Get this crazy baby off my head!



Mahtrak - Panorama - 2004 - Editio Princeps

Debut CD from Brazilian Jazz-Rock band Mahtrak. Mind-blowing instrumental music with a very distinct vintage sound. If you like classic Jazz-Rock from the seventies, this one is for you! © http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/mahtrak

Smoking hot fusion quartet from Brazil. This one is a pure burner from beginning to end. The band is modeled after 70s fusion bands like Return To Forever and Mahavishnu Orchestra but with a bit more rock bite a la Kenso. Keyboards feature liquid synth solos, blistering Hammond and Rhodes and even Mellotron. Guitarist Antonio Rodrigues adds a bit more distortion to his sound then what you would expect form a fusion player but it all blends with the high energy of the music. Great unison lines between keys and guitar propel the disc along. © LasersEdge

Samba! That is definitely the first musical synonym that we get, when we hear Brasil (although, samba actually has roots in African music). But jazz-rock ensemble Mahtrak is trying to bring brasilian jazz-rock and progressive rock scene to life. Their idols are obviously Return to Forever, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Weather Report, Caravan, Soft Machine and such; as we can see, all this groups are from Europe or North America. So Mahtrak wants to become, like their idols, synonym for the music of their continent, South America. Album “Panorama” is a perfect start to fill that empty space that is under the label of jazz-rock in south-american musical culture. “Panorama” was recorded 3 years after guitarist Antonio Rodrigues, drummer Cris Oliveira, bassist Fabio Cesar and keyboardist Paulo Viana had formed their band; “Panorama” was released in its final form in 2009. On the album, Mahtrak is staying loyal to the prime sound of jazz-rock that evolved in seventies of 20. century, to experimentations with Hammond, Rhodes and Mellotron in combination with vintage, classic rock sound of electric guitar. A very nice surprise is also that musicians didn’t make a seventy-ish minute long record, as it is a “progressive” norm – they rather did a 40-minute one, which is, well, kind of refreshing. Band opens the album impressively with a wonderful “Tempestade”. Guitar and keyboards cooperate in an unbelievable maneuver. Although Viana plays just a few chords on the keys, it is perfectly compliable with Rodrigues’ fenomenal solo playing – he plays with a real feeling. “Breeza” represents a beautiful keys melody, and serves as some kind of a bridge for the first and third track. Epical “Tempestade” is so flown into a humorous “Nachos y Tequila”. Cheerful jazz-rock party-like song represents a relaxation before “harder” parts of the album – jazz-rock meets disco and funk. Still, the structure of the song itself is rather complex, full of classical jazz-rock elements. “Sinestesia” is once again a keys-oriented track that introduces the sound of Mellotron. A beautiful melody drives us toward a fifth track of the album, “Mantra”. “Mantra” is a more straight forward jazz-rock track that is very Brand X-like. The next one is a title track, “Panorama”, that really pictures the theme of the album, the point of it all, the sky and the clouds and the sitting under them. It is probably the song made with the most effort, as it is also one of the longest creations on the album. Album goes to the second half with “Frankenstein goes to Disneyland”. Intro creates a hard, horrorish atmosphere that is accompanied by a chaotic sound of guitar. The track is somehow funky, which probably represents the “Disneyland” part of the song, and the horror-like part of the song is “Frankenstein” part. “Frankenstein goes to Disneyland” is probably the most original-sounding song on the album. After that horror we expect another keys-oriented “bridge”, and we get one - »Il Tamburo Spaziale«. It is a bridge to the ninth track of »Panorama«, Crystal Canyon«. This one is a more of a gentle song, very touchy and full of feeling. »Crystal Canyon« gets rid of the darkness, which was the prime subject of some of the previous songs. The same gentle sound continues on “Venus”, which pictures a beautiful woman, a goddess. The melody is a bit sentimental, very emotional. The last song is called “Oraculo” and it means oracle. It is a song, where all the musicians chip in and show all their musical knowledge. It is where Mahtrak really shines. Mahtrak’s debut is really something. It shows what a great musical vision the band has, and because of that, the band already has quite a fan base. Their superb feeling for combining music from seventies and interpreting it into a modern sounding one is unbelievable. On the top of all, Mahtrak has their own way of playing and creating their music, and that makes them unique. That is why the expectations are big, and I myself can’t wait for their second album. © http://www.mahtrak.com/imprensa_port.html

In 1995, Cris Oliveira and Fabio César, which were then part of Magna, invited Paulo Viana to join their band. They released an EP, did some gigs and split after two years. The musicians moved on to several musical projects till they met again in 2000 and decided to form Solarshift, a progressive rock trio with classical and jazz rock influences. Solarshift was getting some material ready to start the production of their first album when, on a rehearsal, they met guitarist Antonio Rodrigues. As consequence of that the four of them started jamming during those rehearsals, and those jams built into some new and exciting material, which led to a decision: they'd take that direction and this new band would be called Mahtrak. For the next two years they worked heavily on new compositions. In 2004 Mahtrak started the recording of their first CD, PANORAMA. All of them did their best to make sure that the production sounded true to the vintage sound from the seventies, as well as the essential elements to the genre: sharp compositions, improvisation, vigorous bass and drums and breathtaking guitar and keyboard solos. Though they were influenced by the great jazzrock names from the seventies – specially bands such as Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever, The Eleventh House, Soft Machine, Passport, and musicians such as Stanley Clarke, Chick Corea, Jeff Beck, Al di Meola, George Duke, Billy Cobham and several others – Mahtrak has a style of their own, and the tracks you're listening to showcase very well the personality of each member. When the production of PANORAMA ended the musicians turned their attention to other projects. In 2006 Cris Oliveira, Paulo Viana and Fabio César returned their activity with Solarshift and a debut CD is now being produced – it presents original material and features also a chamber orchestra playing with the band. Fabio César also plays bass in the hard rock band King Bird and recorded their second CD, SUNSHINE, released in 2008. This work had also Paulo Viana as special guest. In 2009, Mahtrak has reformed with new guitarrist Fred Berlowitz to support the release of Panorama. Since then the band has been rehearsing regularly and preparing new material for their second CD. - © Album Notes © http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/mahtrak

Mahtrak is a jazz-rock ensemble, born in 2001. The band's material sounds very original but at the same time true to the genre, yet mixing in a generous dose of progressive rock. On "Panorama", their debut CD, recorded in 2004, they explore the vintage sounds of Hammond organ, Mellotron and Fender Rhodes, assimilating influences from such seminal artists az the Mahavishnu Orchestra, Caravan, Soft Machine, Jeff Beck, Return to Forever and Weather Report. Line-up / Musicians - Paulo Viana / keyboards © http://jrock.com.ar/?name=Mahtrak

Not a groundbreaking album, but nevertheless a quite good Brazilian jazz rock album. If you like extremely well played classic guitar and keyboard dominated jazz-rock with a retro 70's sound you may enjoy this album [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 92.9 Mb]


1. Tempestade (7:01)
2. Breeza (1:33)
3. Nachos Y Tequila (3:52)
4. Sinestesia (2:39)
5. Mantra (2:42)
6. Panorama (5:35)
7. Frankenstein Goes To Disneyland (3:59)
8. Il Tamburo Spaziale (1:10)
9. Crystal Canyon (4:48)
10. Venus (2:52)
11. Oraculo (5:12)

Tracks 1,2,3,5,6,7,9,10,11 composed by Antonio Nogueira & Cristiano Alves: Track 4 composed by Paulo Viana: Track 8 composed by Cristiano Oliveira


Antonio Rodrigues - Guitar
Fabio César - Bass Guitar
Paulo Viana - Keyboards
Cris Oliveira - Drums, Percussion

Michael Harris

Michael Harris - Tranz-Fused - 2010 - Lion

Michael Harris is a talented guitar player and composer that has been involved with such projects as the Darkology series, Thought Chamber as well as his own solo projects that he has been releasing since 1991. Consider Lion Music a leader in the genre of world Instrumental/Shred musicians as they scoop up some talented players to release some interesting music when it comes to instrumental. Is a challenge when it comes to listening to instrumental music for me as I look for melodies and different rhythm changes that can hold a song together or brake it. I don’t and I emphasize I don’t like a “just shredding” for the hell of it record any guitar player can do that, but creating beautiful transgressions on the guitar is a real challenge for any touted axeman. Mr Harris certainly has some noticeable skill when it comes to composing as you can tell on the intricate track “Wizard of Odd” when he willfully changes rhythm and the end result is an amusing piece of music as all the elements flow together for a nice tune. The heavier burner in “Seizure Salad” is something to behold as the fast moving leading riffs take over here all the meanwhile paying careful detail to the strings in which he strikes with wizardry precision. Transfusion is a common theme here as Harris is able to break his way out of a stable rhythm and never keeps the lead on a certain stale riff, the songs are meticulously injected with funk, fusion, hard rock and just plain fun. We keep the ball rolling with another instrumental wonder in “Nitrous Oxide Strut” who along with great drum work here provides another instrumentally challenged and stimulating listening experience. Michael Harris has ran the tables and delivered an interesting guitar project here which ranks along some of the best instrumentals in the genre all year. The range of moods and sounds can be described as a giant wall of funkiness, weird, beautifully composed and played from top to bottom in a state that seriously showcases Michael’s amazing guitar skills. You think this is deserving of some attention? Yea I think so. Go check it out!!! - Written by & © Denys: Ratings Denys 8/10 © http://myglobalmind.com/2010/10/17/michael-harris-tranz-fused/

Guitarist extraordinaire Michael Harris returns with “Tranz-Fused”. Leaving behind the neo-classical orchestrated waters of the excellent “orchestrate” Michael has decided its time to delve into another musical style adding another string to his already chock full bow! As the title may hint “Tranz-Fused” sees Harris step into the world of fusion, yet this is not your dull, sit back and relax soft fusion, this is full on fusion rock and pretty darn cool it is too. Joining Michael for the album is a stellar supporting cast of bassists Adam Nitti, David Harbour, James Martin and Bunny Brunel. Drums come from Mike Haid and Marco Minnemann and Bernard Wright delivers a keyboard solo on “Seizure Salad”. The music has a very live vibe with minimal overdubs and this really helps yield a great moment in time feel to the music. Melodies have always been high on the Harris radar and the new album is no exception, so whilst Michael can truly blaze when he wants to there is always a strong melodic framework in place to keep the most hardened critic happy. Highlights come in the guise of opener “Rocket Surgery”, the aforementioned “Seizure Salad” which has a 70’s Rush feel in places, the smooth character of the delightfully titled “Nitrous Oxide Strut” and the lush melodies of closer “Ocean Blues” with its almost quasi Hendrix/Frank Marino/Uli Jon Roth vibe. Another fine album from a guitarist who must rank one of the worlds most overlooked by the general public – take a chance and check it out. Rating – 88% © http://virtuosityone.com/2010/11/08/michael-harris-tranz-fused-review/

