Patrick started to play like a maniac. Where classical instruments (recorder and clarinet) were tossed around the room and Vega NEVER practiced, the guitar immediately was Patrick's most prized posession and instantly became the biggest love of his life. Even during highschool, Vega used to practice up to the famous 8 hours a day and beyond (during the day instead of homework and whatever normal kids did and at night he sneaked into the kitchen of his parents house to not wake anyone while practicing away). He took some private lessons, but mostly participated at music seminars and workshops in his native Austria where he could perform live with other people. Patrick discovered players such as Joe Satriani, Eddie Van Halen, Steve Vai, Yngwie Malmsteen and Frank Gambale who were big influences back then and motivation for unlimited dedication and practice of technique (especially Vega's use of economy picking) and the use of phrasing, melody and effects. Right away the young guitarist wrote original music and self-released a few 3-song demos over the years before getting into the writing and production of full blown albums. His ultimate goal as a young Ninja guitar freak: "Move to LA and play the guitar". Simple enough:) After graduating from school, Patrick was awarded private and public scholarships for advanced music education (due to participations at music workshops, seminars, concerts and festivals). In 2000, Vega enrolled in GIT (Guitar Institute of Technology) in Hollywood, CA. Taking advantage of 24/7 practice and playing possibilities (24hr facility), he practiced and played and learned more than ever. The scholar surroundings of GIT though turned out to be a turn off in a certain way: The "Overanalyzing and name calling everything" attitude didn't quite sit right 100% with Patrick since at the time he really started to get into feel based players like Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page, Eddie Van Halen, Jake E Lee, Slash and Classic Blues guitar players (BB King, Albert King, Robert Johnson), etc. Right after music school, Patrick started doing auditions in the LA area and subsequently performed at major national tours including the Vans Warped Tour (playing alongside The Used, SUM41, AFI, Rancid and Pennywise), recorded at major recording studios such as Henson (former A&M), Elementree/KoRn, Paramount, Matrix studios and gained massive live and studio/recording experience. Press features include major US & EU publications such as Guitar Player Magazine, Guitar9 Records' 'The Undiscovered', All Access Magazine, Mean Street Magazine, etc © 2009 AirPlay Direct. All rights reserved http://www.airplaydirect.com/music/patrickvega/

14.8.14

Eugene Berger


Eugene Berger - Triple Core - 2011 - Eugene Berger

Eugene Berger is a professional progressive rock, fusion and funk guitarist and composer. He also works as a song arranger, music producer and guitar teacher. He was born in St. Petersburg and moved to Tel Aviv in 1992. “Triple Core” is his first release and is not disappointing. It’s an exceptional rock/fusion instrumental guitar album with great technique, and a lot of interesting detail. Eugene has impressed many well known musicians with his talents. Despite playing in bands for many years, he is not very well known outside Russia and Israel. He has opened for bands that include The Aristocrats (Guthrie Govan, Bryan Beller, and Marco Minnemann). Check out a lot of video clips from Eugene @ http://shelf3d.com/Search/Uploaded%20by%20MrBerguitar and watch out for future releases from this guy [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 99.9 Mb]

TRACKS

1. Triple Core
2. Outraged Love
3. Funkissimo
4. Organic Light
5. Chrome
6. Olympic Love Games Award
7. Neverland
8. Fire, Water and Brass Pipes
9. In the East of Nowhere
10. PostScriptum

All tracks composed by Eugene Berger

MUSICIANS

Eugene Berger - Guitars, Bass, Keyboards
Nir Nakav - Drums

BIO

Eugene is a professional guitarist, studio and recording artist, composer, song arranger, music producer and a guitar teacher. Born in St. Petersburg, Russia, Eugene began as a classically trained violinist, graduating from one of the most selective and competitive music schools for exceptionally gifted children. At around twelve years of age he developed a strong passion for guitar, and he applied his strong knowledge of music theory, as well as his perfect pitch and excellent technique, to quickly pick up the instrument. Eugene's extensive childhood concert experience helped him to consistently win the first prize in all city competitions, held for young electric guitarists, by the age of sixteen. He played in various rock bands, toured Russia and much of Europe with the band that he started when he was seventeen, and produced his own records. He quickly became a highly respected musician for his versatility, advanced technique, rich tones, and accurate and precise performance. In 1992, Eugene followed his family and settled in Tel-Aviv, Israel. He continued playing in bands, ranging from metal to classic rock music, and once again he developed another aspect of his musical career. He became a producer, record engineer, arranger and studio guitarist; he produced many albums for artists with a variety of different styles, and he nurtured the careers of emerging singers and wrote songs for them. He played in commercials and in TV shows, and for the past ten years he has been a guitarist at the renowned drama theater Gesher in Tel-Aviv. As a seasoned musician with a deep knowledge of guitars and guitar equipment, he has been a consultant to a musical instruments distribution company for fifteen years. As a dedicated guitar teacher, Eugene developed his own unique method for improving finger velocity and hand synchronization, which will be published in the near future. Recently, Eugene produced his first instrumental rock-fusion album called "Triple Core" © Riffstate.com - All Rights Reserved http://www.riffstate.com/eugene-berger/

12.8.14

Steely Dan


Steely Dan - "Walking Distance Tour" Night 1 [Raw Audio feed for PBS In The Spotlight] January 28, 2000, Sony Studios, New York, NY - Image Entertainment

An unmastered and unedited raw audio stereo soundboard recording taken from the source tapes of a PBS "In The Spotlight" Special show on January 28th and 29th, 2000. It was Steely Dan's first show since 1996 and also their first show since recording their celebrated "Two Against Nature" album. This recording contains six pieces that didn't appear on the official PBS Special aired during March 2000 or on the Dan's "Plush TV Party" DVD release. Don't expect the sound quality to be on a par with the DVD release, but nevertheless the versions are all good and sound is fair to very good. Special thanks to zoomlv (member of the fantastic "The Trader's Den" website) for procuring this show to share. Grab this show before it disappears forever! A real collectors item! [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 247 Mb]

TRACKS

1 Green Earrings
2 Janie Runaway
3 Josie
4 Gaslighting Abbie
5 Do It Again *
6 Band Introductions *
7 Cousin Dupree
8 Babylon Sisters
9 Black Friday
10 Walter's Remarks *
11 Deacon Blues *
12 Bad Sneakers
13 West of Hollywood *
14 Home At Last (with false start) *
15 Kid Charlemagne
16 Peg
17 FM
18 What a Shame About Me
19 Pretzel Logic

All tracks composed by W.Becker & D.Fagen

N.B: Not aired on PBS special or released on official DVD

MUSICIANS

Walter Becker: Guitars, Vocals
Jon Herington: Guitars
Tom Barney: 5-String Bass
Donald Fagen: Fender Rhodes, Lync Keytar, Vocals
Ted Baker: Grand Piano, Synth
Ricky Lawson: Drums
Cornelius Bumpus: Tenor Saxophone
Chris Potter: Tenor and Alto Saxophone
Michael Leonhart: Trumpet
Jim Pugh: Tenor Trombone
Vicky Cave, Carolyn Leonhart, Cynthia Calhoun: Backing Vocals

