Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Richie Kotzen, Greg Howe - Project (1997)

Format: flac + cue + log
Genre: Instrumental rock, jazz fusion
Original Release Date: 1997
Label: Shrapnel

Don't overlook these Kotzen/Howe state-of-the-art guitar showcases. TILT and PROJECT team two of the most accomplished axe-murderers out there for some jaw-dropping incendiary fusionfests that manage to overcome the built-in negatives (basically, they were executive-produced by Dr Frankenstein, as both guitarists recorded their parts seperately in their respective basements, with session drummers overlaid onto the basic tracks) with hot, hot, hot playing. Sure, there's something coldly clinical about this approach but there's a lot of inventiveness and even chemistry here that you wouldn't figure on, given the methods used. On TILT, every track features two virtuoso players trying to out do each other with such fury and finesse it's a wonder they didn't catch fire..whereas this followup (just as good) goes for wider sound canvases and a bit more experimentation. You'll need to keep some flame-retardant beside your speakers while playing either cd, though. As you may have figured out, both are strongly recommended.

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Empire - Chasing Shadows (2007)

Format: wv + cue + log
Genre: Hard Rock, Melodic Metal
Original Release Date: 2007
Label: Metal Heaven

Dangerdog Music Reviews
Empire's previous release 'Raven Ride' was a very impressive piece of work. Now Tony Martin is gone on vocals, only to be released by rocker, Doogie White (Cornerstone, Rainbow, and many others). Empire, however, has not skipped a beat in this transition. This is consistent melodic hard rock with great melodies and hooks wrapped in a hard driving performance. Mr. White appears to have been born to sing these songs. He is clear and passionate. And the rest of the band which includes founder Rolf Munkes (guitar), Neil Murray (bass, Ex Gary Moore, Ex Black Sabbath Ex Whitesnake), and Mike Terrana (drums, Yngwie J. Malmsteen, Axel Rudi Pell, Rage, Metalium among others) easily move through the compositions with enthusiasm and acumen....

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Chad Wackerman - Forty Reasons 1991

Format: flac + cue + log
Genre: Fusion
Original Release Date: 1991

Forty Reasons was drummer Chad Wackerman's debut solo project from 1991 and featured luminaries such as Allan Holdsworth on guitar, Jimmy Johnson on bass and Jim Cox on keyboards. Considered by many fans to almost out-Holdsworth a Holdsworth solo release, Allan is at his silkly legato best over these eleven instrumentals, melodically and harmonically driving the quartet into fusion nirvana. Forty Reasons was written up in Down Beat, who stated, "This one's a burner from the get go", while Jazziz Magazine enthused, "A recording that offers a formidable showcase for one of the most powerful and expressive young drummers in rock or jazz." A simply powerful fusion summit.

Bireli Lagrene & Jaco Pastorius - Stuttgart Aria 1986

Format: wv + cue + log
Genre: Fusion, Jazz
Original Release Date: 1986
Jazzpoint Records: Globe Music

by David Ross Smith
Jazzpoint released this two-disc set in 1999 as a way to, again, capitalize on the Jaco Pastorius name. Although never intended for release, the music on Broadway Blues & Teresa is, admittedly, exceptionally packaged and features fine sound quality and impressive turns by the trio of Pastorius, Bireli Lagrene, and Peter Lubke.

The recordings are taken from the Stuttgart Aria studio sessions (March 1986) and from Pastorius' four-track home recordings made during his stay in Germany (March-December 1986). Disc one, Broadway Blues (BB), consists of different renditions of compositions that appear on Stuttgart Aria and the live Heavy 'n Jazz. Stuttgart features keys and synth; BB does not, and it is their absence that makes BB such an appealing recording -- it is firmly rooted in jazz fusion, whereas the electric synthetics of Stuttgart create a levity that nearly places the project in the pop-jazz category....