One track into this album and I'm already stunned. I guess my personal collection of instrumental guitar albums is reasonably comprehensive but "Tranz-Fused" is one of those gems that really got my adrenaline flowing. Lion Music described this music as 'Fusion'.....sure enough it seamlessly interweaves a variety of genres such as Neo-Classical Metal and Jazz. At this point in the review, the acute reader will have guessed that the technical level of "Tranz-Fused" is considered by this reviewer as top-notch. And indeed it's not just Michael that shines - one of the strong points of the album is that it is blessed with a stellar line-up. For example at one point in the album I kept telling myself that the bassist was as good as the bass player of CAB (Dennis Chambers/Brian Auger/Bunny Brunel). I then glanced at the press-sheet to discover that I was in fact listening to Bunny Brunel (Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Gloria Estefan, .....)! The rest of the band includes drummers Mike Haid and Marco Minneman (George Bellas, Necrophagist, Terry Bozzio,.....) and bass players Adam Nitti, David Harbour and James Martin. As for Michael Harris his guitar techniques range from neo-classical legatos to Joe Pass-style string picking to the emotional cool Jazz / Bluesy melodies of 'Blue Shift'. His background is in Metal, though, and I think this fact is omnipresent throughout the album. Besides playing in a handful of obscure Metal bands, in the past Mr Harris had also collaborated with David Chastain, Vitalij Kuprij and Ted Leonard of Prog Metal band Enchant. Jazz, Metal, Blues, Funk......any way you slice it, "Tranz-Fused" is the real deal. Reviewed by & © Chris Galea Rating 95/100 © http://www.powerofmetal.dk/reviews10/michael_harris_review.htm

Michael Harris’ “Tranz-Fused” has received some stick for the lack of originality on this album. However there are many albums where fantastic musicianship often hugely compensates for the weakness or lack of originality in composition. Michael is a very underrated guitarist and this album is a great balance of jazz-fusion and progressive metal instrumental. He is assisted by great jazz and fusion players including bassist Bunny Brunel (Chick Corea), drummers Mike Haid and Marco Minnemann, and keyboardist Bernard Wright. Check this blog for more info on Michael Harris [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 145 Mb]


1. Rocket Surgery 4:44
2. Wizard of Odd 7:09
3. Seizure Salad 7:37
4. Blue Shift 3:28
5. Left of Right 7:04
6. Nitrous Oxide Strut 6:26
7. Professor Grunklesplat’s Math Assignment 5:30
8. Pathos 6:03
9. Prosthetic Brain 5:09
10. Ocean Blues 4:37

All tracks composed by Michael Harris


Michael Harris - Guitar, Guitar Synth, Keyboards
Bernard Wright - Keyboards on Track 3
Adam Nitti, Bunny Brunel, David Harbour, James Martin - Bass
Marco Minnemann, Mike Haid - Drums


Michael Harris born in Dayton, Ohio is an American guitarist and composer. He is most noted for his work as founder and guitarist for rock band Arch Rival and for his primarily instrumental progressive guitar work. His later music is a fusion of progressive metal and a hint of classical music. He cites the influence of his father (a jazz musician) and mother (a classical musician) for his unique style. Harris formed the band Arch Rival in 1986 with Gary Rigmaiden (bass), Greg Martin (drums), and several other musicians. After hiring many vocalists unsuccessfully, the band found their niche in Michigan vocalist Steve Snyder. The group found a measure of commercial success, particularly in Europe and Japan via its first full-length album, 'In the Face of Danger' (1991). The band went on to release two more albums: 'Wake Up Your Mind' (1993) and 'Third Degree Burns' (1997), and a self titled EP in 2008. As Arch Rival's first album was released, Harris began to become more heavily involved in personal explorations of neoclassical and progressive metal instrumental work. These were primarily solo works, although sometimes backed with additional talent. His first solo album, 'Defense Mechanizms' (1991), was released to critical acclaim. Later albums include 'Ego Decimation Profile' (1996), 'Distorted Views' (1999), 'Sketches from the Thought Chamber' (2001), 'Words Collide' (2003) and 'Orchestrate' (2006). 'Orchestrate' is an exploration of a more purely neoclassical style than on previous albums. Progressive metal guitar heavyweight David T. Chastain partnered with Harris in 1992 to create a live guitar duo album, 'Live! Wild and Truly Diminished!!'. Harris formed a heavy metal band, Surgeon in 1995 to perform extreme heavy metal. Surgeon released its sole album, 'Encyclopedia of the Insane' (1996). The Michael Harris Tranz-Fusion evolved from The Michael Harris Project, and has officially been Michael's live band since 2001. Currently Harris continues to develop his neoclassical and progressive metal career in solo projects. Harris has also lent his guitar skills to Ukrainian keyboard virtuoso, Vitalij Kuprij. He performs on Kuprij's albums 'Forward and Beyond' (2004), 'Revenge' (2005) and 'Glacial Inferno' in 2007. Harris recently formed a new progressive group, Thought Chamber. The band's debut release 'Angular Perceptions' was released worldwide to critical acclaim on Inside Out Music in April 2007, followed up in 2013 with a concept record entitled "Psykerion". Michael also formed a new metal band, Darkology, whose debut disc, "Altered Reflections" was released on RAH Records on November 16, 2009. Their 2nd record, "Fated to Burn", is slated for an early 2014 release on Prime Eon Media.

Michael Harris

Michael Harris - Hurricane X - 2003 - Leviathan Records

Guitar virtuoso and head of Leviathan Records, David T. Chastain decided to take on the enjoyable task of creating a guitar masters series with his impressive lineup of talent at the label. David took the same bass and drum tracks and allowed these different guitarists to do a little improvisational guitar over them. While David knew that each would play differently, he found it very interesting to see the approaches taken by each player on each song. Some going straying from heir normal style altogether. Michael Harris is one of the guitarist in this guitar masters series. His skill and talent as a guitarist is nothing less than amazing. I've had the opportunity to listen to Michael on other occasions, and have to say that I'm very impressed with the way this album turned out. Michael takes his style to a new level, and seems to effortlessly throw himself into these songs. I noticed right away that there's a lot more emotion on many of these songs than what I was use to hearing from Michael. I love the approach he took on 'Prisoner Of Time'. I felt almost every note in this song, and remains one of my favorites. The tone alone on this track is killer. If you have ever wondered what true guitar virtuosity really is, then this is an album that you need to check out. Though I have yet to hear the entire series I can tell you the guitar masters series is worth checking out, because all of the guitarists at Leviathan Records are simply amazing. Stop by Leviathan Records website and see for yourself. The Rundown: - Lyrics/Songwriting:***** :Production Quality:***** :Musicianship:***** :Originality:*** :Over All:***** - by & © Michael Allison http://MusicDish.com/tgm

Leviathan Records is currently releasing the fifth solo record by guitar virtuoso Michael Harris. "Hurricane X" finds the Ohio native moving effortlessly through a myriad of spine tingling improvisational instrumental monsters. Converging a steady stream of influences from Steve Morse to Uli Jon Roth the disc radiates with unique charm and overwhelming dexterity. Coming to us by way of the Diginet Music Guitar Master Series where the bass and drum tracks are recorded in advance, "Hurricane X" allowed the guitarist to add his own improvisation of the top of the rhythm tracks. After serving duty in two successful bands Arch Rival and Zanister as well as his steady climbing solo career, Harris proves he is more than up for the challenge. 'Prisoner Of Time' is the first to leap off the disc with a wonderful sense of melody and dynamics. Running just under 8 minutes the track nails Harris' earliest influences from his father's Jazz texture to his mother's classical training. The same Jazz influence rises again in the gorgeous title track, 'Hurricane X' and the captivating 'Hot Nights'. Equaling engaging is the full-throttle metallic approach of 'Chasing Rainbows' and the blistering 'Armed And Ready'. 'Destination', 'Day of Doom' and 'Mind Games' sit somewhere in the wake to congested melody and symphonic overkill yet retain Harris' commitment to reach beyond traditional boundaries. © Todd Smith, The Cutting Edge

Local guitar virtuoso Michael Harris has been crafting quite a reputation for himself on a global scale these past few years, with jaw-dropping instrumental records that most could only dream about being able to pull off. This new collection again pairs Harris with label boss and long-time collaborator David T. Chastain, this time on bass guitar. Chastain and drummer Mike Haid recorded the basic tracks and Harris provided the leads and melodies. As part of Leviathan's Guitar Masters series, these same base tracks are to be recorded by several guitarists under the label's wing, each adding their own interpretation to them. Harris' is far from his usual mind-blowing neo-classical style, but no less brilliant. This time, the guitarist explores his passionate side with a set of blues-based, Gary Moore-esque leads that are as emotive as they are beautiful to hear. Highlight tracks include the woefully dark "Prisoner Of Time," the Iommi-flavored "Day Of Doom" and the more up-tempo boogie of "Hot Nights." Harris explores the gamut of emotions throughout Hurricane X, and this is one ride you don’t want to miss. This disc is a must for any serious musician to hear. © Kevin White, HARDER BEAT

Calling all guitarists, Hurricane X, originally released as Michael Harris' contribution to the 2002 Diginet Music Guitar Masters series, is being re-released through Leviathan Records. The Diginet Music Guitar Masters series has been going on since 2001. Leviathan head honcho and guitarist extraordinaire David Chastain recorded an album worth of bass tracks with backing from Mike Haid on drums, then distributed those tracks to a handful of guitarists. The guitarists then recorded an album worth of solos over the bass and drum tracks. (an album full of guitar solos - pure heaven!!). Michael Harris released three albums with his band Arch Rival before forming Zanister with David Chastain. Harris also has four other solo, instrumental albums to his credit. Michael fired up his guitar of choice (Hamer Scarab II) and attacked the eight tracks of Hurricane X. His improvisational skills are sharp and it shows on this release (he didn't do punches on any of the tracks). Michael plays with a lot of feeling, but at the same time knows when to add the right amount of speed and flair to his performance. © John Forgach, Slug Magazine

