Get this crazy baby off my head!


Alan Pasqua

Alan Pasqua - The Anti-Social Club - 2007 - Cryptogramophone

Keyboardist Alan Pasqua is the headliner on "The Anti Social Club," however, that doesn't mean he has to be the star. But -- wait a minute -- let's just give him credit for putting together a jazz band that is shaped by rock elements, yet never loses its jazz roots. In displaying that, the band is dominated easily by the work of guitarist Nels Cline, a star of Wilco, and trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire. The guitarist, for instance, is the heart of "George Russell" a hard-working blues, and also sets the course for "New Rhodes." The latter number eventually becomes the home of the trumpeter and saxophonist Jeff Ellwood. The piece also is driven by bassist Jimmy Haslip from the Yellowjackets. Akinmusire stands out on a meditative "Prayer" and the jazz-leaning title cut. None of this is to suggest Pasqua doesn't help the effort. He offers a strong solo on "New Rhodes" and his backup work throughout the album provides a richness that makes the seven-piece band sound bigger than it is. © Bob Karlovits Pittsburg Tribune [November 2007]

Alan Pasqua, “The Anti-Social Club” (Cryptogramophone). If this sounds like some of the best jazz/rock fusion since its embattled heyday, that’s because keyboardist Alan Pasqua is as hip and pedigreed a producer of it as you’ll find. Back in the day, he played in Tony Williams’ Lifetime and studied with the great jazz composer and theorist George Russell. The latter is no small thing and leads to a tune dedicated to Russell on Pasqua’s new disc on which he makes the Fender Rhodes piano sound good again, as if we were all listening to “In a Silent Way” by Miles Davis. All virtuosity is high-protein, then, not empty. As a West Coast studio musician, Pasqua has played, too, with a list of rock and pop musicians as long as Shaquille O’Neal’s arm, which means he knows a thing or two about hooks and electronic seasonings. It’s a standard saxophone/trumpet/guitar sextet with percussion added and it’s got energy and ideas to burn — which, in fact, it sometimes does. © Jeff Simon Buffalo News [November 2007]

Keyboardist Alan Pasqua is one of those jazz cats who grew successful in pop music. Pasqua toured for years with Bob Dylan and Carlos Santana. Before that, in the mid-1970's he was recruited to be in Tony Williams' Lifetime, led by the former Miles Davis drummer. Pasqua reignites the jazz flame with this sextet that uses 1970s funk as a starting point. The set also includes some requisite spaciness and a knack for melody amid the beats. The title track is a cool, slinky number that leads to a lip-splattering climax. "George Russell," named for Pasqua's teacher at the New England Conservatory of Music, sounds as if it could be coming out of a 1970s Cadillac. The big bass line sets up some keyboard histrionics. The session is both acidic and spiritual. "Prayer" quivers handsomely without a steady pulse, while "Fast Food"throbs with Jimmy Haslip's bass and Nels Cline's guitar. Trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire and saxophonist Jeff Ellwood offer up some heavy horn work on this set that looks forward and backward, and has fun doing it. © Karl Stark The Philadelphia Inquirer [November 2007]

Alan Pasqua's previous recording (Standards, on Fuzzy Music) was a very subtle (and very fine) acoustic piano trio album. The Antisocial Club is not acoustic and not subtle. Whether you think it is fine depends on how you feel about a particular aesthetic, exemplified by early electric Miles and Herbie Hancock's Mwandishi albums. It is possible that this album will make some converts in the acoustic community of electric-jazz naysayers. While it has much that they dislike about fusion--the heavy repetitive rhythms (one man's groove is another's monotony), the electric keyboard twitterings and splashes that fill every cranny of available musical space, the indulgent, grandiose hooks--in also contains elements that most fusion lacks. Among these are brains, creativity, adventurousness and real solos. Pasqua writes cool little tunes and arranges them into large, dynamically diverse concepts that provide openings for the strong voices in his ensemble. Guitarist Nels Cline pleasingly trashes "George Russell" in wild quivers and squeals. Jeff Ellwood's soprano saxophone whirls in a dizzying dervish on the title track, and releases into an exhilarating, shrieking catharsis on "Wicked Good." On "prayer," reminiscent of Miles' In A Silent Way, Ambrose Akinmusire long, pure trumpet lines melt into and out of the ambient stasis. But Pasqua is the leader, and in the sheer density of information that is this album, his various keyboards provide the content that is the nastiest, the funkiest, the most lyrical and the most startling. © Thomas Conrad Jazz Times [January/February 2008]

What if Miles Davis had decided to stick with the music of the Bitches Brew/Cellar Door period, circa 1969-1970, and develop within that genre rather than continuing to move in other directions? Perhaps his music would have sounded like Alan Pasqua's The Anti Social Club. The grooves and basslines on the seven originals are reminiscent of Davis' music of the era although the updated electronics, the individual voices, and the spirit of this group differ. Keyboardist Alan Pasqua (a former member of Tony Williams' Lifetime) sounds quite at home in the early-'70s funk/fusion setting, trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire is a bright new voice on his instrument, and each of the musicians makes strong contributions. While there are solos, the "accompaniment" is so active that most of the music sounds like explosive ensembles. Fans of Miles Davis' music of his early electronics period will find this set to be a brilliant extension on Davis' ideas, and a fresh way of playing fusion. Highly recommended. © Scott Yanow All Music Guide [October 2007]

A veteran keyboardist who’s played with Tony Williams in his Lifetime band, Alan Pasqua has released a seven track jewel of a fusion masterpiece that harkens back to Miles (i.e., In A Silent Way), the Headhunters, and Weather Report. In fact, every time I listen to The Anti Social Club, I keep hearing more influences. For some reason, the tunes, for me, are very familiar – I mean that in a good way. This may be a stretch, but here’s why: I was a very big fan of Tony Williams last great band, the one with Mulgrew Miller, Wallace Roney, Billy Hart, and Charnett Moffett. Williams was doing a lot of interesting writing over those last four or five recordings. Pasqua’s compositions remind me of an electric version of that group – or more precise, what may have developed had Williams not died at such a young age. Yes, I know it’s a stretch, and Pasqua last played with Williams a long time ago, but just listen to the trumpet of Ambose Akimusire and the sax of Jeff Elwood, their solos, the song structure………just maybe, who knows. The Anti Social Club is heady, horn driven fusion, with Pasqua’s spacey distortion ridden keyboards front and center. Nels Cline is very solid on guitar, along with Jimmy Haslip of the Yellowjackets on bass, Scott Amendola on drums, and Alex Acuna rounding out the group on percussion. I’ve never heard of Akimusire, who has a sound that reminds me of Freddie Hubbard, back in his CTI days, or Elwood before; Pasqua was wise to use them as foil to his keys. One last comment, “New Rhodes” – Crank It Up! By & © John Luciano on Dec 15, 2007 in reviews © ContemporaryJazz.com 2011 http://www.contemporaryjazz.com/review-alan-pasqua-the-anti-social-club/

A brilliant album of contemporary jazz fusion from the very experienced pianist Alan Pasqua. The great Jimmy Haslip plays bass, and Nels Cline of Wilco plays some great guitar. David Carr of the New York Times described Nels as "one of the best guitarists in any genre." He was also named the 82nd greatest guitarist of all time by Rolling Stone magazine in November 2011. Jazz Times called him "The World's Most Dangerous Guitarist." This is not primarily a guitar orientated fusion album, but players like Nels certainly help. The album is VHR by A.O.O.F.C. Read a review at AAJ @ http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=27529 Listen to Holdsworth, Pasqua, Haslip, Wackerman's great "Blues For Tony" album and Nels Cline's "New Monastery: A View Into The Music Of Andrew Hill" album. [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 119 Mb]


1 The Antisocial Club (9:48)
2 George Russell (10:28)
3 Prayer (3:36)
4 New Rhodes (7:57)
5 Fast Food (8:22)
6 Wicked Good (9:08)
7 Message to Beloved Souls Departed (4:48)

All tracks composed by Alan Pasqua


Alan Pasqua - Keyboards, Piano
Nels Cline - Guitars
Jimmy Haslip - Bass
Scott Amendola - Drums
Alex Acuna - Percussion
Jeff Ellwood - Saxophones
Ambrose Akinmusire - Trumpet


Alan Pasqua (born June 28, 1952 in New Jersey) is a jazz pianist, educator and composer who co-composed the CBS Evening News theme. He also has had an extensive career in pop and rock music, most notably as a founding member, keyboardist and songwriter of the 80s hard rock band, Giant. He studied at Indiana University and the New England Conservatory of Music. His latest album Twin Bill, released on October 20, 2011, has been recently nominated a Grammy award. Pasqua grew up in Roselle Park, New Jersey. Pasqua joined The New Tony Williams Lifetime and appeared on the albums Believe It and Million Dollar Legs. He then went on to perform with Eddie Money's band, after which he then joined Bob Dylan's band. Pasqua recorded two albums with Dylan (Bob Dylan at Budokan and Street-Legal). In the 1980s he performed with John Fogerty on the album Eye of the Zombie, with Starship on the album No Protection and joined Carlos Santana as keyboardist on Marathon, Zebop! and Havana Moon. He was also a founding member of the late-1980s rock band Giant, and he co-wrote the band's biggest hit, "I'll See You in My Dreams." Later he composed and performed jazz, including trio recordings with Peter Erskine (including the CD Standards). He has also recorded with Allan Holdsworth. He is currently chair of Jazz Studies, Associate Professor, at the University of Southern California. In 2007, he married Lina Brunkell. He has one daughter, Greta, born 1998, from a previous marriage.