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Emergency - Entrance 1972 [2005]

Format: flac + cue + log
Genre: Jazz-Rock, brass rock, Prog-Rock
Original Release Date: 1972
Label: CBS

Hanus Berka aus Prag kam das erste Mal in den mittleren Sechziger Jahren nach Deutschland. Nach einem Kurzaufenthalt in Las vegas, siedelte er sich in Munchen an und grundete Ende 1970 die Band EMERGENCY. In seine band holte er Udo Lindenberg (Schlagzeug), Marrie Newby (Gitarre), Jiro Matousek (Tasteninstrumente), Otto Bezloja (Bass), Dusko Goykovic (Trompete) und Reddy (Stimme) – Vier Tschechen ,1 Deutscher und 1 Englander!

Ihre erste Veroffentlichung tendiert mehr in die europaische Jazz-Richtung. Fur die LP „Entrance“ (1972) wurde der Gro?teil der Bandbesetzung gewechselt. Udo Lindenberg wurde durch John Redpath und zeitweise durch Curt Cress ersetzt. Ende 1972 wurde EMERGENCY wieder umgekrempelt und neu organisiert. Ein Plattenvertrag mit dem renomierten BRAIN-Label wurde unterzeichnet. Ihre lezte Lp „Get out of the country” wurde 1973 von Berka, Peter Bischof, Richard Palmer James , Jerzy Ziembrowski, Veit Marvos, Martin Harrison und Bernd Knaak aufgezeichnet. Nach diesem Album loste sich die Band auf....

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Bela Fleck - Perpetual Motion (2001)

Format: flac + cue + log
Genre: Classical
Original Release Date: 2001
Label: Sony Classical

Perpetual Motion is an album of classical music released in 2001. The album is unique in that none of the pieces featured on it are played on the instruments for which they were written. Arrangers Béla Fleck and Edgar Meyer won a Grammy in 2002 for their arrangement of Claude Debussy's "Doctor Gradus Ad Parnassum". The album also won a Grammy as Best Classical Crossover Album.
Fleck assembled a group of musicians well-known on their own instruments: violinist Joshua Bell, cellist Gary Hoffman, percussionist Evelyn Glennie, double-bassist Edgar Meyer, mandolin player Chris Thile, and guitarists John Williams and Bryan Sutton.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Allan Holdsworth - Road Games (1983)

Format: flac + cue + log
Genre: Fusion, Jazz
Original Release Date: 1983
Label: Globe Music

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.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Stuart Smith - Heaven & Earth 1999

Format: wv + cue + log
Genre: Blues-Rock, Hard Rock
Original Release Date: 1999
Label: Frontiers Records

By Zane Ewton

Previously released in 1999 Heaven & Earth is getting a second chance with an expanded re-release. Stuart Smith is the driving force and has staked a claim as a premier rock guitarist.

At the recent All Access L.A. Music Awards show Smith won “Best Guitarist” and Heaven & Earth won “Best Overall Album”.

Smith is a classically trained guitarist, also receiving instruction from the legendary Deep Purple guitarist Ritchie Blackmore. Smith’s guitar style is all over this album, flowing between blues, classical and hard rock.

There is so much guitar on this album that you will form calluses on your fingertips while you listen. But the guitar is never overbearing or overplayed. Besides an obvious technical proficiency, Smith is a good songwriter and chooses to work with other good songwriters. The songs are what make this a strong album and much more than just guitar gymnastics.....

Chick Corea - The Ultimate Adventure (2006)

Format: flac + cue + log
Genre: Modern Jazz
Original Release Date: 2006
Label: Stretch Records

"...This project was also an opportunity to make music with some of my old friends who were so important to my music-making in the 60’s and 70’s—namely, Steve Gadd, Airto Moreira and Hubert Laws. And together with my more recent musical partnerships with Vinnie Colaiuta, Hossam Ramzy, Frank Gambale and Tim Garland, and finally the members of my current band, Tom Brechtlein, Jorge Pardo, Rubem Dantas and Carles Benavent—I was definitely inspired by these great artists in the creation of this music" — Chick