I've never been a big fan of instrumental albums. I always end up getting bored and wanting something with vocals. I do, of course, like the occasional instrumental, particularly the heavy metal kind, but people like Tony MacAlpine or Steve Vai just never did it for me. It always seemed to be just so much six-string masturbation. That said, I actually enjoyed Michael Harris' Hurricane X. Something about the raw guitar work and sharp soloing against a minimalist bass/drum backbeat (and occasional keyboard accent) really sucked me in. Using his Leviathan Records label as a vehicle to search out the world's supreme shred masters, David T. Chastain has once again brought us a scorching guitarist. According to the press release, "This CD was originally recorded as part of the acclaimed Diginet Music Guitar Masters series but all parties agreed that this CD needed to reach a much large audience and that could only be accomplished by a full fledge commercial release." The Guitar Masters Series features top notch guitarists "playing over the same bass and drum patterns but creating their own original recordings." This one is the Michael Harris version and his six-string work is heartfelt and absolutely ripping. It's both beautiful and scathing at the same time and kept me interested through the entire CD and I'm not even a musician! Perhaps the coolest thing about this series is that each guitarist lays his tracks down without the advantage of having heard what other guitarists have played. The CD insert includes a song-by-song explanation of Harris' experience laying down his guitar parts over each bass/drum track. For example, in talking about the album's first track, "Mind Games," Michael explains, "This was one of the toughest tracks to get a grip on, but using the 5th mode of the harmonic minor most of the time, I finally came up with a take that had enough cool ideas in it to be acceptable in my mind." Hey, I don't know about you, but I believe the guy. Harris also added a few keyboard parts, while David T. Chastain and Mike Haid played bass and drums, respectively. Whether it's slow blues guitar (Robin Trower/Stevie Ray Vaugh Style) or hard rock scorching, Harris' playing is captivating. This is good stuff, even if it's not something that I would blare out of my car stereo while cruising down the highway on a hot summer day. © Scott Alisoglu, Electric Basement

Michael Harris' fifth solo instrumental release, "Hurricane X", showcases Michael's amazing improvisational abilities and on the fly melodic genius. The son of two musicians, Michael Harris was born into a musical world in the Ohio heartland. Exposed to jazz influences by his father and classical music by his mother, Michael discovered the guitar at age 14. Along with many progressive guitarists and bands, Mike's earliest influences were Ritchie Blackmore, Robin Trower, & Jimmy Page, and eventually Frank Marino, Steve Morse, Uli Jon Roth, and Michael Schenker. Michael got his first taste of musical success immediately following his high school graduation, with the formation, as what later became known as, ARCH RIVAL. The band went on to release two EPs and three full length CDs. The releases gained commercial and critical success in Europe and Japan. Following his move to Dallas, Texas, Michael joined up with long time friend, guitarist David T. Chastain and formed the metal monster ZANISTER. This band also took the overseas and US markets by storm with 2 heavy releases "Symphonica Millennia" and "Fear No Man." Michael has also continued to maintain a very successful solo career which is currently his primary focus. "Hurricane X" is Michael's most raw and free instrumental work to date. This release again shows Michael's amazing versatility and command of his instrument that few can match. This Cd was originally recorded as part of the acclaimed Diginet Music Guitar Masters series but all parties agreed that this Cd needed to reach a much larger audience and that could only be accomplished by a full fledge commercial release. The guitar series provided each guitarist with the same bass and drum tracks, played by Mike Haid and David T. Chastain respectively, and then each player added his own unique parts over the rhythm tracks. Michael had this to say about some of his favorite tracks; PRISONER OF TIME- This track was my quickest take. Sometimes the simplest tracks are the most inspiring, and I locked into this one immediately while just going for the "feel factor". ARMED AND READY- I took a lot of time with this one as to not repeat previous ideas, and ended up discovering a lot of new things. And I added the "choir" keyboards after the fact, as they seemed appropriate. DESTINATION- This was another enjoyable slow paced number that I tried a more subtle approach on by using volume swells with harmonics, open string runs, harmonic runs, hybrid picking, and ghost bends. MICHAEL HARRIS "HURRICANE X" four words that should once again prove to the world that this mighty player has few equals in the world of modern guitardom. © http://www.leviathanrecords.com/michaelharris.htm

Guitarist Michael Harris from Dayton Ohio, has been amazing audiences for over 25 years with his breathtaking axe-work. He is not a household name, but has performed and/or recorded with musicians that include Yngwie Malmsteen, Robert Fripp, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Zakk Wylde, and David Chastain among others. Mike's earliest influences include Ritchie Blackmore, Robin Trower, Jimmy Page, Frank Marino, Steve Morse, Uli Jon Roth, and Michael Schenker. During the 90s, Michael’s band, Arch Rival, obtained record deals in Europe and Japan for three albums, with all the compositions mainly credited to Michael. Since then, he has released several solo albums and has played on many more collaborative albums, including keyboard maestro, Vitalij Kuprij’s “Revenge” and “Glacial Inferno” albums. “Hurricane X” is less aggressive and more subdued than some of Michael Harris’ other albums but still manages to showcase his masterly guitar chops. There are many other guitar albums out there with more original compositions but inferior guitar. If you like engaging instrumental guitar with a jazz tinge and are not too bothered about listening to more innovative song structures, you will probably get a lot from this album. Listen to Michael’s “Defense Mechanizms” album on this blog and check out his great “Ego Decimation Profile” album which features the great Keith Carlock on drums [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 122 Mb]


1.Mind Games 6:35
2.Prisoner Of Time 7:24
3.Day Of Doom 6:17
4.Hurricane X 6:26
5.Chasing Rainbows 6:43
6.Armed And Ready 6:14
7.Hot Nights 7:33
8.Destination 6:14

All tracks composed by Michael Harris & David T. Chastain


Michael Harris - Guitar, Keyboards
David T. Chastain - Bass
Mike Haid - Drums


Michael Harris born in Dayton, Ohio is an American guitarist and composer. He is most noted for his work as founder and guitarist for rock band Arch Rival and for his primarily instrumental progressive guitar work. His later music is a fusion of progressive metal and a hint of classical music. He cites the influence of his father (a jazz musician) and mother (a classical musician) for his unique style. Harris formed the band Arch Rival in 1986 with Gary Rigmaiden (bass), Greg Martin (drums), and several other musicians. After hiring many vocalists unsuccessfully, the band found their niche in Michigan vocalist Steve Snyder. The group found a measure of commercial success, particularly in Europe and Japan via its first full-length album, 'In the Face of Danger' (1991). The band went on to release two more albums: 'Wake Up Your Mind' (1993) and 'Third Degree Burns' (1997), and a self titled EP in 2008. As Arch Rival's first album was released, Harris began to become more heavily involved in personal explorations of neoclassical and progressive metal instrumental work. These were primarily solo works, although sometimes backed with additional talent. His first solo album, 'Defense Mechanizms' (1991), was released to critical acclaim. Later albums include 'Ego Decimation Profile' (1996), 'Distorted Views' (1999), 'Sketches from the Thought Chamber' (2001), 'Words Collide' (2003) and 'Orchestrate' (2006). 'Orchestrate' is an exploration of a more purely neoclassical style than on previous albums. Progressive metal guitar heavyweight David T. Chastain partnered with Harris in 1992 to create a live guitar duo album, 'Live! Wild and Truly Diminished!!'. Harris formed a heavy metal band, Surgeon in 1995 to perform extreme heavy metal. Surgeon released its sole album, 'Encyclopedia of the Insane' (1996). The Michael Harris Tranz-Fusion evolved from The Michael Harris Project, and has officially been Michael's live band since 2001. Currently Harris continues to develop his neoclassical and progressive metal career in solo projects. Harris has also lent his guitar skills to Ukrainian keyboard virtuoso, Vitalij Kuprij. He performs on Kuprij's albums 'Forward and Beyond' (2004), 'Revenge' (2005) and 'Glacial Inferno' in 2007. Harris recently formed a new progressive group, Thought Chamber. The band's debut release 'Angular Perceptions' was released worldwide to critical acclaim on Inside Out Music in April 2007, followed up in 2013 with a concept record entitled "Psykerion". Michael also formed a new metal band, Darkology, whose debut disc, "Altered Reflections" was released on RAH Records on November 16, 2009. Their 2nd record, "Fated to Burn", is slated for an early 2014 release on Prime Eon Media.


Rob Whitlock

Rob Whitlock - Sketchin' 2 - 2006 - Sketchin' Records

When reflecting upon the proverbial influence that the Hammond B3 electric organ has had on jazz, the first name that comes to mind is the incredible Jimmy Smith. Over time, cadres of very dominant organ specialists in their own right have followed a path layed by Mr. Smith. They include Wild Bill Davis, Richard "Groove" Holmes, Jack McDuff, Jimmy McGriff, Tony Monaco and a host of other notable individuals whose influence has impacted the overall jazz scene. In recent years, another noteworthy artist has been quietly making a name for himself as a creative force in jazz in the name of Rob Whitlock. In a very short span of time, Rob has established himself as a well respected musician while performing stints with Jaco Pastorius, Randy Berensen, Bill Watrous and Max Bennett. He has also toured extensively in the United States and Europe with A.J. Croce, the Dazz Band and Fattburger in numerous concerts and festivals. Further examination reveals that Rob’s overall grasp of music and jazz was overseen by his father, who comes to the table as a highly respected jazz guitarist. Having played the organ since the age of eight, Rob’s dad often encouraged him to do extemporaneous concerts in the family home for his musician friends. With that being said and other forces pushing Rob onward and upward into the musical universe, he has begun the process of expanding his perspective to a higher level of influence. To a much larger degree, Rob has been massaging his creative juices even more by spending some quality time in the recording studio. His latest album entitled Sketchin’ 2 is a stunning follow-up release to his Sketchin’ CD, which in my mind has revelations of a different sort, some of which are artistically different than what has been observed in previous Whitlock encounters. Sketchin’ 2 can best be described as a blues-based fusion jazz recording that contains cover songs as well as original arrangements. Included is a vocal interpretation of Billie Holiday’s "Them There Eyes," sung by Amber Whitlock. The sidemen include saxophonist Michael Brecker, trumpeter John Georgini, guitarists Pat Kelly, Bob Whitlock, Scott Henderson, bassist Anthony Jackson, percussionist Vinnie Colaiuta, drummer Cliff Almond and Othello Molineaux on steel pans. Collectively speaking, along with Rob Whitlock working his magic on keyboards, Sketchin 2 is an album that is well beyond the norm of most jazz heard today. On this release, Rob wrote as well as worked with others on four new songs to make this outing a happening. His eclectic and strategic use of fused nuances to highlight contemporary jazz and blues are the very essence of Whitlock’s appeal on this recording. Although he is the spearhead behind Sketchin’ 2, Rob takes the CD another further by allowing his stellar cast of sidemen to shine through at various times. As one reflects upon the theme of his original intent, Rob goes the distance in transposing his ideas into thought-provoking musical relevance. The intuitive creative spirit that comes from within is alive and kicking on such tracks as "2nd Service," "Cold Duck Time" and "Gotta’ Insulator." In retrospect, this CD has Whitlock and company jamming through a complex set of grooves that are hard-driving forays into the very crust of fusion-based jazz. Sketchin’ 2 has a variety of multi-faceted dynamics to make it a compelling piece of work. One tidbit of déjà vu has Julius Pastorius, son of the late bassist Jaco Pastorius, doing the album’s artwork. That mosaic along with the fusion-based rhythms of Rob Whitlock and his band of studio musicians provide a panoramic view of everything cool about jazz as a work of artistic importance. Based upon my first and last impression of Sketchin’ 2 and my introduction to Rob Whitlock, I am compelled to get excited about what could be forthcoming from a Hammond B3 organ master craftsman. [Rating:Four Stars] Written by & © Sheldon T. Nunn 20.02.2006 © 2013 - 2014 jazzreview.com. All rights reserved. http://www.jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/fusion-cd-reviews/sketchin-2-by-rob-whitlock.html