Alan Pasqua, Chairman of Jazz Studies at USC, was born in New Jersey and began studying piano at the age of seven, playing both classical and jazz. He attended Indiana University and received his bachelor’s degree in jazz studies from the New England Conservatory. While performing a concert at Carnegie Hall, Pasqua met the legendary drummer Tony Williams. Pasqua was asked to join The New Tony Williams Lifetime along with guitarist Allan Holdsworth. After recording two “Lifetime” albums for Columbia Records, Pasqua relocated in Los Angeles. His career in L.A. broadened as he started playing with more rock and pop artists. He has been a member of the bands of Bob Dylan and Santana. Some of his other pop album and touring credits include: Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Elton John and Queen Latifa. In addition, he has worked with composers John Williams, Quincy Jones, Dave Grusin, Jerry Goldsmith and Henry Mancini and on motion picture soundtracks. In addition, Alan composed the soundtrack for Disney’s hit movie, The Waterboy, starring Adam Sandler. In the jazz world, Pasqua has played and recorded with Jack Dejohnette, Paul Motion, Dave Holland, Michael Brecker, Randy Brecker, Joe Henderson, Stanley Clarke, Gary Burton, James Moody, Gary Peacock, Gary Bartz, Reggie Workman, The Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra, Sheila Jordan and Joe Williams. Aside from his many critically acclaimed recordings as a leader, in 2008, Pasqua joined forces with Peter Erskine and Dave Carpenter, arranging, co-producing and playing on the Grammy Award nominated trio album “Standards”. His latest release, “Twin Bill” features Pasqua recorded on two pianos, playing the music of Bill Evans. This CD will be released Fall 2011 on the BFM Jazz label. © 2011 Alan Pasqua http://alanpasqua.com/biography/


The Vincent Hayes Project

The Vincent Hayes Project - Reclamation - 2010 - North 61 Records

“It is rare for an artist to display such maturity on a debut release, but this album certainly marks the beginning of Hayes’s career, because I can’t imagine an artist with such creative compositions, strong voice and guitar skills could get lost in the crowd. Anyone who loves great guitar work should own this CD, as it is apparent to me that it is indeed the best debut of 2010.” © Twoj Blues, Poland

“Reclamation is a thoroughly modern blues album, but not a stale blues-rock album. The results speak for themselves: Alves and Hugley form an air-tight unit that backs Hayes with a loose, funky groove, and Hayes proves to be a dexterous axe man whose charisma and love for the music shine strong throughout the disc.” © Living Blues Magazine October 2010

“Full of energy from start to finish! The guitar tone is delicious!” © Recoil Magazine

Great bass leads, hot percussion, and zealous organ. Had me holding my breath. Absolutely amazing work." © Peter "Blewzzman" Lauro, Mary 4 Music

“(there is) a realism to the band that you soon learn applies to everything that they do. The lyrics aren't forced, and neither is the playing. The music is natural.” © Fulltime Blues

You wouldn't believe it by simply looking at him, but baby-faced Blues guitarist Vincent Hayes is a 20-year veteran of the music industry. It's when you listen to Hayes and his band, The Vincent Hayes Project, that you realize how seasoned he is behind the mic, the guitar, and the pen. Michigan's The Vincent Hayes Project - made up of Hayes on guitar and lead vocals, David "The Butcher" Alves on bass, and Donnie Hugley on drums and percussion - made it to the semi-finals of the International Blues Challenge in both 2006 and 2007. Since then, they've become the hosts of the Sunday jam at Grand Haven, Michigan's Deelite, and produced their album Reclamation for North 61 Records. The album was produced by Glenn Brown on the Muscle Shoals Neve console, a device that owns it's own place in music history for being the board used in sessions by a who's-who of music royalty, including Eric Clapton, The Allman Brothers Band, and more. If it were for this simple fact alone, Reclamation would be worth checking out; but the music stands up, and that makes it all the better. The disc is filled with 70 minutes of all original music written by Hayes and captures a power trio at the height of their powers. Additional musicians enlisted for the Reclamation sessions include Christian VanAntwerpen on a variety of keyboards, including Hammond B3 and Wurlitzer. Steve "Doc" Yankee plays piano on the album. Things kick off with "Hit Me High, Hit Me Low," a swinging track with some terrific piano work right off the bat. The song kind of reminds me of a Texas Blues, which is interesting, because Hayes voice is similar, in my opinion, to Jimmie Vaughan. "Insecurities" starts with a thick groove from Alves and Hugley, before VanAntwerpen comes in, and finally, Hayes on guitar ahead of vocals. Hayes has said that he loves the old Blues, but having never lived those situations, he crafts songs that he has experienced in his life. It provides a realism to the band that you soon learn applies to everything that they do. The lyrics aren't forced, and neither is the playing. The music is natural. "I've Got A Right To Change My Mind" is the first of two songs on Reclamation that are right around the 10 minute mark in length, the other being "Sone Kind of Fool." They're both slow burners. "I've Got A Right To Change My Mind" features Yankee's piano adding that little something extra to the song. "Some Kind of Fool" sees VanAntwerpen back behind the keys on a variety of instruments, wonderfully adding depth to the haunted emotion of the song. The lengthy guitar solo from Vincent Hayes is impressive, here, as well! The song as a whole features some of my favorite guitar work by Hayes on the entire album. "Middle Man" is a great declaration song, laying it all on the line for the woman in the song. The tune is one of my personal faves on Reclamation and Vincent Hayes draws great tone out of his guitar on the track. Shout out to Donnie Hugley's drumming as the song hits its final minute or so. The playing throughout the entire disc is solid, but the way Hugley kills on the skins as "Middle Man" hits its climax is phenomenal. "Middle Man" is followed by "I Just Want To Get You High Tonight." This is the first track I featured from Reclamation on the radio show, and it left a big impression on some of the listeners, earning some almost instant feedback from a few members of the audience. The up-tempo number is pure fun, and if you're not six feet under ground, you'll want to hit the dance floor whenever it's played. "Thank You Baby" is a really cool number featuring the recurring line "I want to thank you for giving me the Blues." Right on, brother. That's followed by "Double Talk," which starts off with a great bass line from "The Butcher" before the rest of the band comes in. The tune would fit in amongst some of the great, original Rock 'N' Roll classics, like "Johnny B. Goode;" ironic considering Chuck Berry's signature tune was the first song Vincent Hayes learned to play. Hayes does his take on the conversational guitar bit, too; a trick that never gets old. The afore-mentioned "Some Kind of Fool" is next on Reclamation. That's followed by the more Rock-y "Halfway Out the Door." The aspect of The Vincent Hayes Project that I pick up on is that, while there is a certain element of Rock in their music, I don't want to classify them amongst the Blues-Rock genre. I feel like their music is far enough away from the Rock element that VHP can be called simply a quality Blues band, and it seems like Vincent Hayes has worked hard to create music that way out of respect and passion for the genre. Reclamation wraps up with the instrumental "Sticky Thigh Jive ahead of the slide filled "You Can Take Your Troubles," a great closing number that is filled with Elmore James style licks. Standout Tracks: "Middle Man," "I Just Want To Get You High Tonight," "Some Kind of Fool," and "Insecurities" - from & © Blues Music Review: The Vincent Hayes Project - Reclamation - North 61 Records 2010 © 2010-11 fulltimeblues.com - A division of Full-Time Productions © http://www.fulltimeblues.com/blues_music_review_091510.html

A really good album of blues, funk, R&B, soul, and jazz from the Grand Haven, Michigan based Vincent Hayes Project. The band has a great rhythm section, terrific keyboard work from Christian VanAntwerpen and Steve Yankee, and superb guitar playing from Vincent Hayes who is also a first class lyricist. Vincent says, "We play from the soul and not from the head, and each one of us is an integral part of the creative process, both live and in the studio.” All the tracks are good. A few tunes worth mentioning are the Latin style "Middle Man" which has a Carlos Santana flavour. "Thank You Baby" has a great Booker T style groove. The instrumental "Sticky Thigh Jive" is a great laid back jazzy number, and "You Can Take Your Troubles" is a good Elmore James style slide-driven tune. Vincent Hayes is an excellent guitarist and vocalist and the band is equally impressive in support. Gary von Tersch of Big City Rhythm & Blues said "Inspired, persuasively pensive guitar work that might even cause Clapton to raise an eyebrow in appreciation. Two thumbs up". The album is HR by A.O.O.F.C. Look out for future releases from this band and buy the albums. Support real music [All tracks @ 192 Kbps: File size = 99.5 Mb]


1. Hit Me High, Hit Me Low 4:35
2. Insecurities 5:31
3. I've Got A Right To Change My Mind 9:43
4. Middle Man 5:50
5. I Just Want To Get You High Tonight 5:16
6. Thank You Baby 6:38
7. Double Talk 5:48
8. Some Kind of Fool 10:01
9. Halfway Out the Door 6:20
10. Sticky Thigh Jive 5:54
11. You Can Take Your Troubles 4:38

All songs composed by Vincent Hayes


Vincent Hayes - Guitar, Vocals
David "The Butcher" Alves - Bass
Donnie Hugley - Percussion
Christian VanAntwerpen - Fender Rhodes, Hammond C3, Wurlitzer, Clavinet
Steve "Doc" Yankee - Piano


Led by Vincent Hayes on vocals and guitar, and fueled by one of the tightest rhythm sections in modern blues, the Vincent Hayes Project has recently been receiving world wide critical acclaim for their debut CD release of original inspired blues titled, "Reclamation." Nominated by The Blues Foundation in Memphis, TN for a prestigious 2011 Blues Music Award for "Best New Artist Debut", as well as the recipient of three 2011 WYCE Jammie Awards (Best Album, Best Blues Album, Best Group), the West Michigan based ensemble released "Reclamation in the spring of 2010 on Hayes's own independent label North 61 Records. By late May the disc had been added to regular rotation on a growing list of over 200 radio stations in ten different countries, including the nationally syndicated program "Blues Deluxe." In June, Reclamation made its debut on the National Living Blues Top 25 Radio Chart, where it spent two consecutive months during the summer of 2010, and also made the national Roots Radio Chart where it remained on the chart for most of the summer. Finally, in September 2010 Reclamation debuted on "B.B. King's Bluesville" on Sirius/XM Radio Channel 74, fast becoming a favorite of legendary radio jock Pat St. John. In November the disc reached #4 as a "Pick to Click" on Blues Foundation President and Bluesville host Bill Wax's weekly "Rack of Blues" countdown. After being a favorite solo acoustic blues performer on the Michigan club and festival circuit for nearly a decade, Hayes formed The Vincent Hayes Project in early 2004 as a blues power trio. In 2006 and 2007 they competed as semi-finalists in the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN, and in 2007 the band was asked to back counter-culture icon John Sinclair as his band of "Blues Scholars" on a leg of his summer tour. They have also opened for The Steve Miller Band, Ludicris, Joe Bonamassa, and more, and are a favorite on the festival and club circuits. Live, the band has a reputation as a high-energy unit, with an unstoppable rhythm section featuring David "The Butcher" Alves on bass guitar and Donnie Hugley on percussion. Driven by Hayes’s dynamic guitar work, and punctuated by the world class keyboard duo of Steve "Doc" Yankee , and Christian VanAntwerpen, the band's performances are dominated by powerful dynamics and lively showmanship inspired by the true greats. © http://www.vincenthayes.com/bio.html