Michael Romeo


Michael Romeo - The Dark Chapter - 1994 - Hellion Records

Originally recorded in 1992 as a demo tape which Romeo had sent out to various guitar publications, the album that would eventually become The Dark Chapter garnered the attention of a Japanese record label named Zero Corporation, who expressed an interest in further material. Romeo subsequently joined up with keyboardist Michael Pinnella to re-record the album for a CD release through Zero in 1994, after which both musicians went on to form Symphony X. An entirely instrumental album, it bears many similarities to the progressive metal stylings showcased by Symphony X, and could be considered a direct precursor to their self-titled debut album which was released later in 1994. Several of the track titles are references to works by Edgar Allan Poe, such as "The Cask of Amontillado", "The Masque of the Red Death" and "The Premature Burial". Furthermore, the cover art portrays a raven, in reference to Poe's poem "The Raven", and a guitar, with its body resembling the shape of a pendulum, as per Poe's short story "The Pit and the Pendulum". Most of the other track titles bear cryptic meanings: "Sevil Alucard" reads "Dracula Lives" spelled backwards (a possible reference to Dracula Lives!, a short-lived magazine by Marvel Comics); "MJR #13" is an abbreviation of the initials of Romeo's full name, Michael James Romeo; "Noit Al Ever" reads "revelation" spelled backwards. – WIKI

'Michael Romeo', the mastermind behind Symphony X and a spectacular guitar player, was 26 years old when he released this first type of musical exhibition of him. I don't know what the fuck he did until that point, but it's better to start at age 26 then not start at all, especially if you possess such an outstanding guitar technique and brilliant composing skills. 'The Dark Chapter' is basically the foundation stone of what will be one of the most epic progressive metal bands out there. This full length is loaded with highly progressive instrumental tracks with great baroque influence over them. 'Michael Pinnella', who will later form up Symphony X together with Romeo, exhibit some of his own skills with some occasional synth leads here and there that sign of a topnotch virtuosity. This album has a seriously sinister and dark timbre. The track titles are often referring to the horror writings of Edgar Allan Poe ('Masque of the Red Death', 'The Premature Burial' etc..) and the cover art itself reflects a gloomy atmosphere as well. Michael Romeo managed to combine technique and melodies quite well, you won't feel that there is much of a flat instrument masturbation here as opposed to many shredding albums out there. 'Masque of the Red Death' is probably the most varied track here. There are tons of sweep pickings and alternate picked riffs at the speed of light, but they always keeps on a high level of curiosity due to the enchanting themes and progressive structure of the track. The guitar tone of Romeo sounds so clean and powerful, you can't miss him not missing any note in any fretboard attack. The Paganini tribute is a marvelous, pounding and melodic orgasm that beats any Paganini guitar tributes out there. This could be a great ending to this album, but instead we get 'Noit Al Ever', a beautifully stunning tune with a powerful orchestra of fast classical guitars, majestic choirs, piano and a victorious lead guitar that closes this album with a great and promising climax. 'The Dark Chapter' is a wonderful journey to the realm of neoclassical metal. There are some many things going in this 42 minutes of highly progressive record that you just can't miss. This is the album that led to one of the most creative bands in the history of metal, this is a must have for any Symphony X fan. With that said, I would really like to see 'Michael Romeo' releasing another solo effort one day, to see if he can overcome such a high level of creative shredding. – By & © Human666, October 1st, 2011 [Worthy Shredding Exhibition - 88%] © 2002-2014 Encyclopaedia Metallum http://www.metalarchives.com/reviews/Michael_Romeo/The_Dark_Chapter/15087/Human666/68424

Back in the dark ages before there was such a thing as Symphony X, there was an ambitious fellow from New Jersey who didn’t get the memo that technical guitar oriented music was on the wane, and thank God for that. The music that he, being Michael Romeo, would create would fly in the face of a legion of mind numbed trusties of conventional wisdom who were spoon fed the dual lie that Malmsteen was a sham and that Kurt Cobain was some sort of hero. For those who still deride this music as being passé, you would do well to take note of the fact that we who love true guitar heroics are still here and we have no intention of going away. For the rest of you who are curious about the history before there was Symphony X, the music found on “The Dark Chapter” is something of a surprise actually. This album listens like the long lost son of the line of Malmsteen’s “Rising Force” and Dream Theater’s “Images and Words”, albeit the child is mute and expresses itself only by instruments, conceived and born in the darkness by the unholy spirit of metal. From start to finish you run through a maze of endless streams of rapid scale runs, arpeggios, mixed meter turnarounds, and the occasional reference to a baroque/classical/romantic maestro that had an influence upon Romeo’s sound. The album kicks off with “Carpathia”, a 2 minute electronically orchestrated prelude with the axe man throwing in his sinister leads, switching back and forth between sounding like Brian May and Malmsteen. “Cask of Amontillado” listens like one of Symphony X’s speed metal tracks off of “Twilight in Olympus”, keeping the meter of the music mostly in common time and relying upon rapid drum and guitar work to impress the ears, and only occasionally letting up to provide a slower melodic section. “Psychotic Episode” and “Masque of the Red Death” are both excellent early examples of Romeo’s keen sense of metric manipulation and off-the-cuff tempo changes, both sounding as dark and looming as the events and stories they depict. “Sevil Alucard” is another consistently fast track that contains some early examples of the more groove driven ideas that were heard on “The Odyssey”. “The Premature Burial” is the simplest of the lot riff wise, although painted pretty heavily with harmonic lead fills and occasional church organ interludes. “MJR #13” is an early example of the somber ballad sound that would come into play in such well known Symphony X tracks as “The Accolade” and “Lady of the Snow”, the intro melodic line is beautifully realized, and the occasional addition of an acoustic guitar line mellows the sound quite a bit. The remake of the Paganini concerto in a speed metal style is among the best I’ve heard, even rivaling Olaf Lenk’s rather astounding remakes of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. The album then closes on a lighter note with “Noit Al Ever”, which is heavily keyboard drenched though still being another technical extravaganza where Romeo leaves no note unexplored. The only real weakness in this album is that the production, which suffers a little from a lack of real instruments when compared with Symphony X’s material. The drum machine makes the entire arrangement sound a bit mechanical, as does the heavy reliance on synthesized orchestra sounds rather than a mix of keyboards and real instruments. That being said, the music on here is quite impressive, especially considering that it is entirely self-produced and almost completely recorded by one person. (Mike Pinella did do some of the fancier keyboard tracks on here) I was particularly impressed with Romeo’s incredible guitar sound, which he has not really altered very much since this time. You can definitely tell just by heaving excerpts from this album that it is the same man who set his fret board ablaze on “The Odyssey” and “V: The New Mythology”. Fans of shred metal and Symphony X are strongly encouraged to track this down, especially considering that it was recently re-released and is easily found. It is a bit green compared to the more recent offerings put forth by this man of ambition who would otherwise be your typical big haired rocker from New Jersey, but it is a testament to the fact that metal was not dead in the 90s, regardless to what the propagandists in the larger recording industry would say to the contrary. – By & © hells_unicorn, July 15th, 2007 [The Dark Ambition. - 90%] http://www.metal
archives.com/reviews/Michael_Romeo/The_Dark_Chapter/15087/#reviewAnchor125652 © 2002-2014 Encyclopaedia Metallum

Michael Romeo was born in March of 1968 in New Jersey,USA. When he was 12 years old, he began playing piano, switching to guitar a couple years later. He is a noted virtuoso known for his Neo-Classical shredding guitar style and technical expertise. He is also widely recognized as an influential force in both modern metal and guitar-playing. In 1994, Michael released "The Dark Chapter" while also helping to establish the great progressive metal and critically acclaimed band Symphony X. “The Dark Chapter” is quite a good melodic shredding album with a traditional classical vibe based around the writings of Edgar Allen Poe. This album was recorded fairly quickly and the production could have been more polished, but the album is a great listen and a good forerunner to Symphony X’s music. Read an interview with Michael @ http://www.alloutguitar.com/interviews/michael-romeo-interview-%E2%80%93-perfect-symphony-part-one-1970s-2000 and listen to Symphony X’s fabulous “Paradise Lost” album [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 119 Mb]