The veteran keyboardist fully embodies the art of independent jazz-making on this engaging and wildly eclectic project, which involved a series of exciting recording sessions that took place over a two-year span with a high-pedigree supporting cast. This includes Michael Brecker (whose feisty tenor adds punch and fire to the downtempo bluesy moods of "2nd Service"), Vinnie Colauita, Anthony Jackson (contrabass guitar), Scott Henderson (whose electric guitar does a slow, blistering burn through "Gotta Insulator"), Othello Molineaux (whose tropical touch on steel pans drives "2nd Service" before Brecker takes over), Cliff Almond (drums), and Pat Kelley (electric guitar on the romantic, late-night smoky ballad "Do I Love You"). As a follow-up to 2005's Sketchin', the new collection has a bit of an edgier and "retro" feel to it, but the results are always engaging and provoke a wide range of emotions. The mix also offers some cool surprises. Just as you're being seduced by the Spyro Gyra-like flavors of the opening track, Amber Whitlock's graceful vocals on the gently swinging jazz standard "Them There Eyes" puts you in a whole other traditional place. You're riding the funky highway of "Gotta Insulator," and the always wild and bluesy fun of Eddie Harris' "Cold Duck Time" comes along and spins you in a whole other rhythmic direction (with Henderson leading the way into a fusion neverland, of course). Following that, "At Freedom Chicken Dance" is the ultimate crazy-maker highlighted by more shenanigans from Henderson and scorching horn accents. The much gentler closer, "The Colours of Life," was the soothing radio track, but it seems like a slight letdown, being so simple and straightforward after all of the exciting oddities and fun that came before it. - Review by & © Jonathan Widran © 2014 AllMusic, a division of All Media Network, LLC. | All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/album/sketchin-vol-2-mw0001442610

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 1, 2006: Keyboardist Rob Whitlock takes his place on center stage backed by a stellar supporting cast on Sketchin’ 2 Duet with Michael Brecker at radio while the critics praise the new collection of jazz, blues and fusion. After more than two decades of recording, performing and touring in support of jazz, pop and R&B stars, keyboardist-producer-composer-arranger Rob Whitlock is ready for his close-up. This time, the luminous cast is supporting him on Sketchin’ 2, the album that hit the streets this week on the artist’s own Sketchin’ Records label. A “musician’s musician,” Whitlock is a sought after Hammond B3 organist, who also plays piano and keyboards. He was joined in recording studios throughout the U.S. over a two-year span to work on the eclectic Sketchin’ project. Along with Michael Brecker, Vinnie Colaiuta, Anthony Jackson, Scott Henderson, Othello Molineaux, Pat Kelley, and Cliff Almond, Whitlock recorded enough musical sketches that incorporate a variety of genres to populate two albums. The first disc was released last fall. Last month, smooth jazz radio stations were given an advance taste of the second collection with “The Colours Of Life” (instrumental reprise), a simple, heartfelt piano and sax duet between Whitlock and Brecker. Whitlock composed or collaborated on four new songs while producing and arranging Sketchin’ 2. He challenges listeners by presenting compositions culled from traditional and contemporary jazz, blues, and fusion. Sometimes his keyboard artistry leads and other times he takes a back seat to allow a sax, a guitar or a vocalist to pilot the track. The production is warm and organic because being able to play these songs live is important to Whitlock. To that end, he will bring a band comprised of Jackson (bass), Almond (drums), Mike Miller (guitar), and Amber Whitlock(vocals) to perform music from the Sketchin’ series to San Diego (May 27th at Dizzy’s), San Juan Capistrano (May 28th at KSBR-FM’s Birthday Bash) and Los Angeles (June 2nd at the Baked Potato), with additional dates and cities soon to be announced. Although the album just hit the streets, it was greeted with positive buzz. All Music Guide wrote, “The veteran keyboardist fully embodies the art of independent jazz-making on this engaging and wildly eclectic project…As a follow-up to 2005's Sketchin', the new collection has a bit of an edgier and ‘retro’ feel to it, but the results are always engaging and provoke a wide range of emotions. The mix also offers some cool surprises.” EJazzNews.com stated, “Whitlock directs his band-mates through an affable course of action, where jazzy funk grooves, soaring horns and a synthesis of cross-genre components coalesce for an enticing set of musical notions. The keyboardist’s sweeping B-3 lines generate a peppery edge within Brazilian-tinged jazz- grooves, and R&B drenched motifs…Whitlock’s muse is immersed within a multihued musical palate. He injects hard-driving mosaics spanning divergent rhythmic forays, complementing his substantial writing/arranging faculties amid the musicians’ obvious sense of conviction.” All About Jazz added, “Filled with a catchy mixture of rock, funk and jazz beats, Sketchin' 2, with first-rate musicians easily weaves between the lines of what used to be called 70's rock & fusion…‘The Colours of Life’ (is) a haunting mixture of Rob Whitlock's animated keyboards and Brecker's amazing tenor…If you’ve been missing the work of Donald Fagen and Walter Becker (Steely Dan), Sketchin’ 2 is a worthy alternative that demands attention.” SmoothJazz.com concluded, “There is some serious jazz on this disc...make no mistake about it...seriously great jazz…We can't overlook the stunning vocal performance from Rob's wife, Amber, on the Billie Holiday staple, ‘Them There Eyes’…Overall, Sketchin’ 2 from Rob Whitlock is first-rate material performed by first-rate musicians, and the results are awesome!” Julius Pastorius, son of the late bass legend Jaco Pastorius, did the album artwork for Sketchin’ 2, which is comprised of a series of intricate sketches of the musicians captured in the record- ing studio. The concept was for the illustrations to tell a story of the music and the musicians involved as album artwork often did in the days before music videos. However, to please the video inclined, the album is an enhanced CD that contains still photos and sketches from the recording sessions set to music in a video format. Additional information on Whitlock can be found at www.robwhitlock.com © robwhitlock.com

AAJ said that “Sketchin' 2” is “Filled with a catchy mixture of rock, funk and jazz beats....Sketchin' 2, with first-rate musicians easily weaves between the lines of what used to be called 70's rock & fusion”. SmoothJazz.com said, “There is some serious jazz on this disc...make no mistake about it...seriously great jazz....We can't overlook the stunning vocal performance from Rob's wife, Amber, on the Billie Holiday staple, ‘Them There Eyes’....Overall, Sketchin’ 2 from Rob Whitlock is first-rate material performed by first-rate musicians, and the results are awesome!” “Sketchin’ 2” is a really cool jazz album from the great West Virginian composer and keyboardist Rob Whitlock. Rob is helped out by artists that include Scott Henderson, Anthony Jackson, Vinnie Colaiuta, Michael Brecker, and his wife Amber Whitlock who sings lead vocals on “Them There Eyes”. This is great music with funk, soul, rock, jazz, R&B, fusion, Latin and many other elements. When you need a break from shredding and prog. rock, give this album a listen. Quality jazz with fabulous musicianship, and HR by A.O.O.F.C. Check out Rob’s “Sketchin'” album [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 105 Mb]


1 2nd Service - Rob Whitlock 6:59
2 Them There Eyes - Maceo Pinkard / Doris Tauber / Amber Whitlock / Rob Whitlock 4:44
3 Gotta Insulator - Rob Whitlock 7:53
4 Cold Duck Time - Eddie Harris 5:18
5 At Freedom Chicken Dance - Pee Wee Ellis / Eddie Harris / Rob Whitlock 6:54
6 Do I Love You - Richard Rogers 4:43
7 The Colours of Life (Reprise) - Amber Whitlock / Rob Whitlock 9:25


Pat Kelley, Scott Henderson - Guitar
Anthony Jackson - Contrabass Guitar
Rob Whitlock - Hammond Organ, Piano, Loop, Horn Arrangements
Vinnie Colaiuta, Cliff Almond - Drums
Othello Molineaux - Steel Pan
Michael Brecker - Tenor Sax, EWI, Saxophone Arrangement
John Rekevics - Saxophone, Bass Clarinet, Horn Arrangements, Orchestration
Wayne Bergeron - Trumpet
Andy Martin - Trombone
John Georgini - Flugelhorn, Muted Trumpet
Amber Whitlock - Lead Vocals on Track 2