Jake Sampson

Jake Sampson - Three Shades Of The Blues - 1996 - Life Force Records

THE FIRST THING that's noticeable about blues artist Jake Sampson's Three Shades of the Blues (LifeForce) is its expansive sonic palette. There are no clichés here; no dusty shuffles. What you hear instead is music that stretches the definition of the genre, challenging listeners to reconsider their preconceptions--which is precisely what Sampson wants us to do. As he puts it, "There's more to the blues than three chords." Discovering those lost chords has exacted a price, however. Since migrating to the Bay Area from his native Detroit in the early 1980s, the singer-songwriter-bassist has found it rough going. "It's been tough to break in here," he reports from his Oakland home. "There were a lot of bands, but they were playing the same things, covering the same songs, and I wanted to do something different. I wanted to write my own music, which made it harder to fit in." Jake Sampson still doesn't "fit in," but he has established himself in the East Bay and North Bay as a refreshing alternative to the status quo. Now he's determined to make believers out of San Jose's blues buffs. Given that he comes from Detroit, it's hardly surprising Berry Gordy's Motown had a profound effect on Sampson's musical development. He cites bassist James Jamerson, Motown's unsung hero, as a particularly influential figure. "He gave me the idea of where I wanted to take my music," he allows. Like innumerable Motor City musicians, Sampson paid his dues playing in R&B groups opening for vocal groups like the Spinners. Sampson seemed destined to remain a soul rhythm ace until a blues organist blew through town and took Sampson with him. "We went down south to places like Tennessee and played, and the feeling of the music just stuck with me," he recalls. Returning to Detroit, he found the musical scene moribund; Gordy had gone Hollywood, leaving behind a gaping void. Samson packed it in and set off for California. Three Shades of the Blues pulls together everything Sampson has learned over the years. His bass playing suggests the subtle but powerful rumbling of Jamerson swathed in blues with a nod to the bassy organ-mashing popularized by "Brother" Jack McDuff. Stylistically, Shades covers a lot of ground, ranging from the rockin' rollin' beat of "Blues Time" to the slow-grinding "Standing in the Shadows." The kickoff track is a brassy romp through classic rhythm and blues. On the title track Sampson flaunts his grasp of alchemy, meshing jazzy ambiance with a touch of funk. Sampson's vocals are agreeably understated; his smoky delivery comes across as seductive as a youthful Charles Brown. "I got the [album] title from my grandmother," Sampson reveals. "She used to say, 'There's more than one shade to the blues.' I'm trying to discover every one of them." You get the feeling Jake Sampson will succeed on his quest. By & © Nicky Baxter © Metro Publishing Inc. http://www.metroactive.com/papers/metro/07.31.97/sampson-9731.html

Jake Sampson cites the great Motown bassist James Jamerson as a major influence on his music, but "Three Shades Of The Blues" contains many influences and is a terrific album of funk, jazz, soul and R&B with tremendous backing musicians. Barry Levenson, Storyville's A&R/producer in the US when commenting on signing Jake to the label said, "Jake Sampson is a consummate musician, vocalist, performer and writer with many years of experience. I'm glad he's finally getting his long overdue shot at international recognition." Jake is a very underrated bassist, vocalist and songwriter. He's a class act and deserves to be heard by a wider audience. This album is HR by A.O.O.F.C. Buy the Barry Levenson/Jake Sampson Band's "Closer To The Blues" album, and support great R&B/blues/soul with a classy touch of jazz. [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 96.2 Mb]


1 Going Down Kwik
2 Three Shades of the Blues
3 Blues Time
4 Standing in the Shadows
5 Handy Man
6 Missin' You
7 411 On My Love
8 Precious Love
9 Loaded Dice
9 3 Shades Instrumental

All songs composed by Jake Sampson


Jake Sampson - Bass, Vocals
Steve Dunne, Garth Weber - Guitar
James Page - Keyboards
Rock Hendricks - Saxophone
Ernest Boom Carter, Chris Sandoval, Tony Coleman - Drums


Free - Molten Gold: The Anthology - 1993 - Island

With their big riffs and bluesy melodies, Free virtually defined hard rock in the early '70s, and Molten Gold: The Anthology shows that this wasn't such a meagre achievement. Throughout the two discs, it becomes clear that the key to Free's rock & roll was their rhythm section, which powered their riffs to perfection. This is the definitive Free, two discs of pure hard rock. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine © 2012 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/album/molten-gold-the-anthology-r189963

Free's original line-up of Paul "The Voice" Rodgers, Andy Fraser, Simon Kirke, and the late Paul Kossoff created some of the mightiest sounds of 60's and 70's rock and blues rock. Free were a monumental band in rock history, and their 1968 "Tons of Sobs" album is now regarded as one of the all time greatest rock albums. There is nothing on this album that hasn't been released already, but it's arguably Free's best compilation album, and is VHR by A.O.O.F.C. [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: 2 x rar files: Pt 1 (Disc 1) = 153 Mb, & Pt 2 (Disc 2) = 136 Mb]



1 I'm A Mover 2:55
2 The Hunter 4:12
3 Walk In My Shadow 3:29
4 I'll Be Creepin' 3:26
5 Songs Of Yesterday 3:33
6 Woman 3:48
7 Broad Daylight 3:14
8 Mouthful Of Grass 3:34
9 All Right Now 5:32
10 Oh I Wept 4:26
11 Heavy Load 5:17
12 Don't Say You Love Me 6:01
13 The Stealer 4:23
14 The Highway Song 4:14
15 Be My Friend 5:45
16 Soon I Will Be Gone 3:01

Tracks 1, 4-12, & 14-16 composed by Andy Fraser & Paul Rodgers: Track 2 composed by Al Jackson, Jr., Booker T. Jones, Donald "Duck" Dunn, Junior Wells, & Steve Cropper: Track 3 composed by Andy Fraser, Paul Kossoff, Paul Rodgers, & Simon Kirke: Track 13 composed by Andy Fraser, Paul Kossoff, & Paul Rodgers

Tracks 1-3 from the album Tons Of Sobs (1968)
Tracks 4-8 from the album Free (1969)
Tracks 9-12 from the album Fire And Water (1970)
Tracks 13-16 from the album Highway (1970)


1 My Brother Jake 2:53
2 Fire And Water 4:02
3 Ride On Pony 4:31
4 Mr. Big 6:12
5 Time Away 5:47
6 Molten Gold 5:48
7 Catch A Train 3:25
8 Travelling Man 3:20
9 Little Bit Of Love 2:32
10 Sail On 3:04
11 Wishing Well 3:39
12 Come Together In The Morning 4:37
13 Travelling In Style 4:01
14 Heartbreaker 6:12

Tracks 1-3 composed by Andy Fraser & Paul Rodgers: Tracks 4,7,8,9,10 & 13 composed by Andy Fraser, Paul Kossoff, Paul Rodgers, & Simon Kirke: Track 5 composed by John Martyn & Paul Kossoff: Track 6 composed by Paul Kossoff: Track 11 composed by John "Rabbit" Bundrick, Paul Kossoff, Paul Rodgers, Simon Kirke, Tetsu Yamauchi: Tracks 12 & 14 composed by Paul Rodgers

Tracks 1-4 from the album Free Live! (1971)
Tracks 2-4 recorded live at Croydon
Tracks 5-6 from the album Paul Kossoff - Back Street Crawler (1973)
Tracks 7-10 from the album Free At Last (1972).
Tracks 11-14 from the album Heartbreaker (1972)


Paul Rodgers - Electric & Acoustic Guitar, Vocals, Vocal Harmony
Paul Kossoff - Lead Guitar
Andy Fraser - Bass
Simon Kirke - Drums, Percussion


Tetsu Yamauchi - Bass, Percussion
John "Rabbit" Bundrick - Organ, Piano, Electric Piano, Chimes, Vocals
John Martyn - Guitar
Rebop Kwaku Baah - Conga


Famed for their perennial "All Right Now," Free helped lay the foundations for the rise of hard rock, stripping the earthy sound of British blues down to its raw, minimalist core to pioneer a brand of proto-metal later popularized by 1970's superstars like Foreigner, Foghat and Bad Company. Free formed in London in 1968 when guitarist Paul Kossoff, then a member of the blues unit Black Cat Bones, was taken to see vocalist Paul Rodgers' group Brown Sugar by a friend, drummer Tom Mautner. After deciding to form their own band, Kossoff and Rodgers recruited drummer Simon Kirke (since Mautner was at university) and 16-year-old bass phenom Andy Fraser from the ranks of John Mayall's Bluesbreakers; with the aid of Alexis Korner, who also suggested the name Free, the fledgling band signed to the Island label, issuing their bluesy debut Tons of Sobs in 1968. Free's eponymous 1969 follow-up expanded on their roots-based sound, incorporating rockers like Albert King's "The Hunter" as well as muscular ballads like "Lying in the Sunshine" into the mix. Although both of the first two albums fared poorly on the charts, 1970's Fire and Water became a tremendous hit on the strength of the primal "All Right Now," a Top Five smash powered by Rodgers' gritty, visceral vocals. After headlining 1970's Isle of Wight festival, the group appeared destined for superstardom, but the LP Highway did not fare nearly as well as anticipated, and after a grueling tour which yielded 1971's Free Live, the band dissolved amidst ego clashes and recriminations. While Rodgers went on to form Peace and Fraser founded Toby, Kossoff and Kirke teamed with bassist Tetsu Yamauchi and keyboardist John "Rabbit" Bundrick to record the album Kossoff, Kirke, Tetsu and Rabbit. When none of these new projects proved successful, the original lineup of Free re-formed to record 1972's Free at Last, which launched the hit "Little Bit of Love." However, drug problems nagged the group, as Kossoff's longtime battle with heroin continued to worsen; soon Fraser exited to form Sharks with Chris Spedding, leaving Rodgers and Kirke to record the majority of 1973's Heartbreaker while a drug-addled Kossoff watched from the sidelines. Soon, the group disbanded again, this time for good: while Rodgers and Kirke went on to found Bad Company, Kossoff formed Back Street Crawler before dying of a drug-induced heart attack on March 19, 1976. © Jason Ankeny © 2012 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/artist/free-p4308/biography


Blue Drift

Blue Drift - Cobalt Coast - 2003 - Bugelfish Records

Blue Drift is an instrumental prog band related to The Morrigan -- two members have also been or still are members of The Morrigan, and The Morrigan’s Colin Masson provided the cover art for Blue Drift’s two CDs: Cobalt Coast (2003) and Mariner (2005). But there’s no folk here. The music on Cobalt Coast varies along a spectrum between Camel (structured, melodic) and Ozric Tentacles (spacey, jamming), while other influences and prog styles are present -- one song is closer to Bruford or the first UK album. Mariner is not a radical departure, but it is distinct from its predecessor, containing mostly high-energy symphonic prog, sometimes spacey, with a touch of fusion when the guitarist adopts an Allan Holdsworth tone. There are also subtle, gentler passages where the feel is not far from Genesis. These CDs are what instrumental prog should be, carefully-crafted melodic music with sufficient variety. Read the Progressor reviews of Cobalt Coast (http://www.progressor.net/review/blue_drift_2003.html) and the DPRP review of Mariner (http://www.dprp.net/reviews/200531.html#bluedrift) The Silhobbit review of Cobalt Coast, (http://www.silhobbit.com/mambo/content/view/529/111/) while not particularly useful, is the most entertaining read. These are the MALS label editions. © 2012 Kinesis http://www.kinesiscd.com/storeframe1.htm?british.htm