TRACKS

1.Carpathia 2:08
2.Cask of Amontillado 5:07
3.Psychotic Episode 4:02
4.Masque of the Red Death 7:01
5.Sevil Alucard 5:10
6.The Premature Burial 6:20
7.MJR #13 7:15
8.Concerto in B Minor 2:38
9.Noit Al Ever 3:08

All tracks composed by Michael Romeo except Track 8 by Niccolò Paganini

MUSICIANS

Michael Romeo – Electric & Acoustic Guitar, Guitar Synthesizer, Bass, Keyboards (except Track 8), Drum Programming
Michael Pinnella - Keyboards on Track 8

10.8.14

Nathan Frost


Nathan Frost - Synecron - 2013 - Nathan Frost

Nathan started playing piano at age 3, and started playing Pong shortly thereafter. Picking up a high school girlfriend's bass, he cofounded Strychnine -- an all-originals progressive metal band in Vancouver, British Columbia -- where he played bass, keyboards, and sang whenever he wasn't programming videogames, studying music theory, and slouching through classes. Nathan then enrolled at premier videogame development school DigiPen Institute of Technology in the Seattle area, and musically scored several of the videogame projects he completed while earning his degree in Realtime Simulations Engineering (Honors). He began writing the material that became synecron in between semesters. synecron gradually took shape during vacations from professionally developing videogames for Crystal Dynamics/Eidos (Project Snowblind, Tomb Raider Legend, Tomb Raider Underworld), PlanetMoon/THQ (Drawn to Life The Next Chapter [Wii]) and GiantSparrow/Sony (The Unfinished Swan). synecron was finally recorded in 2012 with some of Nathan's favorite musicians. Nathan continues to take great joy in videogame programming "to the metal" and technical instrumental workouts. © 2013. All Rights Reserved. http://nathanfrostmusic.com/bio

Virtuoso Nathan Frost makes his debut on the metal scene, Synecron, his album, six songs, one with two drums versions, 52 minutes of instrumental progressive metal music with fusion and neoclassical sounds, Nathan played keyboards, piano and bass, Virgil Donati and Marco Minemann on drums, Marco Sfogli and Taka Minamino on guitars, Derek Sherinian as keyboard engineer and a unique solo at the first theme. Fascinating musical proposal by Nathan, the result for several years of recordings and mixes, finally here, this album is powerful and innovative, the musicians involved in this project are truly masters, just listen every track, great performance. Very interesting thing is that the same song Empire Rising was recorded two times, Empire Rising 505 AD with Virgil Donati, and Empire Rising 2000 AD with Marco Minemann, both versions are fantastic, completely innovative, never made it before, it’s amazing how each drummer shows his creativity. Samsara is a masterpiece played with classical piano, it´s fantastic, Nathan is a virtuoso musician, he shows us with this song, enjoy it. 9.5 / 10. Buy This Album. - By & © Chuy Monjarás © Perfectprog.com 2013 http://www.perfectprog.com/site/index.php/reviews/226-nathan-frost-synecron-2013

Not content to just produce the debut solo album from former Aphelion keyboard ace Allesandro Bertoni (Keystone), Derek Sherinian is also at the helm here on Synecron, the brand new release from keyboard player/bassist/composer and video game developer Nathan Frost. Also on board for this wild prog/jazz-fusion affair are drummers Virgil Donati (Planet X) & Marco Minnemann (Tony MacAlpine, Paul Gilbert, Mike Keneally), guitarists Marco Sfogli (James LaBrie, Creation's End) & Tako Minamino (Derek Sherinian) and violinist Rosemars Siemens. Six tracks in total on Synecron, and it's a high spirited, exciting ride from start to finish, as each song clocks in at over 6+ minutes and allows for plenty of sizzling performances from the players. The opening & closing "Empire Rising, 2000 AM" and "Empire Rising, 505 AD" are basically the same song, but with Donati on one and Minnemann on the other. Each track has subtle differences, but if it's a torrid ride through dazzling heavy fusion you are looking for, you've come to the right place. Frost, and even Sherinian on this one, deliver some stunning keyboard lines, and look for hot guitar licks from both Sfogli & Minamino plus plenty of drum acrobatics. "Singularity" is another winner, plenty melodic and complete with addicting keyboard hooks, scorching guitar, and impressive drum fills from Donati. Frost shows his prowess on the bass during the more atmospheric & majestic prog rock track "Empire Falling". This one also features some commanding Hammond organ, intricate drums courtesy of Minnemann, and Rosemars' haunting violin, not to mention some shredding guitar by Mr. Minamino. The lovely "Samsaara" is all Frost, who displays a deft touch on the piano, while "Consilience" is a crunchy, groove laden progressive metal juggernaut. Minamino's thick riffs play off some nimble synth melodies from Frost, until the guitarist unleashes and gets into a duel with the keyboard wiz as Minnemann lays down some jaw dropping fills underneath. Pretty impressive stuff here from a guy I'm sure we'll be hearing much more from in the very near future. Having such an all star cast around certainly doesn't hurt, but Nathan Frost has the musical chops as well as the songwriting skills to be a player on the instrumental progressive metal/jazz-fusion scene. **** – Reviewed by & © Pete Pardo October 23rd 2013 © 2004 Sea Of Tranquility http://www.seaoftranquility.org/reviews.php?op=showcontent&id=15290

For over thirteen years, Nathan Frost honed the distinctively ultra-progressive, genre-fusing, stream-of-consciousness metal that became “synecron” in between developing high-profile videogames. When he was finally afforded the time to record, he contacted Derek Sherinian (ex-Dream Theater, PlanetX, Yngwie Malmsteen) — mostly since he lived nearby in LA, and Nathan thought it would be a fun excuse to email one of his personal musical heroes. When Derek heard the material, he offered to produce and engineer Nathan’s keyboards. Nathan already had a clear vision for the music, and didn’t feel the need for an outside producer, but it didn’t take long for Derek to demonstrate that his Beachwood Manor Studios indeed had “the killer everything” (his words), and that he effortlessly grasped Nathan’s aesthetic and how to push the already-progressive compositions to a new level of complexity. After putting the music through the Derek filter (including inspired arrangements involving his custom Hammond B3 organ setup, modern and vintage hardware synthesizers, and other keyboard wizardry), Sherinian introduced Nathan to another of his musical heroes — drummer Virgil Donati (PlanetX, Steve Vai, Allan Holdsworth) — and some of the best performers in progressive metal today: drummer Marco Minnemann (Tony Macalpine, Kreator, Paul Gilbert), and guitarists Marco Sfogli (James LaBrie, Jordan Rudess, Alex Argento, Creation’s End) and Taka Minamino (Derek Sherinian). Painstakingly mixed and mastered by veteran sound engineer Steven Seibold (Hate Dept, Pigface, Information Society), the compositions take the listener through an intricate musical journey overflowing with dramatic twists, virtuosic performances and uncompromising creativity. - By & © Nikola Savić on October 7, 2013 © 2010-2014 Prog Sphere & Prog Sphere Promotions. All rights reserved. http://www.prog-sphere.com/news/nathan-frost-to-release-synecron/