Rob Whitlock, a naturally gifted musician, finds himself equally comfortable writing, arranging and producing music, soloing spontaneously or comping supportively behind other soloists, making them sound even better themselves. It's easy to see that Rob enjoys playing and even more enjoys whom he's playing with. Musicians with this balance of style and grace are not as easy to find as one might think. Finding expression through an artist with this combination of gifts is what truley makes music a language in it's own right, and Whitlock speaks it fluently. Rob has been playing the Hammond B-3 organ since age eight, when his father, a well respected jazz guitarist in Miami/Ft. Lauderdale encouraged him to do impromptu concerts in their family living room for professional musician friends. He was greatly influenced by Jimmy Smith, Wes Mongomery and Charlie Parker recordings from his dad's collection of jazz. On his own he discoverd Herbie Hancock, George Duke, Chick Corea, Miles Davis and Jaco Pastorius. The young musician quickly learned how to make a living by gigging around the area on keyboards as well as bass. At the age of seventeen, Rob met Jaco, who gave advice and encouragement to his younger friend. Jaco also sent friends to Rob's father for guitar lessons, having learned quite a bit himself from the senior Whitlock. After having played with great musicians like Jaco Pastorius, Randy Berensen, Othello Molineaux, Carl Fontana, Joe Williams, Bill Watrous and "The Peter Graves Big Band", as well as a host of unknown, but extremely talented New York transplants, Rob relocated to California at age 25, via a three year stint in Washington, D.C. In California, Whitlock became involved with some gifted musicians and formed a band with them playing contemporary jazz by groups like "The Brecker Brothers", "Yellow Jackets" and performed songs by writers Victor Feldman, John Scofield and Don Grolnick, as well as their own originals. During that time Max Bennett of "Tom Scott and the LA Express", asked Rob to join his originals band, of which Whitlock is currently still a member. Not long after, he began touring with "The Jazz Crusaders" through the U.S. and Europe on keyboards. With AJ Croce, while playing the B-3, he toured Scandanavia, as well as many other destinations with the Dazz Band and Fattburger, for festivals and concerts. As far as recording goes, Rob has been on anywhere from Kathie Lee Gifford and Rita Coolidge, to Fattburger, Steve Laury, Pat Kelley, Wayne Johnson and Max Bennett albums, ranging from pop to the many jazz genres. He has also been on recordings with legendary musicians like Vinnie Colaiuta, John Guerin, Joe Sample, Russell Ferante, Tom Scott, Warren Wiebie, Anthony Jackson and including greats Jeff Lorber, Will Lee, Bill Berg, Jimmy Johnson, Jim Gilstrap, Mike Miller, Scott Henderson, Greg Bissonette, Matt Bissonette, Cliff Almond, John Ferraro, Earnest Tibbs , Othello Molineaux, Bob Magnuson and Peter Sprague. Concert and club appearances include; Eddie Harris, Charles McPhearson, Abe Laboriel, Jaco Pastorius, Felix Pastorius, Tom Scott, Joe Williams, Ronnie Laws, Joe Sample, Lee Greenwood, Mavis Staples, Miki Howard, The Dazz Band, Mundell Lowe, Bobby Shew, Wayne Johnson, Peter Sprague, Sam Riney, Grant Geissman, Jeff Kashiwa, Bud Shank and Fattburger. Television appearances include "Austin City Limits"," Sound FX" on Fox, "The Wayne Brady Show", Katie Lee Gifford's most recent TV concert, "Gentle Grace", and others. Rob has written for television for the lifetime and other cable channels, and continues to do so. After having completed two new cds for himself ( "Sketchin" and "Sketcthin' 2" ), as well as two for his wife, vocalist Amber Whitlock ("The Colours of Life" and "The Circle" ), Rob is making plans to perform the new works in venues in the states and abroad. The musicians of choice for these projects were the incomparable Vinnie Colaiuta, Anthony Jackson, Scott Henderson, Cliff Almond, Pat Kelley and the amazing Michael Brecker. Also featured are old friends, Othello Molineaux, Wayne Johnson, Brian Price, his former college instructor, John Georgini, as well as Rob's father, Bob Whitlock on guitar and pedal steel. The horn section was comprised of three of Rob's favorites, Wayne Bergeron, Andy Martin & great buddy John Rekevics. Rob's new solo cd "Sketchin" incudes only a few of the talented artists he has come to know over the years, and includes original songs that he has written over the span of two decades. It has been above all, a labor of love; Love of music, of fellow musicians and their gifts, and of the enthusiast for whom he is happy to present this work, the jewel of his labor. In the words of eleven time Grammy Award winner Michael Brecker, "It was a joy to be a part of the Rob Whitlock project. In addition to his being a fantastic player/composer, Rob has a knack for bringing out the best in the musicians with whom he plays. This was fun." © 2005 Rob Whitlock. All rights reserved. http://www.robwhitlock.com/longbio.html


Emilio Garcia

Emilio Garcia - Ultrablues - 2005 - Petroglyph

Emilio Garcia’s hard driving blues rock reflects the influence guitar masters such as Jeff Beck have had on the Chilean born musician through his rise to the top of the South American music scene. Emilio's burning electric guitar is dazzlingly accompanied by awesome musicians on keyboards, drums and bass and you hear a glimpse of Emilio's jazz potential and his Latin flamenco side. © 2000 - 2014 virtualWOMEX http://www.womex.com/virtual/petroglyph_records/emilio_garcia

Born and raised in Santiago, Chile, Emilio Garcia is one of that country's top guitar players. He studied under the tutelage of an American mentor who taught him, Blues, Jazz, Rock and Funk. But with his Latin heritage Emilio is also deeply involved in Flamenco. He easily transitions from his firey US influenced electric guitar style remenissant of Eric Johnson, Joe Satriani and Jeff Beck to a mellow acoustic Flamenco guitar with the style of Paco de Lucia. Though Ultrablues reflects his electric side masterfully you get a nice taste of his acoustic side as well. Emilio's varied influences are revealed on Ultrablues as you experience his original blend of Blues, Rock, Jazz, Funk and a taste of Flamenco all in one album. Destined to become an internationally recognized powerhouse on the guitar, Emilio has already taken crowds with a storm in limited engagements in the US. This CD was recorded in Chile and is proudly brought to you by US independent label Petroglyph Records who also discovered and brought you Francesca Ancarola and Antonio Restucci. Both of these talented artists include Emilio's lyrical guitar licks in their recordings. If you love instrumental electric blues guitar you'll love Ultrablues! © 1996 - 2014 CD Universe; Portions copyright 1948 - 2014 Muze Inc. http://www.cduniverse.com/productinfo.asp?pid=7165506&style=music&setpref=none

Good instrumental blues, rock, jazz, and funk with a strong taste of Latin/Flamenco. Although Emilio could have stepped up a couple of gears on his playing here, “Ultrablues” still reflects his electric side very effectively and his acoustic playing is superb. A very enjoyable album. Can anybody help with a full list of musician and composer credits? [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 120 Mb]


1.Ultrablues 5:13
2.El Twist de la Marmota 4:22
3.Lila 7:41
4.Fanqui 3:51
5.Ablusions 2:31
6.Reblues 2:58
7.Songo 4:08
8.Suenos 6:17
9.Vals Para Chile 4:47
10.De Los Angeles 3:55
11.Playa del Carmen 5:32


Emilio Garcia - Electric & Acoustic Guitar
Igor Saavedra - Bass
Marcelo Cordova - Acoustic Bass
Felipe Candia - Drums


Jeff Richman & Friends

Jeff Richman & Friends (Jimmy Haslip, Tom Kennedy, Vinnie Colaiuta, Dave Weckl, Danny Gottlieb, etc) - Live At The Baked Potato, Volume Two - 2001 - Tone Center

A return to the Baked Potato in Hollywood, CA circa 1999-2000 for Volume Two of Jeff Richman & Friends. There are six different groups of musicians who perform instrumental material by Jeff Richman, Jan Hammer ('Star Cycle'), Jeff Beal, and others. The album is not a fuse-fest, and there is more of a straight-ahead jazz vibe on this release than Volume One of this release. Nevertheless, great fusion is not always about incendiary guitar shredding, and this is a high calibre album of great music from artists that include Vinnie Colaiuta, Jeff Babko, Abraham Laboriel, and Jimmy Haslip [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 135 Mb]


1 Kamaroon - Jeff Richman
2 On The Trail - Ferde Grofe
3 Leap Of Faith - Jeff Beal
4 Let This Be The One - Jeff Richman
5 Star Cycle - Jan Hammer
6 I Got Rhythm - George & Ira Gershwin


Jeff Richman - Guitar on Tracks 1-6
Abraham Laboriel - Bass on Tracks 1,4
Jimmy Earl - Bass on Tracks 2,3
Tom Kennedy - Bass on Track 5
Jimmy Haslip - Bass on Track 6
Russell Ferrante - Acoustic Piano on Track 2
Peter Wolf - Keyboards on Track 4
Jeff Babko - Keyboards on Track 5
Vinnie Colaiuta - Drums on Track 1
Gregg Bissonette - Drums on Track 2
Tom Brechtlein - Drums on Track 3
Dave Weckl - Drums on Track 4
Simon Phillips - Drums on Track 5
Danny Gottlieb - Drums on Track 6
Steve Tavaglione - Soprano Saxophone on Track 1
Brandon Fields - Tenor Saxophone on Track 5
Jeff Beal - Trumpet on Track 3


David T. Chastain

David T. Chastain - Heavy Excursions - 2009 - Leviathan Records

David T. Chastain (born in Atlanta, Georgia on 31 August 1963) is an American guitarist and owner of Leviathan Records and Diginet Music. Chastain is a metal guitarist who emerged in the mid-'80s along with a wave of other neo-classical guitarists. He has released about 50 recordings under multiple names, including David T. Chastain, CJSS, Georgia Blues Dawgs, The Cincinnati Improvisational Group, SPIKE, Zanister, Ruud Cooty and Southern Gentlemen (blues-rock) as well as a number of heavy metal releases under the band name Chastain, accompanied by female vocalist Leather Leone. In more recent years, David has worked as a record producer at his own company, Leviathan Records. His label specializes in discovering and promoting new talents, specializing in guitarists and bands. He also runs Diginet Music, a company specializing in rare, unreleased or out-of-print music. – Wiki

Over the last 20 years Guitar Magazine writers around the world have favorably compared David T. Chastain to guitar greats Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Eric Johnson, Steve Morse, Al Di Meola, Allan Holdsworth, Uli Roth, Michael Schenker and many others. However David's ambition has always been to develop his own "unique" style. David's first instrumental release was 1987's "Instrumental Variations." The Cd was released during the "Golden Era" of heavy rock instrumentals. That release as well as most of David T's instrumental Cds has had a varied musical format to showcase David's addiction to different styles. David recently decided that he wanted to put out a release of what he considered his best "Heavy" instrumentals and he has done so on his new Cd, "Heavy Excursions." Tracks included are from the aforementioned "Instrumental Variations" as well as tracks from some of David's other all instrumental Cds, "Within The Heat," "Elegant Seduction," "Acoustic Visions," "Rock Solid Guitar," and David's newest all instrumental Cd , "Countdown to Infinity." As an extra bonus David added the Chastain instrumental classic "827" and the bombastic CJSS cut "Thunder and Lightning." David comments, "I have always really liked '827' and 'Thunder and Lightning' and felt they needed to be included in any compilation Cd of my heavy instrumental favorites. Musicians featured on this Cd include bassists David Harbour, Steven Taylor and Mike Skimmerhorn. Drummers include Ken Mary, Mike Haid, Les Sharp and Rick Porter. David adds, "I have been very lucky throughout my career in having great musicians play on my solo Cds." All of the tracks were digitally remastered to match today's standards and to try to carry a somewhat congruent sound from release to release. This collection of tracks has to be considered a landmark in heavy guitar instrumentals. For over 20 years David has been able to put out a very high standard of music with little consideration to the "in sounds" of the moment. A true artist does not waver in the face of fashion. © http://www.leviathanrecords.com/dtchx.htm