Prolusion. The English band Blue Drift consists of the Lodder brothers: John and Dave, the latter of whom was a member of The Morrigan from 1995 to 2002, and the permanent drummer for The Morrigan Arch. "Cobalt Coast" is the debut album by the trio. Synopsis. England, the fatherland of Progressive Rock, is presently poor in Prog talent as never before. So it's especially wonderful to hear a contemporary English band playing progressive music, which is top-notch in every respect. Blue Fish's "Cobalt Coast" is an amazing all-instrumental album and, what's central, this is a product of genuine inspiration. The music is both highly original and complex and is just filled with magic, which is typical only for true masterworks. Most of the tracks on the album feature arrangements that are for the most part, in the state of constant development and are completely unpredictable. Of course, the repetitiveness of themes, by which is explained the success of Neo Progressive for instance, makes music attractive already after the initial hearing of it. However, any profound Prog-lover knows that the constant development of musical events is like Ariadne's thread: catch it and follow it, and sooner or later, you will certainly reach a treasure. Generally speaking, it's impossible to reach any treasure without difficulty; and yet, due to the full-scale offensive of "mass culture" (via mass media), oversimplification has already become the norm, if not the rule, of life; and thus, the depersonalization of humanity grows by leaps and bounds. Back to the hero of this review, it needs to be said that there are two categories of compositions on "Cobalt Coast". The album's predominant stylistics is a classic (yet truly unique) Symphonic Art-Rock with pronounced elements of Prog-Metal and is presented on: The English Room, Freak Weather, Cape Canaveral, The Battle of Morton Ridge, and Spirit (3 to 7). However, the latter piece is also filled with flavors of music of the East, and the guitar solos sound here like those of Turkish Saz. Both of the first tracks on the album: Slingshot Round the Moon and Cobalt Coast, as well as the last track on it: Drift Glass (8), are about Symphonic Art-Rock with elements of Jazz-Fusion and the bits of Prog-Metal. I am familiar with Dave Lodder's work on The Morrigan's latest three albums, though there, Dave hadn't enough room to show all of his talents. While on "Cobalt Coast", he looks as one of the most profound composers and probably the most gifted multi-instrumentalist on today's progressive scene in England, and his solos on guitar are as virtuosi and tasteful as those on organ and synthesizers. Both of his band mates are also outstanding musicians and are truly masterful players of their chosen instruments. Conclusion. Indeed, it is presently very hard to create something really fresh and unique within the framework of Symphonic Progressive, and there are too little bands now that would be equal to the task to do it. In short, Blue Drift's "Cobalt Coast" is the album I've been really waiting for. This is an absolute masterpiece and is assuredly one of the ten best albums released in the UK in the new millennium. © VM: Agst 22, 2003 © http://www.progressor.net/review/blue_drift_2003.html

Mariner is the last of three-in-a-row instrumental Prog albums I have recently reviewed. Blue Drift hail from the UK and, unlike the Dutch Novox and USA’s Parallel Mind, are already on to album No. 2 (check out the review of their debut Cobalt Coast here). Unsurprisingly, they evince a stronger group identity than the other two bands, and eschewing histrionic displays of virtuosity, have assembled a strong set of carefully crafted instrumentals which lean more to the Neo side of things. Indeed, if you enjoy early Twelfth Night or The Lens (the pre IQ combo) you will be in the right frame of mind to appreciate this fine offering. There is also a rich seam of Jazz Fusion influences running through some of the tracks. John and Dave Lodder handle bass and guitar/keyboards respectively whilst Arch provides drums and percussion. The latter two named have also played with folk-proggers The Morrigan, whose multi talented (check out his superb Isle Of Eight CD) Colin Masson provides the tasteful artwork for this release. There are little or no folk influences here, though. The opening pair of tunes, Flight Of Doom and Nuclear Train, are both upbeat, energetic rock-based workouts. Flight... chugs along its unstoppable course like a runaway train, powered by the busy rhythm section whilst Dave Lodder alternates crashing power chords and searing guitar leads. Nuclear Train is more of the same, with knobs on! The pace is quickened and the tension heightened. The tightly structured piece is well thought out – like an ultra-modern rollercoaster, it grips you from the start and will leave you breathless and wanting more at the end. A much needed change of pace appears on the third track. Deep Space does exactly what it says on the tin – starting in sequencer driven Tangerine Dream mode- it effortlessly slides into a Shine On... Pink Floyd vibe for a languorous, meandering eight minute bliss out. Digging For Chance and Half Light see the band unleashing their Fusion chops. I particularly like Dave Lodder’s guitar tone here (on Half Light his leads resemble those of the mighty Alan Holdsworth, it’s hot stuff!). John Lodder proves to be a tasty (and tasteful) player too, and the brief Half Light manages to squeeze in a concise drum solo from Arch. These two tracks are solid fusion efforts which should not alienate the Neo crowd either. The concluding track clocks in at a mammoth 21 minutes and should have the traditional prog fans drooling. There are plenty of good, chunky guitar riffs, swirling synth solos and multiple tempo changes. There is a long section towards the end which sees the band recreating a similar mood to that of Camel’s instrumental opus The Snow Goose. It’s a laidback, mellow treat for fans of more subtle, soundscape-y stuff, or those in a nostalgic mood for the glory days of the mid 70’s. On a slightly negative note, some of the music on this CD (and particularly the last, longest track) seems designed for someone to come along and add vocals and lyrics to complete the picture. There is a slight air of something missing – the icing on the cake, perhaps. This was not something I felt when listening to the Novox or Parallel Mind discs. Blue Drift does give the impression that they really would like to have a front man out there leading the charge. Having said that, the music here is very enjoyable, and if they could find a good, robust vocalist, and continue to produce music of this calibre, they would really be onto something. The album does score highly by varying the style and tempo of the tunes, grouping them into pairs, for a nicely evolving, flowing album. As it stands, it’s a very nice album, with some fiery high spots, plenty of variety and great musicianship. Conclusion: 7 out of 10 © DAVE SISSONS © The Dutch Progressive Rock Page 1995-2011 http://www.dprp.net/reviews/200531.html#top

Summary: A progressive trio from the UK including Arch of The Morrigan. Cover art is by Colin Masson also of the Morrigan: The music: Slingshot Round The Moon opens with a Camel like instrumental section. Quite a bit of vintage sounding keyboards here, quite pacefull too. This is typically English symphonic rock, extended soloing and meandering with a strong role for the keyboards and an active drummer. The melodies are okay, but not melodies that stick. Next one up is the more moody title track. More tension is present on this one. Musically I hear similarities to Flamborough Head, but Blue Drift is instrumental. The guitar plays a more prominent role here, taking over the one from the keyboards which play an atmosphere building supporting role. Production is good, enabling one to hear all the instruments involved clearly. The Eighth Room is a noisy one with rambling guitar work, quite heavy as well. The melodies tend to the Arabic, and are repetitive with the drive lent by the drums. Strong instrumental work. The more jazzy continuation with hammond is a bit too loose. The opening of Freak Weather has elements of La Villa Strangiato. The continuation is a bit more moody, with stretched out guitar lines. In a way some of these parts can be likened to the heavier side of Colin Masson on his solo album. However, it is more obvious that a band is at work here, and the Oldfield link is not present. Blue Drift is more easily compared with the symphonic bands from the Netherlands on the Cyclops label. In the middle the drummer lets off a bit, but then the music takes to pacing again. The mood building works fine here, arrangement and melody fitting well together to evoke a certain impression, in this case we may assume of freak weather. Then we get a turn for La Villa Strangiato again, but not for long as the music slows down again to moody guitar work. Cape Canaveral is relatively short and an up-beat rock track. It features rhythm guitar and is certainly less symphonic than the other tracks. The (non-rhythm) guitar is more jazzrock oriented here. The Battle Of Morton Ridge is even shorter, a bombastic track with symphonic keys, a bit militaristic of sound. Again, the title is well chosen. The keys are a bit cheesy on this one, but that goes with the style of the song. Spirit is a long one. It opens with keyboards and some sitar like playing. Like one may expect in a track of over ten minutes, there is variation in mood and style throughout, this time by means of a long soft section in the middle, somewhat New Age like in outset, later when the guitar comes in again one may be reminded of Shine On You Crazy Diamond. The rock returns soon after, uplifting the song and making it a rather psychedelic affair with Arabic style melodies. Drift Glass is the closer, which is in the by now familiar vein. Although the large amount of acoustic guitar is maybe a bit different. Quite a relaxed track in its first three minutes, only later does the electric guitar set in (the acoustic one stays). Conclusion: Instrumental symphonic rock from the UK, this trio is well at home in the studios resulting in an album with nods to Camel, Floyd and psychedelic influences. However, in other places the current symphonic Cyclops band are also not far away, yielding a package with something for everybody. © Jurriaan Hage © http://www.staff.science.uu.nl/~hage0101/reviews/cobaltcoast.html [All tracks @ 160 Kbps: File size = 65.4 Mb]

Listen to The Morrigan "Spirit of the Soup" album


1 Slingshot Round The Moon 4:50
2 Cobalt Coast 5:13
3 The Eighth Room 6:36
4 Freak Weather 13:42
5 Cape Canaveral 3:28
6 The Battle Of Morton Ridge 2:14
7 Spirit 11:22
8 Drift Grass 9:53

All tracks composed by D. Lodder, except Tracks 3 & 7 by J. Lodder, & Track 4 by D. Lodder, J. Lodder, & Arch


Dave Lodder - Electric & Acoustic Guitar, Keyboards
John Lodder - Fretted & Fretless Bass
Arch - Drums, Percussion


