AL­BUMS

We check out some of the lat­est gui­tar CDs.

Guitar Techniques - - CONTENTS -

GARY MOORE BLUES AND BE­YOND BMG ✪✪ ✪✪ ✪

This new ret­ro­spec­tive fo­cuses on Gary’s blues out­put, high­light­ing his most emo­tive work. The stan­dard pack­age is a two-disc (four LP) set fea­tur­ing 28 post-’90 tracks whereas the deluxe pack­age has an ex­tra two discs fea­tur­ing an un­re­leased live con­cert. The stu­dio record­ings rep­re­sent the cream of Gary’s blues pe­riod, be­gin­ning with Enough Of The Blues from 2001’s Back To The Blues with clas­sic cuts like Stormy Mon­day, You Up­set Me Baby, I Can’t Quit You Baby and My Baby (She’s So Good To Me). The live stuff will de­light com­pletists and die-hards alike as it’s where his fire of­ten burned the bright­est. Th­ese two discs cover a fur­ther 15 tracks from an as yet un­spec­i­fied per­for­mance and it finds Gary in fine form, blast­ing his way through a ver­i­ta­ble ‘best of’ with many of the num­bers with which he will al­ways be as­so­ci­ated, in­clud­ing Oh Pretty Wo­man, Still Got The Blues and The Sky Is Cry­ing. It’s in­cen­di­ary stuff and a fit­ting trib­ute to a guitarist who is still missed and mourned by so many.

JA­SON KUI AB­SENCE OF WORDS PROS­THETIC RECORDS ✪✪✪✪ ✪

Ja­son Kui’s new al­bum fea­tures seven tracks crammed with gui­tar. There are high-power rock­ers (Po­lar­ized), bal­lads (Morn­ing Breeze), prog metal (Dance Of Awak­en­ing) funky jams (Now! You Know!) and blues in­fused shuf­fles (Mov­ing On), so plenty of va­ri­ety. Based in Hong Kong and a busy tour­ing guitarist, Ja­son has great chops that means he bends strings, al­ter­nate picks, legatos and screams with solid con­trol and abil­ity. Opener Po­lar­ized is a blend of mod­ern rhythms, up­beat phrases and Shrap­nel-es­que slip­pery fret­board ma­noeu­vres. Re­ac­tive Im­pulse’s cho­rus brims with Ma­jor key con­fi­dence and blaz­ing har­mony runs. With nods to Andy Tim­mons and Sa­tri­ani, his Morn­ing Breeze bal­lad is rous­ing and emo­tive with runs evok­ing th­ese Ibanez vir­tu­osi. For meaty drop-tuned riff­ing and gritty Mi­nor lines, Dance Of Awak­en­ing is prog metal on steroids. For a looser vibe, funky blues guitarist Josh Smith joins in on Now! You Know! for some great trades and licks. Tasty stuff!

CARL VER­HEYEN ES­SEN­TIAL BLUES CRANKTON EN­TER­TAIN­MENT ✪ ✪ ✪✪ ✪

Ver­heyen wears many mu­si­cal hats: ses­sion man, Su­per­tramp guitarist, blues per­former, mu­sic ed­u­ca­tor and a fan of all gui­tar styles. He’s re­leased sev­eral blues based al­bums (1999’s Sling­shot springs to mind) but none as ex­plicit as this or recorded live in three days! Of the 10 tracks, Carl’s writ­ten four, while the oth­ers are cov­ers of Fred­die King, Peter Green, Ray Charles, etc. Armed mostly with sin­gle-coil gui­tars, fans of Carl will know he has a huge vo­cab­u­lary and his su­per chops, taste­ful licks and so­phis­ti­cated chordal ap­proach makes for a re­ward­ing lis­ten. I Take What I Want has a great train shuf­fle and shows Carl in fine voice with great Strat coun­try blues comp­ing and a sting­ing solo. Fred­die King’s Some­day Af­ter Awhile is lovely great chord changes, lead licks that emote and nail the changes with aplomb. Jazzy chords and chro­matic bass line im­press on the re-work of I May Be Wrong, But I Won’t Be Wrong Al­ways/Clos­ing Time Jazz; Carl sure puts a spin on this Ten Years Af­ter song (‘A Count Basie thing’ Alvin Lee stated in the late 60s). Per­haps the best known cover here, Oh Well re­tains much of Fleet­wood Mac’s grandeur and space. The gui­tar licks and or­gan trade-offs are great! To close, Ray Charles’ Hard Times fea­tures a rich Strat, a gor­geous swing pocket and chord voic­ings at which Carl re­ally ex­cels. Crack­ing stuff!