Guitar World has said that, "As a player, Chastain ranks with Steve Morse, Eric Johnson, Joe Satriani and Steve Vai”. He was one of the first artists signed to Mike Varney's Shrapnel label which specialized in technically accomplished rock, metal, and fusion guitarists. David’s relatively small group of fans will say that he is one of rock's unsung guitar virtuosos and heroes, and anyone who doubts that he knows his way around his instrument need only give “Heavy Excursions” a close listen. He incorporates numerous musical influences and styles into his music, from blues to classical, and metal to fusion. David points to Allan Holdsworth, Al Di Meola, and John McLaughlin as three of his major influences. Many guitar “experts” reckon that David is not as technically talented as guitarists like Satriani, Vai, Coven, Eriksen, and similar players, but it should be said that “Heavy Excursions” is an instrumental compilation album of re-recordings of selected songs from various past albums selected by David himself, which encompasses what he feels are the best heavy instrumentals that he has recorded over his career. Tracks included are from "Instrumental Variations" as well as tracks from some of David's other all instrumental CDs, "Within The Heat," "Elegant Seduction," "Acoustic Visions," "Rock Solid Guitar," and "Countdown To Infinity". Some critics say that this album does not showcase Dave’s guitar skills as well as his individual albums like “Mystery of Illusion” or “Ruler of the Wasteland” but it doesn't really matter. David should be better known as a great guitarist, but he is just one of many great musicians who never get the recognition they deserve. Whether you like hard rock, jazz fusion, heavy metal, or just great guitar playing, you may enjoy this album. Check out Dave’s “Rock Solid Guitar”, “Elegant Seduction”, and “Countdown To Infinity” albums on this blog and listen to his “Mystery of Illusion” album [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 142.8 Mb]


1. Capriccio In E Minor
2. Spontaneous combustion
3. 18th Century Inamorata
4. Wild and Truly Diminished
5. Now Or Never
6. The Oracle Within
7. Excursions Into Reality
8. Schizophrenia
9. Blitzkrieg
10. Pompous Rompous
11. Menage a Trois
12. Set
13. Burning Passions
14. Attack of the Mechonrites
15. Rambunctious Delicacy
16. Countdown To Infinity
17. 827
18. Thunder and Lightning

All tracks composed by David T. Chastain


David T. Chastain - Guitar, Bass Guitar
David Harbour, Steven Taylor, Mike Skimmerhorn - Bass Guitar
Mike Haid, Les Sharp, Ken Mary, Rick Porter - Drums


Although guitarists such as Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, and Yngwie Malmsteen received the lion's share of publicity and commercial success during the heyday of "guitar shredders" back in the '80s, David T. Chastain has been slugging it out for just as long, yet never achieved the same level of recognition as the aforementioned instrumentalists. With his mastery of the six-string and talent for effortlessly reeling off lightning-fast neo-classical licks, Chastain has been releasing albums since the mid-'80s, either as a solo artist or as part of the bands Chastain and CJSS. David Chastain was one of the first artists signed to Mike Varney's Shrapnel label (which specialized in technically accomplished rock guitarists), resulting in such shredder classics as Mystery of Illusion and Ruler of the Wasteland. Countdown to Infinity was released on Leviathan in 2007. © Greg Prato © 2013 AllMusic, a division of All Media Network, LLC. | All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/artist/david-t-chastain-mn0000224951/biography


Jason Sadites

Jason Sadites - Orbit - 2005 - Ind.

"...if there's any justice left in the guitar world, listeners will pick up on Sadites' vibrant, pulsating guitar instrumental sound. On the surface Sadites reminds of players like Jeff Beck, Vai and Satriani although he's still fresh and doesn't play over heads...Sadites layers his multi-tracked guitar approach with an appealing sonic edge!" - Robert Silverstein, 20th Century Guitar Magazine (Feb. '06)

"...I was blown away a few times as he likes to dig into a raunchy, gritty bend...and then follow it up with some of the most pristine sounding shred riffs I’ve heard. In my opinion Jason Sadites has taken guitar styles of the past and made them fresh again with his own flavor. I would say he’s a good candidate for Best New Guitar Player." - Jimmy Caterine, GuitarNoise.com (Feb. '06)

"Fresh, vibrant and solidly inspired...Jason Sadites has released one hell of a debut instrumental disc. Believe me when I tell you this disc is bound to bring in accolades from the serious guitar community." - John Emms, The Daily Press Rock Report (Dec. '05)

Debut, Solo Release for this Canadian Guitarist . The CD is a melodic instrumental guitar album which mixes just the right amount of melody, technique and tone. Fans of guitar music of many styles will find something enjoyable on 'Orbit'. Over the albums 9 tracks, listeners are treated to an array of catchy melodies, infectious grooves, great arrangements and at just the right time blinding lead guitar lines and harmonies that would satisfy the most demanding of guitar fans. If you are a fan of guitar music or just music in general you need to check out 'Orbit'! © 2002-2014 AbstractLogix http://www.abstractlogix.com/xcart/product.php?productid=20944

Now for something a little more conventional (as far as guitarists go, anyway.) Jason Sadites is another superb player. An interesting thing about Sadites is by the age of sixteen he was already mature enough in his playing to pass some of his knowledge on to a roster of sixty-plus students in his home town, Timmins, Ontario, Canada. After fifteen years of honing some of his other talents which include his composition skills and his audio engineering ‘mastery,’ he has now given us his first solo instrumental guitar CD, entitled Orbit. Jason knows how to dig in and at the same time he makes his strat sing with some beautifully written melodies that stick in your head for most of the day. I hear a lot of Satch and Vai mixed with Eric Johnson (remember the first G3 tour?) I kept hearing other remnants and feels that I recognized but I had trouble placing it and then it dawned on me -Jeff Beck. But at the same time, these are just influences I hear. Jason has a style that is his own. The CD opens with the title track and I must say it does give you the feeling of floating gravity-less. Like most of the tunes on this CD, The Orbit is very lyrical. I thoroughly enjoy guitar CDs like this, that have some substance rather than a million mile an hour shred fest that usually leaves me warn out or yawning by the third or fourth track. Now don’t get me wrong – I was amazed at Jason’s control- because he can shred. He just does it in a way that is subtle and meaningful to the song. In fact I was blown away a few times as he likes to dig into a raunchy, gritty bend that is synonymous of something that Keith Richards might do and then follow it up with some of the most pristine sounding shred riffs I’ve heard. Along with the melodies, grit and subtle shred, there’s a bit more to Sadites’ groove. He’s very creative with added rhythm parts. In fact there’s a funky little thing he is doing in a track called Not So Evil that just makes the song. But all in all, my favorite track is probably the simplest one on the CD. It’s a ballad called Away. Every now and then I find a song that just has the simplest melody and I can’t believe how much I am drawn to it. My wife adores the song and her taste in music is more refined than my own. It really has to be good before she will give it the time of day. Now for the best thing about Jason Sadites’ Orbit - the CD sounds incredible. It’s probably the best engineered CD I’ve heard in a few years. In fact, I am considering having Jason mix my next solo project if his rates don’t go thru the roof before I get to it. Which is saying a lot- because I live in Arizona and Jason now resides in Florida. So I would essentially be turning over the controls to the board completely. He’s that good. In my opinion Jason Sadites has taken guitar styles of the past and made them fresh again with his own flavor. I would say he’s a good candidate for Best New Guitar Player. By & © Jimmy Caterine © 2014 Guitar Noise. All Rights Reserved http://www.guitarnoise.com/reviews/jason-sadites/

An absatively essential instrumental guitar album from the great Canadian guitarist, Jason Sadites. Jason is a brilliant if somewhat underrated guitarist. His playing on this album is inspirational with amazing soloing, tight harmonies, strong melodies, and incredible grooves. The album is HR by A.O.O.F.C. Read an interview with Jason @ http://www.guitar9.com/interview101.html Check out his “Weve” album on this blog. Buy his “Broken” album and support real talent and real music [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 90.9 Mb]


1. Orbit 4:24
2. Face Card 5:32
3. Not So Evil 4:00
4. I Don't Have Five Minutes 3:31
5. Sunspot 4:05
6. Dirty Little Thing 3:44
7. Away 3:19
8. Elbow Room 3:52
9. Nail Biter 3:56

All tracks composed by Jason Sadites


Jason Sadites - Guitars, Bass
Rob Knox - Bass on Tracks 6-9
Carlo Delorenzi - Synth, Organ on Track 7
Kevin McMahon - Drums


Canadian born guitarist Jason Sadites began playing guitar at the age of ten. After spending many years studying music and the art of recording and production, Jason began writing, producing and recording his own music and the music of other local bands. Utilizing his experience as a guitarist, writer, producer and engineer, Jason entered the studio in 2004 to begin working on what would become his debut CD ‘ORBIT‘, which was released in late 2005. ‘ORBIT‘ received great reviews from many sources, complementing Jason not only his abilities on the guitar, but also on his melodic approach to songwriting. In 20009 Jason released his second CD ‘WEVE‘. On the CD Jason performs with many world class musicians. Among them, world renowned drummers Kenny Aronoff, Marco Minnemann, Jerry Marotta, Gregg Bissonette and Chad Wackerman. Completing the rhythm sections with these drummers are bassists Tony Levin, Matt Bissonette and Martin Motnik. The exciting new CD is out now and can be purchased through various online retailers by clicking here. Jason’s latest project is the new CD “behind the laughter” a collaboration with Marco Minnemann. “laughter” is one of many release in Marco Minnemann’s series of Normalizer 2 CD which includes CD’s from Alex Machacek, Trey Gunn, Mike Keneally, John Czjakowski, Phi Yaan-Zek and Marco himself. More info on this exciting project can be found by clicking http://www.normalizer2.com/ © http://www.sadites.com/?page_id=59

Alejandro Silva

Alejandro Silva - Orden & Caos - 2007 - Alejandro Silva

Alejandro Silva (b. June 19, 1969) is a chilean virtuoso guitarist. His plays mostly instrumental progressive metal and is influenced by guitarists like Eddie Van Halen, Brian May, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai and Paul Gilbert. Alejandro began playing guitar aged 14. He was part of the Chilean rock band Mandra cula, and in 1999 formed his own band the Alejandro Silva Power Cuarteto with which he has recorded three albums. He has played with artists like Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Marty Friedman, Paul Gilbert and Billy Sheehan. Alejandro is also a guitar teacher, sound engineer, and has a line of amplifiers with his name. He also endorses Ibanez guitars. Alejandro has travelled most of Latin America and is known to many guitar fans globally thanks to G4 and other various tours he has done. “Orden & Caos” is a mostly instrumental album of heavy metal, progressive rock and funk, and is a great example of the guy’s talents. Try and listen to his “Dios Eo” album. Listen to Alejandro Silva & Andy Timmons Live @ http://www.downloaddailymotion.com/video/15667552-alejandro-silva-andy-timmons-live.html [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 121 Mb]


1 New Chaos 5:02
2 4 + 4:26
3 Jakobshavn 5:12
4 Marea Solar 5:17
5 Retrievolución 4:16
6 Black Iron 4:49
7 Mantis A 5:58
8 Omicron 4:49
9 Prostitucion 4:26
10 Respira 5:16
11 El Llamado 1:23
12 El Reto 3:30
13 Purificacion 1:52
14 Lo Desconocido 4:47
15 Metal Himno (cover of the National Anthem of Chile)1:46