"Fascinating musical proposal...Nathan is a virtuoso musician...powerful and innovative, the musicians involved in this project are truly masters...9.5/10...great performance." - PerfectProg

"...new and fresh...heavy brutal riffs...progressive style...exceptional definition of what I call music..." - The Center of the Metal

"amazing guitar...grandiose drumming...breathtaking solos...but most of all well-crafted tunes!" - Heavy Paradise
"Frost has some serious prog ambitions for his debut album of heavy progressive instrumental metal...Frost plays keyboards and bass, has written some fantastic songs...top-notch lineup of producer Derek Sherinian, guitarists Tako Minamino and Marco Sfogli as well as two of the greatest drummers on the planet, Marco Minnemann and Virgil Donati... If you dig bands like Planet X this one is a must have." - Prog Metal Zone New Releases

"...produced by Derek Sherinian...features guitarists Marco Sfogli (from James LaBrie)...Taka Minamino and oh, by the way, he’s got two drummers on alternating songs – Virgil Donati and Marco Minneman!...Frost even had the brilliant idea of using them on different versions of the same song, Empire Rising...the album more than met my expectations...It's an exciting and dynamic recording that strikes a great balance between intelligent, progressive compositions, heavy grooves and masterful soloing. The recording is amazing too – the low-end is fantastic and you can really hear everything the two drummers are doing which is really a treat...the music has an epic storytelling quality...Synecron is a great album for fans of instrumental metal, especially if you’re looking for music that’s extremely well-composed and has a great cinematic feel to it." - Prog Metal Zone Review

"...a high spirited, exciting ride from start to finish...addicting keyboard hooks, scorching guitar...plus plenty of drum acrobatics...Frost, and...Sherinian...deliver some stunning keyboard lines...hot guitar licks from both Sfogli & Minamino...intricate drums courtesy of Minnemann...Frost shows his prowess on the bass...impressive drum fills from Donati...Having such an all star cast...certainly doesn't hurt, but Nathan Frost has the musical chops as well as the songwriting skills to be a player on the instrumental progressive metal/jazz-fusion scene." - Sea of Tranquility

"...quite a demanding ride, where the neo-classical furious shredding of Taka Minamino is the most immediate recognizable recurring element...something truly progressive and virtuosic should appeal to all prog enthusiasts out there. People missing the Liquid Tension Experiment they love can also get their dose here!" - Lords of Metal

"Bombastic, emotionally resonant, inspiring...each of the tracks flows smoothly into the next...listening to Synecron takes me back to those first times I heard Rising Force or King Crimson or Queensryche. It's a great album..." - iTunes reviewer Magnificent Weez

"I have come to the conclusion that Nathan Frost is one seriously talented guy. Yes, he is surrounded by a stellar cast on this recording but, you never feel he is out of his depth and he definitely has the musical talent to live with the big boys. This guy has a long and successful future ahead of him and Synecron, as a debut release, is a notably impressive slab of jazz/prog fusion that certainly stays long in the memory." - Lady Obscure

"NATHAN FROST is a highly talented musician...SYNECRON... features some of the best musicians in the Progressive Metal world...Nathan has assembled some of the best in the business and come out with one of the best Progressive Instrumental albums I have heard in a long time... The creativity, craftsmanship and musical talent is absolutely amazing. If you consider yourself not a fan of Progressive Instrumental, then you need to listen to SYNECRON and you will find yourself listening to it over and over and finding something new each time. Simply amazing!" - Beowulf Productions

Wild, creative, and brilliantly structured progressive metal jazz fusion of the highest calibre from the virtuoso multi-instrumentalist Nathan Frost. Nathan is assisted by a few giants of fusion including Marco Sfogli on guitar, and the legendary Marco Minnemann and Virgil Donati on drums. HR by A.O.O.F.C. [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 120 Mb]

TRACKS

1. Empire Rising, 2000 AD (feat. Marco Minnemann, Taka Minamino, Derek Sherinian & Marco Sfogli) (8:09)
2. Singularity (feat. Virgil Donati, Marco Sfogli & Taka Minamino) (9:33)
3. Empire Falling (feat. Marco Minnemann & Taka Minamino) (10:24)
4. Samsaara (8:56)
5. Consilience (feat. Marco Minnemann & Taka Minamino) (6:43)
6. Empire Rising, 505 AD (feat. Virgil Donati, Taka Minamino, Derek Sherinian & Marco Sfogli) (8:16)

All tracks composed by Nathan Frost

MUSICIANS

Marco Sfogli, Taka Minamino - Guitars on Tracks 1, 2, 6
Nathan Frost - Bass, Keyboards, Piano
Derek Sherinian - Keyboards on Tracks 1, 6
Marco Minnemann - Drums on Tracks 1, 3, 5
Virgil Donati - Drums on Tracks 2, 6
Rosemars Siemens - Violin on Track 3

5.8.14

Lyden Moon


Lyden Moon - In The Groove - 2002 - M.A.C.E

Lyden Moon decided long ago that the "vocalist" in his band would be his guitar. Possessing killer shred technique and a strong melodic sense, Moon has separated himself from most guitarists anywhere. Steve Vai once hand-picked Lyden Moon to jam with him at Chicago's House of Blues. Lyden Moon and his band have also opened up for a who's-who of big-time rock guitar legends including Gary Hoey, Michael Angelo Batio, Pat Travers, Marc Bonilla, Tracii Gunns, Frank Gamble, Dave Urich and Joe Stump to name a handful. Batio, who was named the number one guitar shredder of All-Time by Guitar One magazine, had this to say about Lyden Moon: “I have been working with Lyden Moon since recording and mixing his first CD. I have also performed numerous shows with him throughout the years. Lyden is an amazing guitarist, songwriter and arranger. When in the studio recording, he was/is always prepared and professional. Lyden has also built up a great following by constantly performing live and promoting. His CDs have sold well all over the world. Lyden Moon has earned his place as one of the great guitarists of our time.” - Michael Angelo Batio. © http://www.reverbnation.com/lydenmoon

Guitar great Lyden Moon has released his third CD on M.A.C.E. Records. "In the Groove" is an intense collection of wonderfully crafted instrumental guitar songs. Great melodies and as the title says "grooves" are in abundance on this disc. What makes Lyden stand out from so many of his peers is his ability to write a great melody and play it with conviction and a GREAT guitar tone. His tone is one of his trademarks. Laced between the melodies are full "shred", "balls to the walls", lightning fast passages that will make any guitar music lover grin. Lyden has "one upped" his other 2 CDs in every way. The performance and song writing are first rate, the production is major league and the packaging is great. Michael Angelo Batio does his usual guest appearance on Lyden's CD. Lyden and Michael trade riffs in a spectacular display of guitar artistry. This CD rocks from beginning to end and is a great addition to anyone's instrumental guitar CD collection. © Copyright 2008 M.A.C.E. Music, Inc. All rights reserved. http://archive.today/9sRxC#selection-1574.0-1583.58