SU­PER­SONIC BLUES MA­CHINE CALIFORNISOUL PROVOGUE ✪✪✪✪ ✪

This trio fea­tures the funky blues of singer-guitarist Lance Lopez, the low-end chomp of bassist Fabrizio Grossi and the stomp of A-list drum­mer, Kenny Aronoff. Top it off with some out­stand­ing guest slots and it’s a fun ride. I Am Done Miss­ing You has a big cho­rus and big reg­gae-meets-rock groove; Some­body’s Fool has a huge blues stomp, dirty gui­tar riff, tasty slide licks and a bit­ing Tele solo from Robben Ford. L.O.V.E has a peach of a solo; it’s vibey, big on bends and fin­ished off with a burn­ing de­scend­ing line. ZZ Top’s Billy Gib­bons is renowned for rocking mid-tempo chug­gers, and Bro­ken Heart gets a sear­ing solo from BFG. El­e­vate has a toe-tap­ping groove, Hen­drix-es­que licks and a great Eric Gales wah solo. An ‘Is­ley Brothers meets Cur­tis May­field’ tem­plate makes The One per­haps the most in­fec­tious song on the al­bum, while mid-tempo Hard Times sees Steve Lukather fly­ing with bluesy Hen­drix bends and whammy bar gar­gles. Pos­si­bly the most bit­ing solo is Wal­ter Trout on What’s Wrong - fan­tas­tic! All in all a very up­lift­ing al­bum. Go get!

DAVID GIL­MOUR LIVE AT POM­PEII COLUMBIA ✪✪✪✪ ✪

Pink Floyd’s as­so­ci­a­tion with the am­phithe­atre at Pom­peii goes back to 1971 when their per­for­mance was fa­mously cap­tured on film to be­come part of the band’s folk­lore. In July 2016 David Gil­mour took a stel­lar band back as part of his Rat­tle That Lock tour, play­ing two nights at the an­cient venue to en­thralled fans. It was all about spec­ta­cle: lights, lasers, the huge cir­cu­lar screen, py­rotech­nics – all adding to the the­atre of the oc­ca­sion. For this re­lease there’s the twin CD pack we’re con­sid­er­ing here, plus DVD and Blu-Ray videos and the deluxe box set with an ex­tra 207 min­utes of footage on an ad­di­tional Blu-Ray disc. The lat­ter pack­ages all de­liver vis­ual ev­i­dence of the at­mos­phere in the arena, shot at 4k res­o­lu­tion and in quad sound. The CDs, how­ever, con­sign im­agery to the imag­i­na­tion and let the mu­sic speak for it­self. The set draws heav­ily on Rat­tle That Lock, call­ing on Gil­mour’s pre­vi­ous al­bum On An Is­land for a cou­ple of tracks, the rest com­posed of clas­sic Wa­ters-era Floyd: The Great Gig In The Sky, Wish You Were Here and One Of Th­ese Days as well as cuts from the three-piece stu­dio al­bums like Sor­row and What Do You Want From Me? The play­ing is im­pec­ca­ble, with Gil­mour’s soar­ing lines the fo­cus of every song, the set gath­er­ing mo­men­tum as it races to­wards the cli­mac­tic Com­fort­ably Numb. The CD set does an ad­mirable job from an au­dio point of view, but we would heartily rec­om­mend one of the DVD pack­ages in or­der to wit­ness the full ex­trav­a­ganza.

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