All tracks composed by Alejandro Silva Power Cuarteto except Track 15 by Ramón Carnicer & Eusebio Lillo


Alejandro Silva, Cristóbal Arriagada - Guitar
Rodrigo García - Bass
Miguel Pérez - Bass on "Mantis A"
Gonzalo Muga - Drums
Francisco Rojas - Vocals on "Respira"


William Stravato

William Stravato - Survivor - 1999 - Virtuoso Records

Very good instrumental release by the brilliant axe man William Stravato covering many genres from jazz to speed rock. Read more about William @ http://www.williamstravato.com/willie.swf and read about his “Cybertones” album @ http://overdoseoffingalcocoa.blogspot.com/2014/02/william-stravato.html [All tracks @ 192 Kbps: File size = 61.7 Mb]


1. Icarus Suicide 5:17
2. Anthropomorphic Pancake 5:23
3. Cats 6:04
4. Brainstorm 5:20
5. Midnite Jam 5:21
6. 'Cause We've Ended As Lovers 5:42
7. No Turnin' Back 5:08
8. Isolation 5:41

All songs composed by William Stravato except "''Cause We've Ended As Lovers" by Stevie Wonder and "Midnite Jam" by William Stravato & Prashant Aswani


William Stravato - Guitars, Keyboards
Brett Garsed - Guitar on "Cats"
Prashant Aswani - Guitar on "Midnite Jam"
Michael Angelo - Guitar on "No Turnin 'Back"
Arcangelo Spina - Bass
Gianluca Leone - Keyboards on "Cats"
Francesco Ciacciarelli - Drums & PC Programming


Chris Duarte

Chris Duarte - Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, All Things Blue - 2009 - Blues Bureau Int'L

This 2009 Blues Bureau International release rounds up highlights from Chris Duarte’s previous albums for the label (hence, the “something old”) and adds the previously unreleased “Outside Man” and three live cuts (“something new”). The new cuts are as reliable slices of modern blues-rock as the previously released tracks, so this winds up being a solid sampler of a sturdy group of records © Stephen Thomas Erlewine © 2014 AllMusic, a division of All Media Network, LLC. | All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/album/something-old-something-new-something-borrowed-all-things-blue-mw0001381363

Dynamic, high energy blues rock reminiscent of SRV, Robin Trower, Jimi Hendrix and Eric Johnson. Chris is as expressive with his vocals as he is with his electric guitar playing and this album is another memorable, inspired album from an underrated songwriter and hugely talented guitarist. In effect this is a compilation album. Eight of the tracks have been released before, and there is one new studio track (Track 9), and four unreleased live tracks, (Tracks 10-13). If you are not familiar with Chris Duarte’s musical talent, then this album is a good introduction to the man. The album is HR by A.O.O.F.C. Check this blog for more Chris Duarte albums. Listen to Chris Duarte Group’s great “Blues in the Afterburner” album. Buy his “Infinite Energy” album and support high grade blues rock and great guitar playing [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 182 Mb]


1. Amy Lee 6:28
2. Sun Prairie Blues 9:21
3. Something Wicked 13:06
4. The Best That I Can Do 3:40
5. Satisfy 3:55
6. Let's Have A Party 3:21
7. Back In Town 4:55
8. Chattahoochee Side 7:13
9. Outside Man 4:50
10. 101 (Live Bootleg) 5:35
11. Badness (Live Bootleg) 3:56
12. Like Eric (Live Bootleg) 5:25
13. Free 4 Me (Live Bootleg) 5:07

All tracks composed by Chris Duarte except Track 7 composed by Bluestone Co. & Chris Duarte


Chris Duarte - Guitars, Vocals on all Tracks
Toshihiro Sumitomo - Guitar: Slide Guitar on Track 8
Bass - Dustin Sargent on Tracks 1,2,3,& 9: Joseph Patrick Moore on Tracks 4,5,& 6: Yoshihiro Ogasahara on Tracks 7 & 8: Matt Stallard on Tracks 10, 11, 12, & 13
Drums - Damien Lewis on Tracks 1,2,3,& 9: Jeff Reilly on Tracks 4,5,& 6: Taizo Takafuji on Tracks 7 & 8: Chris Burroughs on Tracks 10, 11, 12, & 13
Taro Takagi - Percussion on Tracks 7 & 8
Jesse Bradman - Backing Vocals on Tracks 7 & 8


Austin-based guitarist, songwriter, and singer Chris Duarte has often been compared with the late Stevie Ray Vaughan. It's heady stuff for the musician, who plays a rhythmic style of Texas blues-rock that is at times reminiscent of Vaughan's sound, and at other times reminiscent of Johnny Winter. The truth is, Duarte has his own sound that draws on elements of jazz, blues, and rock & roll. Although he is humbled by the comparisons with the late Vaughan, the San Antonio-raised musician began playing out in clubs there when he was 15 years old. After Duarte moved to Austin when he was 16, he began taking his guitar playing much more seriously, and at that time, Vaughan was still around playing in Austin-area clubs. Duarte was one of those lucky few thousand who got to see Vaughan at the Continental Club before the late guitarist got his first break with David Bowie. After a short stint in an Austin jazz band, Duarte joined Bobby Mack & Night Train and began getting heavily into blues at that point. He traveled all over Texas with that band before a big break came his way in 1994, when New York-based Silvertone Records released his critically praised debut album, Texas Sugar/Strat Magik. Tailspin Headwhack followed in 1997 and Love Is Greater Than Me appeared three years later. Romp from 2003 featured a cover version of Bob Dylan's "One More Cup" and was followed by the 2007 album Blue Velocity, 2008's Vantage Point, 2009's 396 and 2010's Infinite Energy. My Soul Alone showed up early in 2013. © Richard Skelly © 2014 AllMusic, a division of All Media Network, LLC. | All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/artist/chris-duarte-mn0000109263/biography


Michael Manring

Michael Manring ‎- Thoṅk - 1994 - High Street Records

Inspired by his teacher Jaco Pastorius, Manring has taken the electric bass into new territory. A native of the Washington, DC, area, he played classical bass in high school chamber groups and orchestra while also working in local Top 40 bands. From 1979 to 1982, he honed his chops in the DC fusion group Natural Bridge and also started performing with guitarist Michael Hedges. Manring played on Hedges's Windham Hill debut Breakfast in the Fields. Since then, the bassist has become the Windham Hill session man, recording on albums by Will Ackerman, Ira Stein, and Russel Walder in addition to his frequent tours with Hedges. Manring is a also a key member in the label's all-star band, Montreux. © Linda Kohanov © 2014 AllMusic, a division of All Media Network, LLC. | All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/artist/michael-manring-mn0000390790/biography

Who said fusion was dead? With Thonk, Michael Manring has managed to create an exciting, humorous, and technically amazing body of work. His quirky approach to the bass and hyperbass have a style and sound that is truly unique and can be heard throughout the many different journeys the listener is taken on. "Big Fungus" is a romping number that finds Manring sounding like a fusion guitar player on the hyperbass. Former Primus drummer Tim "Herb" Alexander proves to be a perfect partner for Manring by adding his own complexities and individual style to the mix. Alex Skolnick, Steve Morse, and Steve Smith also lend excellent support. "Monkey Businessman" is a breathtaking solo performed on the hyperbass, which makes a case for calling Manring the Tuck Andress of the bass. However, it is not just the Manring's playing (which would have been enough) and his stellar sidemen that separate this session from its colleagues; rather, it is his fresh approach to composition. This is a brilliant recording by a brilliant musician and should be documented as one of the most important fusion recordings of the '90s. © Robert Taylor © 2014 AllMusic, a division of All Media Network, LLC. | All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/album/thonk-mw0000622623

Exceptional heavy jazz rock fusion by the great and underrated bassist, Michael Manring. Michael’s playing is reminiscent of the great Jaco Pastorius and the compositions are generally composed around a two-handed tap and slap style, similar to players like Stuart Hamm. Two of the world’s greatest guitarists, Steve Morse and Alex Skolnick play on two tracks each and arguably the album would have been improved by more guitar. Having said that, some of the greatest fusion albums are not guitar based. However, if you are a bass freak you won’t be disappointed, as Michael Manring’s playing is outstanding throughout the album. The album is HR by A.O.O.F.C. Listen to Michael’s brilliant “Drastic Measures” album [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 110 Mb]


1 Big Fungus 3:36
2 Snakes Got Legs 4:59
3 Monkey Businessman 3:47
4 Disturbed 3:04
5 On A Day Of Many Angels 3:42
6 My Three Moons 4:04
7 Cruel And Unusual 4:33
8 Bad Hair Day 3:11
9 Adhan 2:38
10 You Offered Only Parabolas 6:12
11 The Enormous Room 4:07

All tracks composed by Michael Manring


Steve Morse - Guitar on Tracks 2, 10
Alex Skolnick - Guitar on Tracks 4, 7
Michael Manring - Bass, Hyperbass, Keyboards, Percussion
Phil Aaberg - Piano on Track 5
Tim "Herb" Alexander - Drums on Tracks 1, 4, 8
Steve Smith - Drums on Tracks 2, 5, 7, 10
John Cuniberti - Tambourine on Tracks 5, 10


Widely considered to be one of the most innovative and talented living bassists, Michael Manring has been performing for over 20 years and covering a wide variety of styles. Born in 1960 in Virginia, Manring was brought up in a musical family. He studied under bassist Peter Princiotto before attending Berklee College of music in the late 1970s. He left the school in 1979 due to a heavy workload with various bands, but while attending he had plenty of opportunities to play a wide variety of music. In the early 1980s, Manring toured and studied with the legendary Jaco Pastorius, and it was during this period that he really began to develop his own sound on bass. Also in the 1980s, Manring was house bassist for the Windham Hill record label, and has played with many groups and artists, including Henry Kaiser and Wadada Leo Smith's Yo Miles! group, Montreux, and collaboration on almost every Michael Hedges album. He has also played with Spastic Ink, Attention Deficit, At War With Self, and in the trio McGill/Manring/Stevens. To this day, Manring continues to play with various groups, along with maintaining a steady solo career of bass clinics and touring. Manring's music is characterized by strong bass playing in all periods. He plays quite often with alternate tunings, unusual basses, and experimental styles of music. Manring regularly utilizes a wide variety of basses, though his main bass is the Hyperbass, which was created in association with Joseph Zon of Zon Guitars. The bass is designed specifically to allow Manring to change the tuning of one or all of his strings in an instant, through a unique bridge with levers for each string/all four and through D-tuner pegs on each of the tuning pegs of the bass. It's also unusual because of its triple octave fretless neck. He has been known to play as many as four basses simultaneously in his compositions. Manring's solo material has evolved over the years, with his earliest albums displaying a new age sound. His third album, Drastic Measures, displays him starting to moving away from this style, and by his next, Thonk, he had moved onto a sound entirely his own. Manring has stated that Thonk was ...the first New Age/Death metal/Fusion album. After Thonk, he released The Book of Flame in 1998 and Soliloquy in 2005. Book of Flame moved even farther away from his new age roots, and Soliloquy is a solo bass album with no overdubs or multitracking. Many of the tracks don't sound like bass at first listen, but he used prepared basses and a wide variety of unusual tunings throughout to give the album a unique sound. Manring's music should appeal to different people depending on which album/era is being discussed. His first three albums would most likely appeal to fans of laid back, new age/new age-influenced jazz music. Thonk and Book of Flame each display a wide variety of material, though they're both heavily jazz/fusion oriented and have some metal influence as well. Soliloquy is recommended to bassists and lovers of bass especially, but also to anyone interested in jazz/experimental music performed exclusively on bass. Fans of Jaco Pastorius' bass playing will most likely enjoy the bass playing on Manring's albums. - Biography written by & © Jon Hilty (SaltyJon) © Prog Archives, All rights reserved http://www.progarchives.com/artist.asp?id=6044