Lyden Moon (Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin, USA ) is a melodic instrumental guitar-based rock band with all 3 members possessing killer chops. The great guitarist Michael Angelo Batio said, "Lyden Moon has earned his place as one of the great guitarists of our time." Club.kingsnake.com on May 13,'06 said that, “Lyden Moon is a phenomenal guitarist. Plain and simple. ... Transitioning between songs with bluesy, jazzy, classical and rock feels, he has always put on one helluva show. Moon makes it all seem effortless. ... really should be bigger than he is. This is someone to see if you are a guitar freak.”. This is a guitar based album with a lot of phenomenal shredding. This album is not breaking any new ground but it certainly gives the band's fans what they want. If you want to hear some superbly crafted killer guitar work, you may enjoy this album. Lyden Moon’s first four releases sold out quickly, and this great hard working band has been known to sell 3,000 CDs show by show, person to person without a major distribution deal. Lyden plays constantly in the Chicago and upper Midwest areas of the US and his band have tirelessly played many Benefit shows, most notably Thoughts For Food in Wisconsin and has raised a lot of money for local food banks. Read more about Lyden Moon @ http://journaltimes.com/lifestyles/leisure/sounding-board-lyden-moon-finds-a-drummer/article_d47ddece-181d-5355-9f23-f21de01c16f7.html Try and buy the band’s great “Fire It Up” album and promote lesser known but very talented artists [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 105 Mb]

TRACKS

1. Shred or Be Shred Dead (1:56)
2. 09/11/99 (4:41)
3. We're Goin Ridin (4:03)
4. Ode to Joe (5:24)
5. Ear Candy (6:29)
6. Drive Hard (4:20)
7. Huntington Love Jam (6:06)
8. Moon Gal (6:51)
9. Ba-Da-Bump Bump (3:36)
10. Rhythm Talk (3:57)

All tracks composed by Lyden Moon

MUSICIANS

Lyden Moon - Guitar
Michael Angelo Batio - Guitar on Track 7
Joel Thierfelder - Bass
Mark "Fillet" Altergott - Drums

4.8.14

John McLaughlin and the 4th Dimension


John McLaughlin and the 4th Dimension - Official Pirate: Best of the American Tour 2007 - 2007 - Mediastarz Monaco / Abstract Logix

With guitar icon John McLaughlin's Fall, 2007 North American tour with his new group, The 4th Dimension, a thing of the past, Official Pirate: The Best of the American Tour 2007 gives those lucky enough to catch the tour a chance to revisit and reassess. The digital download-only release also provides an opportunity for those who didn't make it to the shows to hear what they missed. While excerpts from the group's first show in Durham, North Carolina on September 13 were made available on CD-R the next day as Official Bootleg (Abstract Logix, 2007), capturing the energy of a group still discovering itself, Official Pirate provides a more balanced view of the group, culled from board recordings made throughout its seventeen-date tour. Early into the tour, McLaughlin had settled on a consistent set list, with material dating as far back as the gospel-tinged "The Unknown Dissident," from Electric Dreams (Columbia, 1978) and as recent as the more energetic "Senor CS," from Industrial Zen (Verve, 2006). Potent versions are included, along with "Raju" and "5 Peace Band" from the Shakti catalog, both reinvented here with more expansive harmonies that were implied but never fully realized by McLaughlin's East-meets-West explorations. While tunes like the balladic "Nostalgia," the thematically mind-blowing "Hijacked" and the episodic closer, "Mother Tongues" have been performed on other tours with other groups, the intensity and outstanding interplay between McLaughlin, keyboardist/percussionist Gary Husband, bassist Hadrien Feraud and drummer Mark Mondesir make them as good as any already available. "Mother Tongues," a thirteen-minute tour de force for the entire group, may well be the definitive version. McLaughlin and Husband both get individual solos up front that push the limits of virtuosity, but it's when the group heads into a middle section of fiery trade-offs that things really ratchet up. With Husband switching to his quirky jungle kit—highly tuned bass drum, snare and tom, along with two of the clangiest, industrial-sounding cymbals you'll ever hear—the power of two percussionists and the unmistakable fun they had working both off each other and in stunning synchronicity is something that doesn't need to be seen; it's clearly heard. While the playing is largely fierce throughout, the group does know how to pace a set, with "Nostalgia" and the equally lyrical "Maharina"—featuring a particularly lyrical piano solo from Husband—providing brief respites. Still, even on the up-tempo tunes technical fortitude is never a substitute for focus, construction and attention to detail; it's simply a means to a very musical end. There may be plenty of high velocity playing, and at times Husband's synth is clearly more textural than thematic, but this is a group that burns in a way that manages to retain a surprising melodism. Available only through Abstract Logix, the nearly eighty-minute Official Pirate captures some of the finest moments of McLaughlin on his first North American fusion tour in nearly a decade. On the strength of this release, hopefully another ten years won't have to pass before he returns. By & © JOHN KELMAN, Published: January 4, 2008 © 2014 All About Jazz http://www.allaboutjazz.com/official-pirate-the-best-of-the-american-tour-2007-john-mclaughlin-abstract-logix-review-by-john-kelman.php#.U96i__ldXQo

John McLaughlin, who originally rose to fame in the 1970s as a leading member of the jazz fusion band the Mahavishnu Orchestra, has achieved almost mythical status in music history. Jeff Beck of the Yardbirds has considered McLaughlin "the best guitarist alive", due to his unconventional, revolutionary method of playing and the starkly original music he has produced for decades. “Official Pirate” is comprised of board recordings made by the legendary guitarist and his awesome electric fusion band The 4th Dimension throughout their seventeen-date 2007 North American tour. Read
more about John @ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_McLaughlin_(musician) and listen to Al di Meola, Paco de Lucía, & John McLaughlin’ s superb “Friday Night in San Francisco” album [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 172 Mb]

TRACKS

1 Raju 10:58
2 Nostalgia 7:21
3 Hijacked 10:01
4 The Unknown Dissident 6:52
5 5 Peace Band 11:11
6 Senor CS 10:00
7 Maharina 6:22
8 Mother Tongues 13:35

All tracks composed by John McLaughlin

MUSICIANS

John McLaughlin - Guitar
Hadrien Feraud - Bass
Gary Husband - Keyboards, Jungle Kit
Mark Mondesir - Drums

