Tag Archives: electric guitar

The Continuing Journey of Rahul Mukerji’s Guitar

Rahul Mukerji – Ma De Re Sha (Rahul Mukerji, 2017)

Ma De Re Sha is a great electric guitar album by Rahul Mukerji, an Indian musician living in the Washington D.C. area. Mukerji combines powerful rock guitar hero licks with jazz-rock fusion, Middle Eastern beats and Indian music influences. He also uses a note bending technique that gives it a South Asian flavor and sets him apart from western guitar players.

The lineup includes Rahul Mukerji on guitars, guitar synth, e-bow, sampling, tabla and drum programming; Bruce Ng on additional drum and percussion programming on all tracks; Ruben Rubio on bass.

Buy the CD from rahulmukerji.bandcamp.com/releases

Electrifying Ethnomission

Tohpati Ethnomission – Mata Hati (MoonJune, 2017)

Tohpati Ethnomission is one of the most original and exciting progressive music projects coming of Indonesia. The group is led by guitarist and composer Tohpati.

Mata Hati brings together Indonesian traditional music, first class jazz-rock fusion and elements of progressive rock. Can’t get better than that.

In addition to the thrilling original sounds, Tohpati Ethnomission also features highly-skilled instrumentalists who play some of the finest jazz-rock fusion you’ll find in the current scene.

The lineup includes Tohpati on guitars; Indo Hardjodikoro on bass; Diki Suwarjiki on suling bamboo flute and tarompet (Indonesian shawm); Endang Ramdan on kendang percussion; and Demas Narawangsa on drums. The Czech Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Michaela Ruzickova, guests on one track.

Mata Hati is undoubtedly one of the finest progressive music releases of the year.

Buy Mata Hati

Progressive World Music for Troubled Times

Steve Hackett – The Night Siren (InsideOut Music, 2017)

Thanks to his Genesis Revisited progressive rock recordings and tours, guitar virtuoso (and former Genesis guitarist) Steve Hackett is enjoying some of his most productive years. He has recorded albums where he explores various genres with total ease and skill. On The Night Siren he fuses his signature guitar style with a mix of classic rock, progressive rock, folk-rock, world music and various other influences, bringing attention to international turmoil.

Speaking about this recording, Steve Hackett has indicated that he’s always had an interest in multicultural diversity within music. Hackett’s curiosity about other cultures was evident in his early recordings, where he incorporated East Asian, Celtic, and other influences.

On The Night Siren Steve Hackett will take you on a constant unexpected musical ride. Songs that begin pastoral will conclude with knockout guitar solos. Heavy drums similar to Led Zeppelin’s Kashmir and Middle Eastern melodies transform into magnificent prog rock sections. There is also flamenco, Andean charango, fiery blues harmonica, Australian aboriginal didg, and more.

 

 

The album lineup includes Steve Hackett on electric and acoustic guitars, oud, charango, sitar guitar, harmonica, vocals; Mira Awad on vocals; Leslie-Miriam Bennett on keyboards; Gulli Briem on drums, cajon, percussion; Troy Donockley on Uilleann pipes; Kobi Farhi on vocals; Dick Driver on double bass; Benedict Fenner on keyboards and programming; Jo Hackett on vocals; John Hackett on flute; Roger King on keyboards and programming; Ferenc Kovács on trumpet; Sara Kovács on didgeridoo; Amanda Lehmann on vocals; Malik Mansurov on tar; Nad Sylvan on vocals; Gary O’Toole on drums; Christine Townsend on violin, viola; Rob Townsend on baritone and soprano sax, flute, flageolet, quena, duduk, bass clarinet; and Nick D’Virgilio on drums.

 

Buy The Night Siren

Guitar Hero and Experimentalist

Lelio Padovani – “Waves” (2016)

“Waves” is a four-track EP by guitar maestro and composer Lelio Padovani. He plays instrumental guitar rock with a progressive edge. Picture Steve Vai or Joe Satriani playing progressive rock-oriented music.

Padovani plays all the instruments on the album and experiments with various guitars. On ‘Time Traveler’ he plays a guitar melody envisioned as a movie score of a guitar player who travels across time using various guitar techniques.