Salvatore Russo & William Stravato

Salvatore Russo & William Stravato - Contact - 2004 - Axe Magazine # 90

An Italian collaboration of epic proportions - brilliant axe man William Stravato and blazing rock fusion guitarist Salvatore Russo have joined forces to bring you Russo/Stravato - "Contact". Featuring over forty minutes and eight instrumental tracks of blazingly shredded licks and tasty musical treats in the Greg Howe / Shawn Lane tradition, both guitarists have gone beyond their respective solo albums, dipping into their extensive vocabulary of expressive devices to offer hyperactive twists and turns, indulgent embellishments, undeniable energy and modern flash - all powered by the relentless rhythmic drive of drummer Daniele Chiantese. © 1996-2013 Guitar Nine All Rights Reserved http://www.guitar9.com/news2004-07.html

Very technical and demonstrative shred fusion album, full of amazing guitar wizardry. The album, by two guitar virtuosos Salvatore Russo and William Stravato was originally distributed as a very limited edition optional extra with the Italian monthly magazine for guitarists Axe (# 90, July / August 2004) and contains eight previously unreleased tracks. The CD was dedicated to the memory of Shawn Lane and is now a collector’s item. VHR by A.O.O.F.C. Read about William Stravato’s great “Cybertones” album @ http://overdoseoffingalcocoa.blogspot.com/2014/02/william-stravato.html and check out his “Survivor” album and Salvatore Russo’s s/t album. Read more about William Stravato @ http://www.williamstravato.com/willie.swf and Salvatore Russo @ http://www.salvatorerusso.com/page4/page5/ [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 91.5 Mb]


1 Doctor Frankenstein
2 Contact
3 It's Alive
4 The Creature
5 Nightshot
6 Abnormal
7 Re-animator
8 Wild Alchemy


William Stravato, Salvatore Russo - Guitars
Enrico Galetta - Bass on Tracks 1, 5, 7
Mario Mazzenga - Bass on Tracks 2, 4, 6
Alfredo Paixao - Bass on Track 5
Roberto Petriconi - Bass on Track 8
Riccardo Zannelli - Keyboards and Programming on Tracks 2, 4, 6, 8
Fabio Barnaba - Keyboard Solo on Track 1
Gianluca Leone - Keyboard Solo on Track 8
Daniele Chiantese - Drums


Jose De Castro

Jose De Castro - Moments - 2011 - Favored Nations

Moments is an all-instrumental work featuring 10 songs, all composed, arranged and produced by Spanish guitarist Jose De Castro, His fourth all-instrumental CD, Moments features stellar musicians such as Jose Vera on bass and Enzo Filippone on drums, with featured appearances by Jacob Sureda and Alex Garcia. The CD was made in one of the most active times in Jopi's career, as he juggles important tours, endorsements and recordings. As always, the versatility as in styles as in sounds is present all over the CD, reminiscent in places of Michael Lee Firkins's self-titled Shrapnel debut, as well as some of Johnny A's more recent output on Favored Nations. Moments is a top to bottom K.O., as Spain's groove meister raises the bar yet again. - Posted by & © Laurie Monk © http://www.truthinshredding.com/2012/01/jose-de-castro-moments-new-cd.html

Many Spanish guitarists have released good, instrumental, rock, metal and fusion guitar-oriented records. Sadly, many of these albums receive little or no exposure. Check out the work of Tony Hernando, Tony Baena, David Garcia, Manu Herrera, Porty (Antonio Portillo), Robert H. Rodrigo and David Valdes, all great guitarists who deserve a wider audience. Jose De Castro is a great musician and in-demand session player. He tours constantly and is a brilliant stage musician. José has said that "If you work as a pop guitarist on tours and recordings, you can earn a lot of money. If you try to play jazz, blues, heavy metal, then everything changes totally and you have to do alternative things (such as give classes) to earn your living". The all instrumental "Moments" is an eclectic mix of acoustic, funk, fusion, blues and many more elements and is HR by A.O.O.F.C. Some of José's influences include Hendrix, Beck, Clapton, Brent Mason, Eric Johnson, Andy Timmons, Mark Knopfler, David Gilmour, Joe Satriani, Jake E. Lee, Paul Gilbert and Vinnie Moore. Check out Jose’s “Conversation” and “Live” albums on this blog, and buy his great “Un Poco De Lo Mío” album and promote real music [Tracks @ 256-320 Kbps: File size = 97.9 Mb]


On The Road (6:20)
Three Monkeys (4:36)
Lazy Blues (4:32)
I Can't Stop (3:44) *
So Good (5:13)
A.A. (6:01)
Kick The Snare (3:56)
Time After Time (2:52)
Dirty (5:20)
Follow The Moment (3:48)
Soul (3:43)
The Only One (To Gary Moore) (3:21)

All tracks composed by Jose De Castro

* N.B: An audio analysis of “I Can't Stop” on this album gave me the information – [“Missing frame headers at 0:36.75, and 1:32.83: *** Warning: this file has one or more missing frame headers and might be corrupted”]. Do not let these audio glitches spoil your enjoyment of this album. In fact, the faults are miniscule, and you would probably not even notice anything unless you were carefully listening out for them. We haven’t all got the aural discernment of Donald Fagen! No disrespect to you Don. BTW, When’s the new Steely Dan album due? Maybe a little less touring and more recording would go down well with many of your fans? Lol


Jose De Castro - Guitars
Jose Vera, Alex Garcia - Bass
Jacob Sureda - Piano, Fender Rhodes, Melodica
Enzo Filippone - Drums


Jose de Castro “Jopi ” is a professional guitarist and music producer from Madrid. He´s been playing since he was ten, studying classical guitar, harmony, choir, and music theory. At the age of seventeen, fascinated by the electric guitar he joined several rock bands, performing with some of them in Madrid´s music scene, winning important contests as the “Trofeo Villa de Madrid”. Later on, he begins to play as a professional guitarist in some orchestras and bands on a national level while working as a music teacher in various modern music schools,“Ritmo y Compás” among them, where he taught until 2002. In that year, his first instrumental album was released, entitled “Un poco de lo mío”(A bit of my own); written, arranged, and produced by himself. It contains nine songs with a rock sound adding funk, pop, and fusion elements. His debut album as a soloist received excellent reviews from the Spanish press (Guitarra Total, Guitarrista, etc.) and the international music press (Guitar World, Vintage Guitar Magazine). The CD was sold in Europe, the US and Asia. This fact, along with his great talent and sensibility as a musician, made him a house name in music sessions as a recording player as well as a live guitar player on demand. He has worked since then with a great number of Top 40 Spanish artists as a musical director, sometimes also as a music producer and composer for some of them. The live concerts with his own band begin to be appreciated not only by guitar players but all kind of musicians too. This acknowledgement of his work lead several brands of instruments, amplification and effects to take a look at him as a reference for their products, performing clinics, demos and masterclasses throughout Spain. In 2004 releases his second CD "Music Guitar Box", in which play musicians such Simon Phillips (Toto, Jeff Beck…) and Melvin Davis (Chaka Khan, Steve Lukather, Lee Ritenour…) as well as usual musicians from the Spanish music scene such Maurizio Sgaramella, Denis Bilanin and Enzo Filiponne. This album shows the evolution in his playing through several music styles, always from a rock approach, showing a great balance between virtuosity and musicality. In 2006 his third CD "Conversation” is released in full swing professionally speaking, along with important tours and recordings. In this year he also becomes one of the reference musicians for the prestigious guitar brand "Suhr Guitars". In 2006, the name of the band and its members is established as "José de Castro Trío" with Jose Vera on bass and Enzo Filippone on drums and they tour successfully around Spain. As a result of this intense live experience he records in 2007 his fourth CD called "Live" on the 21st and 22nd of November at the “Rigoberta Menchú” theater in Leganés, Madrid. This is a double CD that shows the energy of the band on stage and is released in 2009. In 2008 and 2009, before this release, they perform concerts with Joe Satriani, Scott Henderson and Michael Landau during their tours around Spain and he´s invited to play at the "Guitar Day" in Milan and Madrid with Paul Gilbert. Along with this international recognition he´s also invited to the NAMM'08 and '09 in Los Angeles (California), this time with Guthrie Govan, Reb Beach and Rob Marcello. In 2010 along with several clinics, masterclasses and live concerts with his Trio in Spain and Europe (Italy, Romania, Germany, Belgium and Holland) and due to the word of mouth as a music producer, he designs and assembles the “JDC music studio” in Madrid. It´s a personal studio in which he brings his mastery as a guitarist and a producer to music projects. If you want to know more about it:http://www.josedecastro.net/estudio_es.html During the year 2011 he writes and records his fifth CD “Moments” with his usual Trio joining forces this time with Ron Saint Germain (U2, Jimi Hendrix, Living Colour, Muse, Michael Jackson,Red Hot Chili Peppers…) in the mixing and Joe Gastwirt (Jimi Hendrix, Tom Petty, Yes, Grateful Dead…) in the mastering. In 2012, after a great musical dedication as a producer, composer, arranger and performer he´s chosen by the prestigious guitar brand Fender as the first spanish endorser to perform with its guitars and amplifiers. At the end of 2012 he also writes a guitar method book “Guitarra para torpes”, publish by Anaya along with drawings of the well-known spanish cartoonist Forges. © 2010 MOOER All Rights Reserved http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:sSnZLahVYUcJ:www.mooeraudio.com/en/artists_show.asp%3FMsgID%3D34+&cd=5&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=ie