BIO

One of fusion's most virtuosic guitar soloists, John McLaughlin placed his blazing speed in the service of a searching spiritual passion that has kept his music evolving and open to new influences. Whether shredding on electric or simmering quietly on acoustic, McLaughlin's intensity and underappreciated versatility have nearly always kept his playing vital, and his best moments -- whether as a solo artist or bandmember -- represent some of fusion's greatest recordings. McLaughlin was born January 4, 1942, in Yorkshire, England, and began playing guitar at age 11. Initially attracted to blues and swing, he worked with British artists like Georgie Fame, Graham Bond, Brian Auger, and Ginger Baker. McLaughlin formed his own band in 1968, and recorded the excellent debut Extrapolation in early 1969. Later that year he moved to New York to join Tony Williams' groundbreaking fusion band Lifetime, and appeared on the classic Emergency! Through Williams, McLaughlin was invited to join Miles Davis' band, and became an important part of fusion landmarks like In a Silent Way, Bitches Brew, and A Tribute to Jack Johnson. In 1970, wanting to explore acoustic and Eastern music, McLaughlin recorded the classic My Goal's Beyond; he soon left Davis, and after one further solo album, Devotion, McLaughlin spent some time woodshedding. He re-emerged in 1971 as leader of the Mahavishnu Orchestra, a seminal band that did much to define and popularize early jazz-rock fusion, as evidenced by the albums The Inner Mounting Flame, Birds of Fire, and Visions of the Emerald Beyond. Pausing to record Love Devotion Surrender with Carlos Santana in 1972, McLaughlin led Mahavishnu until 1975. Returning to spiritual preoccupations on My Goal's Beyond, he then formed Shakti, which fused acoustic jazz with Indian music over the course of three albums. McLaughlin returned to his solo career in the late '70s, forming a backing outfit called the One Truth Band, and also recording the guitar trio albums Friday Night in San Francisco and Passion, Grace & Fire with fellow fusion burner Al di Meola and flamenco guitarist Paco de Lucia. As the '80s went along, McLaughlin experimented with classical-jazz hybrid composing; there was also a short-lived Mahavishnu reunion in the mid-'80s. In the 1990s McLaughlin continued to record steadily in both electric and acoustic groups. He signed to Verve, where he would remain for 13 years. Some of the more notable albums from that period include the acoustic Time Remembered: John McLaughlin Plays Bill Evans in 1993; After the Rain with Elvin Jones and Joey DeFrancesco in 1995; and 1996's The Promise, which featured the guitarist in a number of settings, including a reunion with his acoustic trio partners di Meola and de Lucia, and a trio with DeFrancesco and drummer Dennis Chambers. The drummer was also a part of McLaughlin's final album of the decade, Heart of Things, a furious bout of electric jazz. The 21st century found McLaughlin in another nostalgic mood, releasing Remember Shakti: The Believer, a live set featuring the guitarist (playing electric guitar) with electric mandolinist U. Shrinivas, kanjira and ghatam player V. Selvaganesh, and legendary tabla player Zakir Hussain. While it wasn't a Shakti album proper, it nonetheless echoed that group's intricate and amazing rhythmic and harmonic breakthroughs. The group toured and released Saturday Night in Bombay a year later. McLaughlin's Euro-classical-leaning Thieves and Poets appeared in 2003. In 2004, WEA in Germany issued the massive 17-CD box set of McLaughlin's Montreux Concerts, which featured performances recorded between 1974 and 1996. Industrial Zen, released in 2006, was a mixed-bag recording where the guitarist's ambitions ran wild. It was his final album for Verve. In 2008 McLaughlin issued Floating Point, an extension of many of the concepts on Industrial Zen, on the Abstract Logix imprint. The final track on that album was entitled "Five Peace Band"; it served as the name for a supergroup assembled by McLaughlin and Chick Corea for a one-off world tour. The other members were saxophonist Kenny Garrett, drummer Vinnie Colaiuta, and bassist Christian McBride; an album of the same name was released in 2009 on Concord. To the One, a studio album with his 4th Dimension band, was released on Abstract Logix in the spring of 2010. McLaughlin resurfaced two years later with Now Here This, featuring new 4th Dimension drummer, Ranjit Barot. © Steve Huey © 2014 AllMusic, a division of All Media Network, LLC. | All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/artist/john-mclaughlin-mn0000223701/biography

2.8.14

Chris Nalbandian


Chris Nalbandian - Paralysis of Analysis - 2010 - Rudimental Records

I ran into Chris' music by reading the Planet X forum. I've been a Planet X fan for some quite time and when I heard the first notes and riffs I knew I needed to get this album. Seeing the guest artists made me even more intrigued since I love their music. I love Derek Sherinian's solo stuff (I prefer his solo stuff over Planet X); Lalu's "Oniric Metal" is a prog-metal masterpiece for me and I loved Shradane's "Temporal" as well; and I am familiar with Alex Argento's solo stuff with his solo album Ego which falls into the fusion category with Marco Sfogli on guitar (James LaBrie Solo, Solo artist) which is very enjoyable. I discovered Joop Wolter's guitar chops when listening to Shradane and fell in love with his monstrous riffs and guitar tone used in that album. Although I am not familiar with Gary Jibilian's or Chris Nalbandian's playing, I knew it had to be good because the album's cast is surrounded by extremely talented musicians. "Paralysis of Analysis" did not disapoint. It has become an instant favorite for this 2010. The music quickly reminds me of Planet X but with a heavier and more melodical twist (think of Derek's heavier songs from his extensive catalog but withouth the solo trade off's between keys and guitars). "Paralysis of Analysis" is a collection of great individually crafted songs where the song is never compromised by the musician's talents. It has the exact amount of musicianship and the exact amount of heavyness, fusion, and prog. I am forgetting to mention that the drums are played by Chris Nalbandian and he is quite a player (he quickly reminded me of a blend of Simon Phillips and Dave Dicenso) and the music was also written by him. This is a must-have release for fans of Planet X, Derek Sherinian, Dream Theater, Liquid Tension Experiment, Allan Holdsworth, instrumental rock/prog rock, and similar music. This release will not bore me for the rest of 2010 and beyond. And I know most of you will love this collection of music as much as I do. Recommended!!! © Oscar Quintero ***** © http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/ChrisNalbandian

A great debut jazzy instrumental progressive metal album from the talented Canadian and L.A based drummer Chris Nalbandian with some wonderful solos and accompaniment featuring keyboard superstar Derek Sherinian, guitarist Joop Wolters, keyboardists Vivien Lalu and Alex Argento and bassist Gary Jibilian. HR by A.O.O.F.C. The SQ on this album is not great. Maybe I got a bad copy.Watch out for further releases by Chris [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 77.8 Mb]

TRACKS

1. Apesh!t 3:34
2. Analogic 3:25
3. Chosen One 3:48
4. Solace 3:18
5. Paralysis of Analysis 5:42
6. Powertrip 4:28
7. Relativity 3:46
8. Turbulence 4:24
9. One Thought 3:04

All tracks composed by Chris Nalbandian

MUSICIANS

Joop Wolters - Guitars (all tracks)
Gary Jibilian - Bass (all tracks)
Vivien Lalu - Keyboards (all tracks)
Derek Sherinian - Keyboards (tracks 3, 5, 6)
Alex Argento - Keyboards (tracks 5, 7)
Chris Nalbandian - Drums, Keyboards (all tracks)
Sir Millard Mulch - Extra Vocals/Whispers (track 5)

ABOUT CHRIS / ALBUM

"Paralysis of Analysis" is definitely an understatement for Chris Nalbandian, who has been singing out melodies for songs for his debut solo record as far as 10 years ago. "It all started when I was waiting for the subway in my hometown of Montreal during a Christmas visit". Always a thinker of projects ahead, he wondered why he couldn't think correctly at that moment. That's when the title "Paralysis of Analysis" came out. "I quickly tried to think about some working song titles that were somewhat relevant to the album name. I wanted the order of the titles to kinda show what we go through when we think too much...which is maybe the story of my life, and the perfect name for my solo album which I always wanted." Driven by rhythm and simplicity, Chris is always learning with music. He always wanted to chronicle his songwriting as a soundtrack to his life. "This is a very personal record for me. I remember seeing some amazing drummers and musicians come to the Montreal Drum Fest every year, and each time I would promise myself that THIS would be the year where I would sit down and write my ideas for a record". However, his move to Los Angeles was the right energy that was needed in order to complete his efforts. Surrounded by amazing talent all over LA, especially long time good friends and world-renowned musicians Virgil Donati and Derek Sherinian, the inspiration was definitely set. "I've always loved the flow and intricacies of instrumental music. However, I've always loved the simplicity in music too. This was my ultimate goal. I wanted to incorporate all my favorite styles of music of Rock, Metal, Industrial Metal, Pop & Drum & Bass....all in one." Featuring keyboard superstar Derek Sherinian (Planet X, Billy Idol, Dream Theater, Alice Cooper), Vivien Lalu, Joop Wolters, Alex Argento and Gary Jibilian, this album surely delivers some moments of musical shredding all by countering with simple listenable moments. "I'm always listening, learning and creating. I plan to keep writing as some songs will be meant to be written in the many years to come". © Chris Nalbandian © http://www.chrisnalbandian.com/about.html

Octopus (Chile)


Octopus - Octopus - 2004 - Ind.