Loose Change

Loose Change - Live At The Grainstore - 1987

Recorded at the Grainstore on King Street in Melbourne Australia on Tuesday, September 8th 1987 by the amazing percussionist Virgil Donati and Loose Change. The Grainstore was the stomping ground for some great musicians like Virgil , Tommy Emmanuel and top Aussie session guitarists like Simon Patterson, Jack Jones, and Geoff Wells. Virgil has worked with many of the greats including Planet X, Tony MacAlpine, Derek Sherinian, Michel Polnareff, Joel Hoekstra, Soul Sirkus and Scott Henderson and is one of Australia's more notable musical expats along with artists like Frank Gambale. This is killer instrumental fusion from a great 80's Australian fusion band. Loose Change finish the show with a brilliant version of Steve Morse's "Cruise Missile". Potent stuff by expert musicians. The Age newspaper of September 4th, 1987 in an article entitled "Jazz At The Grain Store" said that "Live recording of Loose Change on Tuesday Sept. 8th. This will be a rare opportunity to witness one of Australia's best jazz fusion bands record a live album direct to digital. The band features the masterly talents of Joe Chindamo Keyboards, Mark Domoney on guitar, Virgil Donati on Drums and Steve Hadley on Bass". This album was originally issued on vinyl in 1987 and reissued on the Vorticity label in 2004. VHR by A.O.O.F.C. Check out the brilliant and masterful "Gambale, Donati, Fierabracci Made In Australia" album @ GAMB/DON/FIER/MIA [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 119 Mb]
Speaking about Australian music, has anybody any info on Simon Patterson's "Developmentals" album? Many thanks - A.O.O.F.C


1. Slaves (V.Donati)
2. Magnetic Hell (V.Donati)
3. Fat Pig Jig (M.Domoney)
4. Studio Politics (M.Domoney)
5. Celebration (J.Chindamo)
6. Surface Tension (M.Domoney)
7. In A Space (J.Chindamo)
8. Blistered Lips (J.Chindamo)
9. Modern World (M.Domoney)
10. Cruise Missile (S.Morse)


Mark Domoney - Guitars
Steve Hadley - Bass
Joe Chindamo - Keyboards
Virgil Donati - Drums


Virgil was born and raised in Melbourne Australia. From the time he could barely utter a word, he keenly observed the regular band rehearsals his father held in the house. Virgil’s interest in music and instinct for rhythm had been apparent to his parents for some time. They began considering a musical path for him, and one month prior to turning 3, he found himself sitting behind his first real drumset. Joining his first rock band and signing with his first major label at age 15 was surely the right choice for the young drummer. The band was called `Taste’. This was to give Virgil his early experiences in the studio, with three releases by the band. The relentless touring also allowed him to cultivate and improve his skills where it counts – on stage.At the age of 16, Virgil turned pro to enable him to tour and focus on music, and has since devoted his whole life and soul to his art. The motivation has been his endless and restless pursuit to express himself through his playing. At age 19 Virgil traveled to the U.S. to further study drumming, and also took classes in composition and arranging. Returning to Australia at age 21 his career was alight. He was in demand playing many genres of music, including jazz, rock, pop, theatre and studio work. He also worked with many visiting artists, including jazz pianist George Cables, vocalist Mark Murphy, Branford Marsalis and Kenny Kirkland, Melissa Etheridge. His next taste of commercial success came in the early 90’s with Southern Sons. The band reached double platinum with their debut album. At the same time, throughout the mid 80’s and 90’s, Virgil’s interest in progressive music was exploited with several bands he initiated, most notably Loose Change, and later, On The Virg. In 1996 Virgil uprooted and relocated in the U.S.A., in an attempt to expand onto the world stage. It has since proved to be a very rewarding and productive time. Recording and touring with the likes of Planet X, Steve Vai, CAB, Scott Henderson, Steve Walsh, Tribal Tech, Frank Gambale, Derek Sherinian, Mark Boals, Dave Stewart, Mick Jagger, Josh Stone, and many others, he continues to push the limits of the instrument to astonishing new levels. © 1997 - 2011 Drummerworld.com - Bernhard Castiglioni - Switzerland - all rights reserved http://www.drummerworld.com/drummers/Virgil_Donati.html


Marc Norgaard

Marc Norgaard - Tolerance - 2007 - Call Sign Records

Drumming wizard Marc Norgaard delivers an album of all-original instrumental tracks demonstrating his uncanny ability to weave styles and find new directions in music. Supported by two of the top guitarists in the world for the genre, Brett Garsed (Planet X, Virgil Donati), and Frank Gambale (Chick Corea Elektric Band), along with pianist Steve Hunt (Allan Holdsworth), and bass phenomenon Dave DeMarco, Marc takes a creative new musical direction that will delight fans of Progressive Rock as well as Jazz Fusion. National Guitar Workshop star Tobias Hurwitz makes a guest appearance. Marc's drumming on this CD ranges from subtle, sensitive jazz moves on the riveted ride cymbal all the way to heavy-hitting double-kick patterns. He moves through odd-time signatures with ease, keeping the tracks exciting with innovative drum fills that ooze with spontaneity and style, allowing his compositions to shine. Garsed's lyrical and melodic lead playing is highlighted against the tight, explorative rhythms produced by Norgaard and DeMarco. Fusion legends Hunt and Gambale are featured more prominently on the lighter tunes, rounding out the album with solos both beautiful and chop-blazing. Norgaard's own solo's are brief and tasteful with an astonishing display of technical prowess, mastery of odd-time signatures, and the double-kick drums; all with a freedom normally only heard from avant-garde jazz players. A veritable schooling in technique from these fine musicians will satisfy even the stoutest of instrumental music fans. If you are looking for new musical avenues, this CD belongs in your cart! © http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/marcnorgaard#

It’s almost ironic that Marc Norgaard looks so gracious and contented in the photographs that adorn this album. The Baltimore-based drummer, whose accolades include session work within San Francisco’s fusion community and a short stint at Berklee College of Music, has opted to expand his repertoire by releasing an album that merges his jazz background with a strong nod toward progressive rock. The result is an album that will delight some, confuse many, and alienate whoever is left. Herein lies the aforementioned irony: playing music of the type presented on Tolerance is often a thankless endeavor. Regardless, Norgaard’s enthusiasm comes through unhindered. Starting off with the album’s title track, guitarist Brett Garsed and bassist Dave Demarco immediately begin dueling in a manner reminiscent of King Crimson’s Robert Fripp and Tony Levin, circa Discipline. The track progresses as Norgaard lays down a series of complex rhythms and fills behind a distorted main riff that hearkens back to early ’80s Rush (particularly Permanent Waves and Moving Pictures). A more laid back side to Norgaard’s writing comes through on “Goes To Reason,” which features a stellar performance by pianist Steve Hunt. Beginning the piece as more of an accessory to Garsed and DeMarco, Hunt steps forward at about 2:20 with some stunning keyboard runs and odd phrasing that elevate this track to a higher level. “Last Leg Home” is where things take a decidedly more “fusion” approach, and with good reason: it is the first of two songs that feature jazz great Frank Gambale on guitar. Gambale’s riffs and solos are rather consistent with his efforts over the past two decades, which melds rather nicely with the song’s more subdued atmosphere. “Papaya Dream” serves as another masterful melding of Crimson-esque phrasing with melodies and rhythmic play that pay homage to Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart, respectively. Tolerance takes a slight turn with “Summer Storm,” the second song that employs the talents of Gambale. This track is considerably more blues-based and looser in structure, with Gambale emulating soulful cries and moans as Norgaard, DeMarco, and Hunt provide a solid back-line. “Seventh Mile Fog” features the unhinged guitar acrobatics of Tobias Hurwitz, who combines Middle Eastern melodies with more traditional rock fare to simultaneously amaze and befuddle the listener with his odd transitions and impressive speed. The album ends with a solo piece entitled “Retrospective,” where Norgaard takes turns on guitar, bass, and drums to create a ballad that hints slightly at Steve Morse or Joe Satriani. While the performance is comparatively restrained, Norgaard still impresses with the range and diversity of his musical skill. The cover art for this disc is strangely revealing, as it portrays a very scientific analysis of a lone tree on a desert landscape. The illustration becomes quite appropriate when considering Norgaard’s approach to composition and performance. By nature, jazz fusion or progressive rock are very precise art forms. The complex structures and precise execution are well depicted by the cover’s angular shapes and measurements. But there is always an organic element, and the tree on a barren plane seems to serve as a metaphor for something distinctly human. Given that meaningful (rather than simply provocative) cover art is becoming a thing of the past, it is refreshing to see that Norgaard won’t settle for less. In examining his own artistic vision, Norgaard describes the music on Tolerance as an “exploratory, intense and modern blend of organic prog-rock and jazz fusion.” In other words, few people outside of musician’s circles will ever take the time to appreciate its depth and complexity. This state of affairs is especially frustrating, because there is plenty here that would appeal to folks brave enough to turn off the radio for fifteen minutes and take in something different for awhile. Nonetheless, I have hope that the enthusiasm of a few will inspire him to even higher levels of composition and performance. By & © Chris Alfano, Monday, May 11th, 2009 © 2010, Stereo Subversion, LLC http://stereosubversion.com/reviews/marc-norgaard-tolerance

Marc labels this album an "Exploratory, intense, modern blend of "Organic Prog-Rock" and Jazz Fusion". Frank Gambale and Brett Garsed play guitar on the album. Dave DeMarco plays bass. These guys don't normally waste their time on rubbish fusion. Not sure what "Organic Prog-Rock" means, but if you like music in the style of Planet X and Chick Corea with great guitar and percussion, then you may like "Tolerance". Check out future solo releases from Marc, and support good original jazz rock and fusion [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 104 Mb]


1 Tolerance 5:45
2 Goes To Reason 4:52
3 Day In The Desert 4:28
4 Last Leg Home 4:32
5 Papaya Dream 3:38
6 Summer Storm 7:01
7 Seventh Mile Fog 5:23
8 Pirate Sized Hangover 5:19
9 Retrospective 3:25

All tracks composed by Marc Norgaard


Brett Garsed - Guitar on Tracks 1,2,3,5,8
Frank Gambale - Guitar on Tracks 4,6
Tobias Hurwitz - Guitar on Track 7
Dave DeMarco - Bass on Tracks 1,2,3,4,5,7,8: Baritone Guitar, First Solo on Track 6: All instruments on Track 9
Steve Hunt - Piano on Tracks 2,4,6
Marc Norgaard - Drums, Percussion: Piano on Tracks 3,7: Additional Rhythm Guitar on Track 5


