STYLE: Jazz Rock/ Fusion
FORMAT: FLAC (Tracks + Log + Cue + Scans + 5% Recovery)
SIZE: 357 Mb
THE BAND: Steve Weingart - Keyboards; Mike Miller - guitar; Tom Brechtlein - drums; Carlitos Del Puerto - bass
Guests: Chaka Khan, Scott Henderson, Eric Marienthal, Alain Caron, Michael Ruff, Marilyn Scott, Ray Parker Jr., Jimmy Haslip, Terry Lynn Carrington, Jason Scheff, Keith Howland, Tris Imboden, John Pattituci, Bunny Brunel, Virgil Donati, Nuno Bettencourt, Steve Lukather, Tierney Sutton, Gerry Brown, Gary Novak, Simon Phillips, Mike Miller and Victor Wooten.
The album features full band tunes, plus some compositions that Weingart put together completely on the computer. The group performances on the band tunes were all recorded live in the studio; a cool approach for a fusion record. Weingart later added some effects while mixing the tracks. The whole album has a west-coast feel to it, but it's very fresh. The combination of Weingart's writing, his use of ambient sound effects, and the live band recordings give the album a very "new" sound.
The opening track, "Night Visitor", is one of the strongest tunes on the album. The main melody is great, and Gambale takes a nice solo over some cool changes. Plus, there's some intertwined guitar/keyboard lines in this song that almost give it a prog-rock feel in places. "3 Till Dawn" really shows Weingart's strengths as a composer and arranger as well. This tune is chock-full of great chords and melodies.
"Dark Blue Dream" has a cool deep-funk groove. I love the way Gambale builds his solo on this piece. He starts with a measured approach, playing some sparse bluesy phrases with lots of space, before kicking it up a notch with some nice sweep patterns. Gambale also sounds great on "Pursuit"; a wicked funk tune where the band sounds tight and well-rehearsed.
"Outside In (Part 1)" is a good example of how the live-in-the-studio approach really enhances the band tunes. Gambale and Weingart do some nice trading-off in the tune, and it definitely has a "live" feel. This is some of Gambale's best work on the album. For "Outside In (Part 2)", Weingart took some of Gambale's guitar lines from Part 1 and created an entirely new piece using drum loops and synth sounds. Pretty cool.
Overall, this is a very fresh-sounding album. A lot of keyboard-heavy jazz fusion records sound stuffy to me, but that's not the case here at all. Weingart's writing and playing are great, and his use of effects and different synth sounds always keep things interesting. And if you're a Frank Gambale fan, you'll definitely want to pick this up. He plays some great stuff here, and knowing his solos were done live with the band make them all the more impressive.
01 Night Visitor
02 Tone Poem #9
03 3 Til Dawn
04 Soundscape 1
05 Dark Blue Dream
07 Unforgotten Path
08 Soundscape 4
10 Outside In (Part 1)
11 Outside In (Part 2)
Steve Weingart (Keyboards)
Mike Miller - guitar
Tom Brechtlein - drums
Carlitos Del Puerto - bass
Chaka Khan, Scott Henderson, Eric Marienthal, Alain Caron, Michael Ruff, Marilyn Scott, Ray Parker Jr., Jimmy Haslip, Terry Lynn Carrington, Jason Scheff, Keith Howland, Tris Imboden, John Pattituci, Bunny Brunel, Virgil Donati, Nuno Bettencourt, Steve Lukather, Tierney Sutton, Gerry Brown, Gary Novak, Simon Phillips, Mike Miller and Victor Wooten.
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