Independently released, and by now out of the market, Octopus's eponymous debut album is an amazing showcase for the band's main fortes: fiery sounds, tight interplaying and amazing dynamics. Even though they're yet to solidify their sonic storm in a cohesion exhibited as in their excellent sophomore effort "Bonsai", this album males a splendid entry in the realms of prog metal. The influences of Dream Theater, Spiral Architect and early 90s Fates Warning are clear to see, as well as the psychedelic defiance of King Crimson and the hard jazz-rock of Attention Deficit and LTE. The final result is based on teh robust interplaying between the dual guitars and the fluid dynamics of the rhythm duo. 'Litio' kicks off the album with a slightly constraint energy that eventually gives room to a full frontal metallic explosion for the last two minutes. This momentum is effectively maintained by the following track 'Z.O', one of the fiercest pieces in the album. 'Panning in, Tempo out' is more focused on the elaboration of psychedelic ambiences very much a-la KC, although the band is determined to not let go of their metallic ideology, anyway, as it is shown is some dramatic interludes strategically placed during the development of the main motifs. The management of these constrasts is so polished that it would be fair to regard this number as one of the most successful examples of well-crafted interplaying in the album. 'Z.O' and these one - two highlights in a row. 'Ignición' is pretty much similar to 'Z.O' in spirit: energetic prog metal with interesting choices for the twists that go on appearing along the way. A third highlight... As if there wasn't enough rocking power so far, 'Pasajes' displays a bigger dose of electrifying energy, and so will do 'O/zon', the impressive closure. On the jazzier side of things, 'Claroscuro' makes a surprising shift toward the realms of jazz- rock, in this way, allowing the rhythm section to assume some sort of leading role due to the fact that the elaboration of the track's special swing takes a special place in the mix. Of course, the band couldn't resist the temptation of installing a few metallic interludes, besides the energetic closing theme. 'Colores' digs deeper in the jazz factor, this time creating a playful Latin atmosphere seasoned with jazz-rock flavours. And again, some metallic interlude appears in order to stir thing up quite a bit. Let's go back to the closure 'O/zon'. This piece creates an exciting KC-meets-Tool mood on a 7/8 tempo, with things getting at their wildest from 5'30" onwards, before the opening theme reappears as a coda. Two minutes of silence anticipate the emergence of a brief "Discipline"-inspired dual guitar counterpoint. Not an original trick, but really an attractive way to finish a very good album. Prog metal South America deserves more recognition and dissemination: Octopus is a perfect example of this. Let's just wait for a time in which this album gets a proper re-release. Review by & © Cesar Inca ****/5 © Prog Archives, All rights reserved http://www.progarchives.com/album.asp?id=13778#buymusic

Octopus is a potent and highly talented, if largely obscure Instrumental Technical Prog Metal band from Chile formed in 2001 by four musicians from Projazz Professional Institute of Music , Santiago. Chile. Guitarists Fernando Daza and Jorge Benavides, bassist Braulio Aspe, and drummer Christopher Orozco, comprise the main band and though their sound could arguably be described as a hybrid of bands in the vein of Gordian Knot and Liquid Tension Experiment, their style is very unique and with great skill Octopus manage to be experimental, complex, and melodic all at the same time. The band has released four albums ,"Octopus" in 2004, "Bonsai" in 2006, the EP "Coda" in 2008, and "Into The Void Of Fear" in 2012. Excluding the first s/t album, these albums were released in Europe and very well received by the public and the music press which allowed the band to carry out major tours in North America and Europe including the Crescendo festival at Saint-Palais - Sur-Mer, France and the Baja Prog Festival at Mexicali, Mexico. This first s/t album is very impressive, all instrumental, progressive, technical metal. If you like effective and exciting prog metal/fusion with high calibre musicianship pushed to the edge then this album may be right up your street. Little has been heard from this band since 2009/2010. There is scattered info available about the band, but nothing solid. Also, it is difficult to find info on the band as there are so many other bands with the same name. Listen to more of Octopus @ https://soundcloud.com/octopus-band and check out Octopus’ “Bonsai” album If anybody can help me out with more detailed info about this band, I would be most grateful. TVM...Paul [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 102 Mb]

TRACKS

1. Litio (6:00)
2. 2.0 (5:51)
3. Panning In Tempo Out (8:00)
4. Ignición (5:49)
5. Claroscuro (5:24)
6. Pasaje (5:07)
7. Colores (5:44)
8. O/zon (13:07)

MUSICIANS

Fernando Daza, Jorge Benavides - Guitars
Braulio Aspe - Bass
Cristobal Orozco - Drums

SHORT BIO

Chilean instrumental act OCTOPUS got started in the year 2001, formed by drummer Cristóbal OROZCO and bassist Braulio ASPÉ. Guitarists Sebastián LAVÍN and Fernando DAZA joined in, and then the foursome was ready to fulfill their broadening vision of rock. All four musicians had academic training at the Projazz School of Music. A CD demo comprising 4 tracks was released in the following year: it was recorded in one day on a stage environment (without an audience). After LAVÍN left, he was replaced by Jorge BENAVIDES. At the time, the band's repertoire had been augmented, and with the new ideas brought in by the new guitarist, the band eventually went to the studio to record their official debut CD, titled after the band itself - it was 2004. In the last two years, OCTOPUS gained a cult following in their country's underground rock audiences, mesmerized by their exciting and complex prog metal offering. Concerts gradually became more frequent. In late 2005 the band was signed to Mylodon Records with an eye on their following album "Bonsai", which was recorded between Dec'05 and Feb'06, released in mid 2006. Their Myspace blog is very recurrently visited, with public accolades from big names of the worldwide progressive/experimental scene. Especially recommended to fans of prog metal (DREAM THEATER, LTE, CANVAS SOLARIS), experimental prog with an attitude (GORDIAN KNOT, BOZZIO LEVIN STEVENS, BILL RIEFFLIN) and the harder side of current South American prog (TRYO, AUTÓMATA, QUAKER, EXSIMIO). - © Cesar Inca © Prog Archives, All rights reserved. http://www.progarchives.com/artist.asp?id=2694

31.7.14

The Collins / Wardingham Project


The Collins / Wardingham Project - Interactive - 2006 - Enigmatic Records

"Truly one of the best fusion albums I have ever heard. 10/10" - dprp.net

"First class stuff all the way" - prognosis.com

"Planet X finally has some competition" - seaoftranquility.org

This is one CD I think a lot of people probably wouldn't be aware of and especially if your a fan of prog-fusion you are missing out on some great music. I picked up a copy a while ago and was thinking that our readers here at Sea Of Tranquility should really be aware of it as it really is that good. If Planet X and On The Virg are your thing this is sure to impress. Like Virgil Donati, Grant Collins, who is also Australian, is an accomplished drummer whose high level of independence and skill behind the drums has to be seen to be believed. On this release he has teamed up with Paul Wardingham who handles both guitar and keyboard duties like a true master. There is a complex mix of prog-fusion on Interactive with touches of jazz and world music. There are also quite a lot of heavier moments on here like the tracks "Attack Of The Necromongers" and "Bionic Zit Xpander"... what cool song titles! I love the one of many impressive moments on this CD when Grant plays along at the 6.18 minute mark virtually soloing over the top on the opening and title track "Interactive". Though we all hear many albums where musicians are highly skilled at their craft, but it's so complex the songs gets lost so what's the point?. That isn't the case here on Interactive and there is plenty of diversity and surprises to hold you attention while being amazed at Grant and Paul's ability. Planet X finally has has some competition with the Collins/Wardingham Project. Review by & © Scott Jessup ****1/2 August 15th 2008 © 2004 Sea Of Tranquility http://www.seaoftranquility.org/reviews.php?op=showcontent&id=6679