Marc Norgaard is a drummer, composer, clinician and private drum instructor. He has worked with many world-class artists, including: Frank Gambale (Chick Corea Elektric Band), Brett Garsed (Planet X), Steve Hunt (Allan Holdsworth), Jon Evans (Tori Amos), Michael Angelo Batio, Dave Martone, Tobias Hurwitz (National Guitar Workshop), Jude Gold (Guitar Player Magazine, BX3), Matthias IA Eklundh, Alexis Harte (signed to Lionsgate Entertainment) and many others. Marc has been featured in Recording Magazine in an article about session drumming on the web, and his recent CD release has been featured in Guitar World Magazine as well as Modern Drummer Magazine Online. Marc has studied at the Berklee College of Music in Boston and the Drummers Collective in New York City, as well as privately with Joe Morello (Dave Brubeck), Pat Petrillo, and John Xepoleas. Marc was born and raised in Berkeley, California. His interest in drums was first kindled at age seven while living abroad in Brazil. Marc joined his first performing band at age 13, and has been dedicated to perfecting his art since that time. Marc now resides in Baltimore, Maryland, where he has access to the bustling New York City club and recording scene, as well as to the Washington D.C. circuit. He was one of the pioneers of drum tracking over the internet, and since opening his own studio several years ago Marc has done hundreds of recordings for various artists, producers, and commercial music companies. Marc is also currently the drummer for the Tobias Hurwitz Band out of Baltimore, as well as an instructor at the National Guitar Workshop Day Jams program, and a private teacher. He composed his own CD of progressive rock and fusion tunes entitled "Tolerance" which was released in 2007 on the Call Sign Records label. Marc uses and endorses Evans Drumheads, Puresound Snare Wires, and Craviotto Snare Drums © http://www.marcnorgaard.com/EPK/bio.html

Allan Holdsworth

Allan Holdsworth - REH Video (Audio Tracks) - 1992 - REH

"Django Reinhardt, Charlie Christian, Jimmy Raney, Wes Montgomery in fact most of the great guitar players; I loved them all. The newer guys: John McLaughlin, Pat Metheny, John Scofield, Scott Henderson and Frank Gambale... They're all amazing with very different musical personalities. Of course there's Michael Brecker and Keith Jarrett, but they don't play the guitar (thank God!). I think I've been influenced by all instruments. I was influenced a lot by horn players, from Charlie Parker, Cannonball Adderly, John Coltrane on to Michael Brecker. There's many, many more that you could fill this whole page with people that have brought great gifts to the world of music." - Allan Holdsworth on his influences

One of the all-time greats of fusion guitar, Allan Holdsworth has played with many great artists including Ian Carr's Nucleus, Tony William's Lifetime, UK, Jean Luc Ponty, Bill Bruford, Gong, Level 42, and Soft Machine. He has influenced countless others, including musicians like Frank Zappa, Eddie Van Halen, Yngwie Malmsteen, Alex Lifeson and Steve Vai. This audio CD is part of an instructional video released by Allan Holdsworth. He plays seven electrifying tunes with his band, keyboardist Steve Hunt, bassist Skuli Sverrisson, and drummer Chad Wackerman. Listen to Allan's "Atavachron" album, Chad Wackerman's "Forty Reasons" album and Steve Hunt's "Live at the PCA". Allan Holdsworth's "Hard Hat Area" album features bassist Skuli Sverrissen. Check this blog for more Allan Holdsworth related releases. Also read about Steve Hunt @ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Hunt#Studio_Albums Chad Wackerman @ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chad_Wackerman and Skuli Sverrissen @ http://lepoissonrouge.com/events/artist/2221


1 Funnels
2 Proto Cosmos
3 Looking Glass
4 The Things You See
5 Tell Me
6 Zones
7 House Of Mirrors

All tracks composed by Allan Holdsworth except Track 2 by Alan Pasqua, and Track 5 by Chad Wackerman


Allan Holdsworth - Guitar
Skuli Sverrissen - Bass
Steve Hunt - Keyboards
Chad Wackerman- Drums


Guitarist Allan Holdsworth is widely considered to be one of the finest instrumentalists in all of jazz fusion, yet has never truly received the recognition that he so rightfully deserves. Born on August 6, 1946, in Bradford, Yorkshire, Holdsworth was originally taught music by his father, who was a pianist. Holdsworth didn't pick up the guitar until he was 17 years old, but learned the instrument quickly. After playing in local outfits (and learning the violin), Holdsworth relocated to London, where he was taken under the wing of saxophonist Ray Warleigh. By 1972, Holdsworth had joined progressive rockers Tempest, appearing on the group's self-titled debut a year later before joining Soft Machine in December 1973 -- and radically changing the latter outfit's sound to guitar-based fusion in the process. U.S. drummer Tony Williams discovered Holdsworth around this time, which led to an invite for the up-and-coming guitarist to replace John McLaughlin in Williams' Lifetime project -- Holdsworth abruptly left Soft Machine in March of 1975, subsequently appearing on the Williams recordings Believe It and Million Dollar Legs. But Holdsworth's union with Williams was a brief one, as the guitarist joined up with French-English prog rockers Gong for such albums as 1976's Gazeuse! (released as Expresso in the U.S.) and 1978's Expresso II, in addition to guesting on recordings by Jean-Luc Ponty, Bill Bruford, Gordon Beck, Jack Bruce, and UK. Also in the late '70s, Holdsworth launched a solo career, which over the years has seen the release of nearly 20 albums (a few standouts include 1983's Road Games, 1985's Metal Fatigue, 1994's Hard Hat Area, and 2000's The Sixteen Men of Tain), as the guitarist has been joined by such acclaimed musicians as Paul Williams (a former bandmate of Holdsworth's in Tempest), Gary Husband, Chad Wackerman, Gary Husband, Jimmy Johnson, Steve Hunt, and Alan Pasqua, among others. In the mid-'80s, Holdsworth was one of the first musicians to use a Synthaxe, a guitar that contained a breath controller that proved to be a cross between a synthesizer, guitar, and saxophone (Holdsworth was awarded Best Guitar Synthesist from 1989 through 1994 in the readers' poll of Guitar Player magazine). In the '90s, Holdsworth also created his own signature guitar model with the Carvin company. In the mid-'90s, Holdsworth briefly shifted away from his fusion originals and recorded an album with longtime musical partner Gordon Beck that dipped into jazz standards. The Sixteen Men of Tain (2000) marked another shift, in that it was the first Holdsworth release to feature an all-acoustic rhythm section. This was followed in 2002 by All Night Wrong, his first official live release. Then! Live in Tokyo was next, featuring Holdsworth's 1990 live band, which was followed by Against the Clock, a career retrospective, in 2005. © Greg Prato © 2012 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/artist/allan-holdsworth-p6754/biography


Brian Auger

Brian Auger - Search Party - 1981 - Headfirst

Of all Brian Auger's recordings, Search Party may be the most aptly titled of them all. Recorded in San Francisco between 1977 and 1981, Search Party is a perfect example of the restlessness of Brian Auger at the turn of the two decades. On the one hand, his embrace of new keyboard technology made many things possible. Auger was capable of sounding like the keyboardist and a large horn section all by himself. As is evidenced here, his struggle was to embrace the new advances and utilize them as fully as possible without them swallowing his work whole. He walks that tightrope like Karl Wallenda. With the exception of the deep, funky fusion freak-out that is "Red Alert," Auger wrote virtually everything here. His compositions ramble from one side of the sonic spectrum to another. On "Sea of Tranquility," his three-chord intro that weaves in the bassline just ahead of the beat for a languid, shimmering effect is contrasted with the elegant, rhythmic fury of "Planet Earth Calling," and the sparse, Weather Report-like grooves in "Voyager 3." Speaking of this latter track (whose riff had been an Auger trademark for a decade by then), it's amazing to see the accolades showered on Weather Report for their innovation, when Auger was there so much earlier and so much deeper. This cut is just one example. This may be an exercise in restlessness, but clearly, Auger was never more focused on finding the right grooves than he was here. © Thom Jurek © 2012 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/album/search-party-r134780/review

Brian Auger, the "Grandfather of Acid Jazz", came out of the British Blues scene playing with artists like John Mayall. He was strongly influenced by organ players like Groove Holmes, Charles Earland, Jimmy Smith, Jack McDuff, Don Patterson, and many others. However, in his own right, Brian is equally as talented as any of these artists. In his early career, during the mid '60's in England, Brian was a "straight up jazz player". Later in his career he was accused by many music critics and fans of selling out, after he veered his music in a more R&B/jazz direction. At various times, he played with artists like Passport, the Average White Band and Les McCann and Eddie Harris. "Brian Auger is one of the best B-3 artists I have ever heard in my life. His technique is awesome and the amount of energy he generates is unparalleled and relentless. He is a tremendous talent with a wonderfully warm and compassionate personality, a combination that is hard to beat. He deserves all the accolades."- Herbie Hancock: "My Favorite rock artists are Van Morrison, Bonnie Raitt, Brian Auger and Loudon Wainwright."- Mose Allison: "Search Party" has been dismissed by some critics as being too commercial and "poppy" but it is still a great jazz rock album full of great probing grooves. Brian Auger has always tried to embrace the musical zeitgeist and has never sold out to commercialism. His music remains original and captivating, and he is one of the world's greatest keyboard players. The album is HR by A.O.O.F.C. Listen to Julie Driscoll/Brian Auger & The Trinity's "Streetnoise" album, Brian Auger's Oblivion Express' "Reinforcements" album, and Karma Auger's great "Blue Groove" album. Search this blog for related releases. [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 81.4 Mb]

N.B: A little note for Steely Dan fans. One of Brian Auger's favourite musicians is the late English multi-instrumentalist, Victor Feldman, who played on at least five Steely Dan albums, and one of Brian's favourite albums is "Aja".