As an enthusiastic fusion fan, I have diligently followed the artists that have not only helped define the genre, but also have tried to stay on top of some of the hotter players on the modern scene as well, and while the golden era was where some of the very best was born, certainly some very impressive music has been developed by modern era musicians that were hugely inspired by the pioneers of jazz/rock. I have become a big fan of the band Planet X, and before them, drummer Virgil Donati released a most excellent fusion cd called On The Virg - Serious Young Insects, he featured some of Australia's premier music talent on that cd, I have always hoped that we would get another chance to hear an additional OTV cd, but with Donati now a full time PX member, well, it's just as good. 2006 was the year we anxiously expected to hear a new PX, but issues with the recording process have delayed it, yet, here I am listening to this band, also from Australia, The Collins/Wardingham Project, and I am astounded at what I am hearing, in fact, take all my commentaries about PX and OTV and simply add this disc right along next to them. I have honestly never heard of either of Dave Collins the drummer or Paul Wardingham the gutiarist. Yet both are seriously skilled musicians that have taken the time to create a cd that offers up some of the finest modern fusion I have had the pleasure of hearing since, well, the last Planet X cd. Simply put, this cd is just that good, and these guys are equal to the task, both have world class chops, and prove that they can go beyond pure riff based music to create complexity and intricate music at the same level as both OTV or PX. There have been a lot of artists taking a try at mixing the elements of jazzrock and metal, and the results seem to favor the combining of skill level and composing, we have heard the LTE cds, OTV, PX, and other artists such as Counter World Experience, 7 for 4 both from Germany, all are great bands for this small genre, and while it's a small handful of bands that are able to do this music with the necessary ingredients, count The Collins/Wardingham Project as one that fits the company of these artists perfectly as a welcome addition. Dave Collings is the bands drummer, he has that kind of inventive flare that feeds this music, able to utilize odd time signatures, mutated polyrhythms, and creative fills, this music requires a monster player to make it work, and he serves the role to perfection, no doubt he is a drummer who is on the verge of being discovered with his performance on this recording, no pun intended. Guitarist Paul Wardingham, originally from the UK, now residing in Australia, compliments Collins' drum talents with precision technique and a mastering of tones, modes and technical brilliance. Both these musicians will certainly make a solid impression on any fans of the artists mentioned in this review, and the sound of the band is not limited to guitar and drums, there is plenty of bass and keyboards, in fact, if you enjoyed the tonal elements that Derek Sherinian injects into his PX band, a similar keyboard vibe is ever present with The C/W Project. No need to attempt to expound any further, this is first class stuff all the way, if you are in any way intrigued at the description of this band, make a believer of yourself by clicking the Myspace link and hearing for yourselves, better yet, purchase the cd while your at it, you will not be disappointed. - Review by & © MJBrady © ProGGnosis 2000 - 2014 where appropriate - All rights reserved. http://www.proggnosis.com/Release_Detail.aspx?RID=21463

Good all instrumental album of progressive metal jazz fusion with Grant Collins on drums and Paul Wardingham on keys and guitars. The music is reminiscent of artists like Derek Sherinian, Planet X, LTE, or On the Virg. The musicianship is of the highest calibre with especially good keyboard arrangements and marvellous drumming. Paul Wardingham’s guitar playing has been compared to that of Allen Holdsworth, but what guitar fusion player has not been compared to Holdsworth? Anyway, that’s a minor point. The technical skills and compositional skills of these guys are worthy of great praise, and the album is HR by A.O.O.F.C. Listen to Paul Wardingham’s great “Assimilate Regenerate” album and Grant Collins' "Dogboy" album. Read an interview with Paul @ http://www.progmetalzone.com/2012/paul-wardingham-interview/ For similar music, listen to Christian Muenzner’s ‘Timewarp’ album [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 124 Mb]

TRACKS

1. Interactive 9:12
2. Attack of the Necromongers 9:05
3. Borg Code 6:03
4. Carnival on Mars 3:33
5. Bionic Prelude 1:06
6. Bionic Zit Xpander 5:48
7. Metamorphosis 4:49
8. Brain T’s 5:43
9. Plasma Vortex 9:11

All tracks composed by Wardingham / Collins

MUSICIANS

Paul Wardingham - Guitars & Synths
Grant Collins - Drums

ABOUT PAUL WARDINGHAM

Australian based guitarist and producer Paul Wardingham, released his critically acclaimed debut solo instrumental album, "Assimilate Regenerate", on February 21st 2011 through Enigmatic Records. Described as "Instrumental Cyber Metal", Wardingham’s style combines 7-string mechanical metal grooves, melodic choruses, industrial synths and other-worldly technical solos, reminicent of artists such as Steve Vai, Devin Townsend, Scar Symmetry, Fear Factory and Meshuggah. In less than a year, Wardingham has quickly gained a legion of fans from all over the world and received praise from guitar legends Dino Cazares (Fear Factory and Divine Heresy) and Jeff Loomis (Nevermore) among others, for his awe-inspiring guitar work, impressive compositions and production. Wardingham’s guitar concepts were showcased on the leading website GuitarMessenger.com in his featured video lesson, "Future Metal Shred". Wardingham also appeared on Universum's latest album "Mortuus Machina", contributing a guest solo on the track "Aeon Displacement”. The album also featured vocalists Christian Alvestam (Scar Symmetry, Solution .45), Tommy Tuovinen (myGRAIN), guitarists Tomy Laisto (Mors Principium Est), Marios Iliopoulos and Olof Morck (Nightrage). In 2006, The Collins/Wardingham Project, a collaboration with Australian drum phenomenon Grant Collins, released their progressive metal fusion album ‘Interactive’ through Enigmatic Records. Paul is currently working on a follow up album titled 'The Human Affliction', scheduled for release mid – 2013 © 2011 Enigmatic Records http://www.paulwardingham.com/bio

ABOUT GRANT COLLINS

Grant is one of the forerunners in the industry, forever pushing the limits and confines of music and leading cutting edge, creative and unconventional drumming. His approach defies stereotypical drum set methodologies with his innovative and enthralling solo drum set compositions. He uses all four limbs both individually and as a collective to present multi-timbral sound scapes, defining the drum set as a contemporary solo instrument for the world stage. Through his determination, Grant has developed powerful and modern drum set solo performances, which have captivated audiences not only in Australia, but around the world. Grant’s vivacious and dynamic one man show is a reflection of his infatuation with the drums, which has seen him tour and perform as an international artist at many concert halls across the globe. Not only does Grant attack the boundaries of a solo performer, he also pushes the restrictions of his instrument to create ground-breaking ingenious works. Grant’s sell out performances have also been trumped with feature presentations on countless radio stations and television programmes. These high accolades have also been received for Grant’s DVD Live @ The Tivoli – The Official Bootleg and his CD’s Primal Instinct and Dogboy, for which he has received exceptional reviews from around the world. © Grant Collins: 2011 http://www.grantcollins.com/Bio.html