1 Planet Earth Calling
2 Red Alert
3 Sea of Tranquility


4 Voyager 3
5 I'm Gone
6 Golden Gate

7 Black Octopus [Bonus Track on 2006 CD issue]

Tracks 1,3,4,6,& 7 composed by Brian Auger: Track 2 composed by Tony Newton: Track 5 composed by Mitch Tubman


Brian Auger - Moog Synthesizer, Hammond Organ, Piano, Electric Piano, Prophet 5 Synthesizer, Freeman String Symphoniser, Cabasa, Cowbell, Go Go Bell, Tambourine, Vocals, Background Vocals
George Doering, Ho Young Kim - Guitar
Paul Jackson, David McDaniels, Steve Evans - Bass
Patrick Gleeson - Synthesizer, Programming
Terry Baker, Michael Barsimanto, Mike Clark, Dave Crigger - Drums
Tom Donlinger - Drums, Gong, Wind Gong, Waterphone
Alex Ligertwood - Vocals, Background Vocals


Brian Auger was raised in London, where he took up the keyboards as a child and began to hear jazz by way of the American Armed Forces Network and an older brother's record collection. By his teens, he was playing piano in clubs, and by 1962 he had formed the Brian Auger Trio with bass player Rick Laird and drummer Phil Knorra. In 1964, he won first place in the categories of "New Star" and "Jazz Piano" in a reader's poll in the Melody Maker music paper, but the same year he abandoned jazz for a more R&B-oriented approach and expanded his group to include John McLaughlin (guitar) and Glen Hughes (baritone saxophone) as the Brian Auger Trinity. This group split up at the end of 1964, and Auger moved over to Hammond B-3 organ, teaming with bass player Rick Brown and drummer Mickey Waller. After a few singles, he recorded his first LP on a session organized to spotlight blues singer Sonny Boy Williamson that featured his group, saxophonists Joe Harriott and Alan Skidmore, and guitarist Jimmy Page; it was Don't Send Me No Flowers, released in 1968. By mid-1965, Auger's band had grown to include guitarist Vic Briggs and vocalists Long John Baldry, Rod Stewart, and Julie Driscoll, and was renamed Steampacket. More a loosely organized musical revue than a group, Steampacket lasted a year before Stewart and Baldry left and the band split. Auger retained Driscoll and brought in bass player Dave Ambrose and drummer Clive Thacker to form a unit that was billed as Julie Driscoll, Brian Auger and the Trinity. Their first album, Open, was released in 1967 on Marmalade Records (owned by Auger's manager, Giorgio Gomelsky), but they didn't attract attention on record until the release of their single, "This Wheel's on Fire," (music and lyrics by Bob Dylan and Rick Danko) in the spring of 1968, which preceded the appearance of the song on the Band's Music from Big Pink album. The disc hit the top five in the U.K., after which Open belatedly reached the British charts. Auger and the Trinity recorded the instrumental album Definitely What! (1968) without Driscoll, then brought her back for the double-LP, Streetnoise (1968), which reached the U.S. charts on Atco Records shortly after a singles compilation, Jools & Brian, gave them their American debut on Capitol in 1969. Driscoll quit during a U.S. tour, but the Trinity stayed together long enough to record Befour (1970), which charted in the U.S. on RCA Records, before disbanding in July 1970. Auger put together a new band to play less commercial jazz-rock and facetiously called it the Oblivion Express, since he didn't think it would last; instead, it became his perennial band name. The initial unit was a quartet filled out by guitarist Jim Mullen, bass player Barry Dean, and drummer Robbie McIntosh. Their initial LP, Brian Auger's Oblivion Express, was released in 1971, followed later the same year by A Better Land, but their first U.S. chart LP was Second Wind in June 1972, the album that marked the debut of singer Alex Ligertwood with the band. Personnel changes occurred frequently, but the Oblivion Express continued to figure in the U.S. charts consistently over the next several years with Closer to It! (August 1973), Straight Ahead (March 1974), Live Oblivion, Vol. 1 (December 1974), Reinforcements (October 1975), and Live Oblivion, Vol. 2 (March 1976). Meanwhile, Auger had moved to the U.S. in 1975, eventually settling in the San Francisco Bay area. In the face of declining sales, he switched to Warner Bros. Records for Happiness Heartaches, which charted in February 1977. Encore, released in April 1978, was a live reunion with Julie Tippetts (née Driscoll) that marked the end of Auger's association with major record labels, after which he dissolved the Oblivion Express and recorded less often. In 1990, he teamed up with former Animals singer Eric Burdon, and the two toured together during the next four years, releasing Access All Areas together in 1993. In 1995, Auger put together a new Oblivion Express. As of 2000, the lineup consisted of his daughter, Savannah, on vocals, Chris Clermont on guitar, Dan Lutz on bass, and his son Karma on drums. This group issued the album Voices of Other Times on Miramar Records one week before Auger's 61st birthday. © William Ruhlmann © 2010 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:fpfrxqr5ldhe~T1


Steve Khan

Steve Khan - Lets Call This - 1991 - Bluemoon

Best-known for his fusion recordings, Steve Khan (ten years after recording the purely acoustic solo date Evidence) stretches out on this pure jazz date. Accompanied by bassist Ron Carter and drummer Al Foster, Khan explores a variety of superior jazz standards (including songs by Thelonious Monk, Wayne Shorter, Larry Young, Freddie Hubbard and Lee Morgan) along with his own "Buddy System." This is one of Steve Khan's finest recordings to date and is highly recommended to those listeners not familiar with this side of his musical personality. © Scott Yanow © 2012 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/album/lets-call-this-r142164

Steve Khan began playing guitar when he was 19, after discovering that drumming was not his forte. As well as a considerable solo output, he is now regarded as one of the great session jazz guitarists, and a giant of progressive jazz and jazz fusion. He has performed with jazz and rock artists like Donald Fagen, (appearing on Steely Dan's Aja and Gaucho albums), Miles Davis, James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Chaka Kahn, Lou Rawls, and Quincey Jones. " Lets Call This" has got to be one of his best albums. It is a stunning recording with Steve Khan's own progressive jazz style that is a joy to listen to. He is backed up by two of the greatest jazz musicians in the business, bassist Ron Carter, and drummer Al Foster. This album is VHR by A.O.O.F.C. Check out Steve's "Arrows" and Coryell / Khan's "Two For The Road" albums on this blog, and listen to Steve's superb "The Green Field", "Eyewitness", and "The Blue Man" albums. Also check out Ron Carter's "Telephone" and Al Foster's "Brandyn" albums [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 108 Mb]


1 Let's Call This - Thelonius Monk
2 Masqualero - Wayne Shorter
3 Backup - Larry Young
4 Out Of This World - Harold Arlen, Johnny Mercer
5 Played Twice - Thelonius Monk
6 Little Sunflower - Freddie Hubbard
7 Buddy System - Steve Khan
8 Street Of Dreams - Victor Young
9 Mr.Kenyatta - Lee Morgan


Steve Khan - Guitar
Ron Carter - Acoustic Bass
Al Foster - Drums


Steve Khan (born April 28, 1947) is an American jazz guitarist. Born in Los Angeles, California, Khan is known for his work with artists such as Steely Dan, Billy Joel, Michael Franks, Hubert Laws, Billy Cobham, Jack DeJohnette, James Brown, Maynard Ferguson, and Weather Report. In 1977, he toured with the CBS Jazz All Stars in Japan, and led a band called Eyewitness that featured musicians such as Steve Jordan, Anthony Jackson and Manolo Badrena. Khan is the author of five books on jazz music: Pentatonic Khancepts, Contemporary Chord Khancepts, The Wes Montgomary Guitar Folio, Pat Martino - The Early Years, and Guitar Workshop Series. His album Borrowed Time (TIEMPO PRESTADO) was a nominee for the 2007 50th Grammy Awards in the Best Latin Jazz Album (vocal or instrumental) category. During the 1980s and 90s he was a member of the group Elements. He is the son of lyricist Sammy Cahn


The son of lyricist Sammy Cahn, Steve Khan is best-known for his fusion records, but has proven on a few occasions that he can also play more straight-ahead. He originally played piano and drums, not starting on guitar until he was 20. After graduating from U.C.L.A. in 1969, Khan moved to New York and worked steadily in jazz, pop, and R&B settings, including with Maynard Ferguson, Buddy Rich, the Brecker Brothers, Joe Zawinul's Weather Update, and with fellow guitarist Larry Coryell. In 1981, he formed the quartet Eyewitness, which worked on an occasional basis throughout the 1980s. Steve Khan's most intriguing recordings are a 1980 solo exploration of Thelonious Monk tunes for Novus and a trio outing for Bluemoon named Let's Call This (1991). © Scott Yanow © 2012 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/artist/steve-khan-p6892/biography


In a special issue of Japan's "JAZZ LIFE" magazine, they selected the 22 All-Time Greatest Jazz Guitarists. Of course, legends like Charlie Christian, Django Reinhardt, Wes Montgomery, Kenny Burrell, and Jim Hall were included alongside more recent giants George Benson, Pat Martino, Larry Coryell, and John McLaughlin. But right there amongst contemporaries John Abercrombie, Pat Metheny, John Scofield, Mike Stern and Bill Frisell was Steve Khan! Testament to a large body of work which now spans more than 30 years. Hard to believe this dream began at a rather late age with Wes Montgomery held as the model to which to aspire. Steve admits that, when he was a teenager, "I was a terrible drummer with no musical training. I had developed a love for the guitar, and when I was 19 I switched instruments. I decided that I would not make the same mistakes I had made with the drums and studied hard in college along with private lessons from Ron Anthony." During these years, Khan always found himself in fast company and, from such situations he learned, developed and survived. By the time he graduated from U.C.L.A., in 1969, he felt ready to make the move to New York City. From this point forward, so much of Steve's career is well documented. In 1974, he performed in one of the first contemporary jazz guitar duos with Larry Coryell. During this same period, he became a key member of the Brecker Bros. Band. His first recordings as a leader were a trio of well-received albums for Columbia Records titled: "TIGHTROPE"('77), "THE BLUE MAN"('78), and, "ARROWS"('79). These recordings featured Michael and Randy Brecker, David Sanborn, Don Grolnick, Will Lee, Steve Gadd, Mike Mainieri and others. In 1994, Sony Music/Columbia released a CD compilation drawn from these three LPs titled, "THE COLLECTION." In 1980, Steve began a great transition when he recorded a brilliant solo acoustic guitar album, "EVIDENCE," which paid tribute to his earliest jazz inspirations and served to establish him as one of the great interpreters of the music of Thelonious Monk. Between 1981 and 1985, he worked and recorded steadily with his quartet, Eyewitness, which included Anthony Jackson, Manolo Badrena, and Steve Jordan. Together they made three recordings: "EYEWITNESS"('81), "MODERN TIMES"/"BLADES"('82), and "CASA LOCO"('83). This groundbreaking group, and its recorded work, would come to be regarded as among the most innovative of its time! During 1984, Steve teamed with Steely Dan's Donald Fagen to interpret Thelonious Monk's "Reflections" for the "THAT'S THE WAY I FEEL NOW" recording which was a tribute to Monk and his compositions. When Eyewitness needed a break, Khan joined Joe Zawinul's WEATHER UPDATE for its one and only tour in '86. This was followed by an innovative duet recording with keyboardist Rob Mounsey. The Grammy-nominated CD was titled "LOCAL COLOR" and was released in '87. In 1989, Eyewitness was resurrected with Dave Weckl replacing Steve Jordan for the "PUBLIC ACCESS" ('90) CD. Since that time, Steve has added two highly acclaimed straight-ahead jazz recordings featuring Ron Carter and Al Foster. "LET'S CALL THIS" and "HEADLINE" were released in '91 and '92 respectively. In '94, Steve found himself back in the company of Anthony Jackson and Manolo Badrena, adding Dennis Chambers and Michael Brecker for "CROSSINGS," which is dedicated to the memory of Steve's late father, lyricist Sammy Cahn.Steve has contributed his talents to several special projects. His unique medley of two George Harrison tunes graced Mike Mainieri's NYC Records "COME TOGETHER," A Guitar Tribute to the Beatles. Here Steve was accompanied by Marc Johnson, Peter Erskine, and Nana Vasconcelos. Special Olympics and the Holiday Season brought Steve together with the Brecker Bros. for a Salsa-styled interpretation of his father's one Christmas song, "The Christmas Waltz," which appeared on the "JAZZ TO THE WORLD" CD. 1996 saw Steve teamed with Argentine vocalist Gabriela Anders, Rob Mounsey, and, New York Salsa All-Stars Rubén Rodríguez, Marc Quiñones, and Papo Pepin to contribute "Don't Worry Baby"("No Te Preocupes Nena") to "WOULDN'T IT BE NICE." a tribute to Brian Wilson. Recorded in 1996, "GOT MY MENTAL" brings Steve together for the first time with John Patitucci on acoustic bass and Jack DeJohnette on drums. The CD once again finds him using his unique playing and arranging perspective to interpret the works of Wayne Shorter, Ornette Coleman, Lee Morgan, Eddie Harris, and standards by Rodgers & Hammerstein as well as Steve's father with Jimmy Van Heusen. The latter is a stunningly beautiful rendering of the Sinatra classic "The Last Dance." On four of the eight tracks, the trio is joined at times by percussionists Bobby Allende, Marc Quiñones, and Don Alias. Brasilian percussionist Café lends his special talents to Steve's romantic journey through "I Have Dreamed." The intensity and creativity brought to the sessions shows Steve's unfailing desire to meet new challenges and explore them. These qualities cause his name to always be mentioned when discussions of contemporary jazz guitar are carried on. 1997 saw Steve reunite with Rob Mounsey to record "YOU ARE HERE." It had been nearly 10 years since the release of "LOCAL COLOR" and the duo was anxious to get back at it again. Like the prior CD, when these two tremendous musicians get together the music tends to defy categorization, but the new recording seemed to sit somewhere between a contemporary version of Latin jazz and World Music jazz. Also in keeping with their previous work, Steve is again heard on only acoustic guitars. Reminding us all, that he is one of the instruments most unique stylists, playing melodies and solos with a touch and phrasing all his own. One brand new dimension for "YOU ARE HERE" was the presence of Latin percussion virtuoso Marc Quiñones. Marc brought his spirit and power to signature compositions by Khan-Mounsey like "Clafouti," "Platanos Maduros," and "Peanut Soup." Released in September of 1998, the recording leaves little doubt that Steve and Rob are blazing a trail of their own making. August of '98, Steve toured Japan as part of Dave Samuels' "Tribute to Cal Tjader" Group. Apart from the tremendous reaction the group received, the tour was to have more far reaching consequences as it was here that plans were made for Steve, Dave Samuels and Dave Valentín to become the co-leaders of the reformed Caribbean Jazz Project. Together, the group recorded "NEW HORIZONS"(2000) was released on Concord Picante "PARAÍSO"(2001) both were released on Concord Picante and served to redefine just what the role of the guitar could be in Latin Jazz. However, in January of '02, citing conflicts over the group's direction, Steve chose to leave the group, and pursue other interests. After a nine year absence from recording as a leader, Steve entered Avatar Studios in May of 2005, accompanied once again by John Patitucci and Jack DeJohnette to record "THE GREEN FIELD." The return of longtime colleague, Manolo Badrena on percussion was most welcomed by all fans who appreciate his unique presence. The 18:05 title track is one of the absolute highpoints in Steve's long recording career. In addtition to the 6 quartet pieces, the basic "trio" was joined by Ralph Irizarry(timbal) and Roberto Quintero(conga & percussion) for Latin treatments of tunes such as: "Riot"(Herbie Hancock); the standard, "You Stepped Out of a Dream"; "Nefertiti"(Wayne Shorter) and, a special tribute, composed by Steve, and dedicated to both Tito Puente and Willie Bobo, which features incredible solos from Roberto, Ralph, and Jack, and is titled, "Cosecha lo que has sembrado." 2007 saw the release of the Grammy nominated "BORROWED TIME" and, for the first time since "CROSSINGS," the cover featured the beautiful artwork of the late Jean-Michel Folon. The recording is an extension of Steve's work with both John Patitucci and Jack DeJohnette and attempts to fulfill the promise of "THE GREEN FIELD." Manolo Badrena is on hand again, as are Ralph Irizarry(timbal) and Roberto Quintero(conga & percussion). All these players were joined by Bob Mintzer(bass clarinet) and tabla master Badal Roy for Steve's very original "El Faquir" which seeks to blend Jazz; Indian and Latin genres in a most surprising way. Steve was also able to present arrangements of "Have You Met Miss Jones?" and his own "Face Value" in tribute to Clare Fischer's harmonies. These spectacular tracks feature old friends: Randy Brecker(flügelhorn), Rob Mounsey(keys.), Rubén Rodríguez(baby bass & elec. bass) and, Marc Quiñones(timbal) & Bobby Allende(conga). After years of bootlegs and illegal downloads, 2008 brings with it the release of the 2-CD set, "THE SUITCASE." As was the case for the prior two CDs, the initial releases were on: 55 Records(Japan); Tone Center Records(USA) and ESC Records(Germany/Europe). Alongside longtime bandmates, Anthony Jackson and Dennis Chambers, the trio was originally recorded by WDR for a live radio broadcast from Köln, Germany in 1994. With the superb sound quality and the spectacular performances, this CD is already being hailed as: "One of the greatest live recordings of all-time!!!" Throughout his long and distinguished career, Steve has found time to lend his talents to recordings by such diverse artists as: Miles Davis, Steely Dan, James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan, Quincy Jones, Lou Rawls, Eddie Palmieri, Gil Evans, Freddie Hubbard, the Brecker Bros., Steps Ahead, among others (too numerous to list). He has also produced recordings for fellow guitarists Larry Coryell, Mike Stern, Biréli Lagrène, and Bill Connors, as well as pianist Eliane Elias. In addition, he has published five highly-regarded books: "WES MONTGOMERY GUITAR FOLIO", "PAT MARTINO-The Early Years", "GUITAR WORKSHOP SERIES-Steve Khan"(this book really functions as an Eyewitness Songbook), and most recently, "CONTEMPORARY CHORD KHANCEPTS." 2002 saw the long-awaited publication of Steve's "PENTATONIC KHANCEPTS" which is intended to serve as the linear adjunct to its chordal predecessor. While continuing to perform in clubs and concert halls throughout the U.S., Europe, Central and South America, and Japan, Steve has also become one of the most in-demand music clinicians and teachers. © www.stevekhan.com/khanbio.htm


The epitome of class and elegance, though not stuffy, Ron Carter has been a world class bassist and cellist since the '60s. He's among the greatest accompanists of all time, but has also done many albums exhibiting his prodigious technique. He's a brilliant rhythmic and melodic player, who uses everything in the bass and cello arsenal; walking lines, thick, full, prominent notes and tones, drones and strumming effects, and melody snippets. His bowed solos are almost as impressive as those done with his fingers. Carter has been featured in clothing, instrument, and pipe advertisements; he's close to being the bass equivalent of a Duke Ellington in his mix of musical and extra-musical interests. Carter's nearly as accomplished in classical music as jazz, and has performed with symphony orchestras all over the world. He's almost exclusively an acoustic player; he did play electric for a short time in the late '60s and early '70s, but hasn't used it in many, many years. Carter began playing cello at ten. But when his family moved from Ferndale, MI, to Detroit, Carter ran into problems with racial stereotypes regarding the cello and switched to bass. He played in the Eastman School's Philharmonic Orchestra, and gained his degree in 1959. He moved to New York and played in Chico Hamilton's quintet with Eric Dolphy, while also enrolling at the Manhattan School of Music. Carter earned his master's degree in 1961. After Hamilton returned to the West Coast in 1960, Carter stayed in New York and played with Dolphy and Don Ellis, cutting his first records with them. He worked with Randy Weston and Thelonious Monk, while playing and recording with Jaki Byard in the early '60s. Carter also toured and recorded with Bobby Timmons' trio, and played with Cannonball Adderley. He joined Art Farmer's group for a short time in 1963, before he was tapped to become a member of Miles Davis' band. Carter remained with Davis until 1968, appearing on every crucial mid-'60s recording and teaming with Herbie Hancock and Tony Williams to craft a new, freer rhythm section sound. The high-profile job led to the reputation that's seen Carter become possibly the most recorded bassist in jazz history. He's been heard on an unprecedented number of recordings; some sources claim 500, others have estimated it to be as many as 1,000. The list of people he's played with is simply too great to be accurately and completely cited. Carter's been a member of New York Jazz Sextet and New York Jazz Quartet, V.S.O.P. Tour, and Milestone Jazzstars, and was in one of the groups featured in the film Round Midnight in 1986. He's led his own bands at various intervals since 1972, using a second bassist to keep time and establish harmony so he's free to provide solos. Carter even invented his own instrument, a piccolo bass. Carter's also contributed many arrangements and compositions to both his groups and other bands. He's done duo recordings with either Cedar Walton or Jim Hall. Carter's recorded for Embryo/Atlantic, CTI, Milestone, Timeless, EmArcy, Galaxy, Elektra, and Concord, eventually landing at Blue Note for LPs including 1997's The Bass and I, 1998's So What, and 1999's Orfeu. When Skies Are Grey surfaced in early 2001, followed a year later by Stardust, Carter's tribute to the late bassist Oscar Pettiford. In 2006 another tribute album was released, Dear Miles, dedicated to Miles Davis, also on Blue Note. © Ron Wynn © 2012 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/artist/ron-carter-p6251/biography


Al Foster was born in Richmond, VA, but was raised in New York. He taught himself drums at about the age of 13, and by the age of 16 he was recording with Blue Mitchell (as "Aloysius Foster" on the Blue Note album The Thing to Do). In 1969, at the Cellar Club on 95th St. in Manhattan, Foster got his big break; as he was backing up bassist Earl May in a quartet, his drumming was noticed by trumpeter Miles Davis. Davis hired Foster on the spot as a replacement for Jack DeJohnette, who was then departing the ever-enlarging Davis group of that period. This indeed would prove a long commitment for Foster, who played on every Miles Davis album ranging from Big Fun to You're Under Arrest, and toured with him extensively. Foster left Miles Davis in 1985, and since then has worked independently, sometimes as leader, sometimes as sideman. Over his lengthy and enduring career Al Foster has worked with Cannonball Adderley, Sonny Rollins, Charlie Haden, Thelonious Monk, Freddie Hubbard, Dave Liebman, Herbie Hancock, and Joe Henderson. © Uncle Dave Lewis © 2012 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/artist/al-foster-p77092/biography