On ‘Siren Song’ you’ll hear a fabulous mix of three guitars playing a melody. Padovani indicates that three are better than one in the liner notes.

‘Sunday’ features admirable solo guitar work and was recorded during a quiet weekend, allowing Padovani to unwind.

The last piece, ‘Waves’ is an experiment based on Rhys Chatham’s concept. Chatham is an American avant-garde musician who created the concept of a guitar orchestra. Here, Lelio Padovani generates a remarkable wave of electric guitars, creating a fascinating cacade of sound featuring numerous guitar layers.

Lelio Padovani plays guitars, bass, drums, synthesizers and virtual string machine.

The album is available from www.leliopadovani.com

Al Di Meola’s Elegant Gypsy 40th Anniversary Tour To Begin in February 2017

Al Di Meola

Jazz fusion innovator, composer and guitar maestro Al Di Meola will continue to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of his Elegant Gypsy Tour with new concerts in 2017 in support of his most recent solo album Elysium. The North American tour begins February 7 in Durham, North Carolina with dates in Atlanta, Fort Lauderdale, Austin, Dallas, Montreal, and more.

Al Di Meola – Elysium

Di Meola has been on tour for most of 2016, presenting new material from Elysium together with old favorites. DiMeola uses acoustic and electric guitars, including his nylon string Conde Hermanos acoustic prototype model and a 1971 Les Paul electric (his Return to Forever and Elegant Gypsy guitar).

The band includes Philippe Saisse on keyboards, marimba; Gumbi Ortiz on percussion; Elias Tona on bass; Luis Alicea on drums; and Evan Garr on violin.

2017 North America Tour:

2/7/17 Durham, NC Carolina Theatre
2/8/17 Charleston, SC Music Hall
2/9/17 Atlanta, GA Variety Playhouse
2/11/17 Orlando, FL The Plaza Live
2/12/17 Ft. Lauderdale, FL Parker Playhouse
2/13/17 Clearwater,FL Capitol Theater
2/14/17 Ponte Vedra,FL PV Concert Hall
2/17/17 Austin, TX One World
2/18/17 Dallas, TX Majestic
2/21/17 Royal Oak, MI Royal Oak Music
2/22/17 Kent, OH Kent Stage
2/24/17 Quebec City, Q Palais Montcalm
2/25/17 Montreal, QC Salle Pierre Mercure
2/26/17 Peekskill, NY Paramount

A Wide Range of Exquisite Moods in Morning Sun

Gadi Caplan – Morning Sun (Musea Parallele, 2016)

Morning Sun is the outstanding third album by Israeli multi-instrumentalist Gadi Caplan. On Morning Sun, the Brooklyn-based Caplan combines exquisite progressive rock and fusion inspired by the classic bands of the 1970s with Indian scales, Sephardic music and more.

One of Caplan’s instruments is the guitar. With it, he extracts exquisite electric sounds inspired by Indian classical music, blues, jazz-rock fusion, and progressive symphonic rock. When he switches to the acoustic guitar, Caplan’s music sounds similar to Anthony Phillips’ (former Genesis guitarist) solo works, which combined progressive rock with delicate pastoral folk music. Caplan adds mesmerizing Indian flute, Ladino vocals, and cello, creating new musical combinations in the true spirit of progressive rock.

Caplan delivers a wide range of moods in Morning Sun. Two pieces, “Hemavati” and “Vidadi Swara” have Indian influence. The laid back “Island” has David Gilmour-inspired vocals and Canterbury-type keyboards.

“Good Afternoon” features jazz-soul elements. Meanwhile, the title track “Morning Sun” leans towards acoustic progressive folk-rock-world music whereas “La Morena” begins with echoes of Anthony Phillips and Sephardic vocals, and grows gradually into an epic piece.

On “The Other Side,” Caplan begins with looped guitars and grows into a bluesy progressive piece with early 1970s Pink Floyd influences.

The album ends with a four-part suite, Lili’s Day Parts 1, 2, 3 and 4. On Part 1, Caplan injects funk jazz beats and electronic loops along with a synth solo. Part 2 is more jazz-oriented, with distorted saxophone. Part 3 slows down, featuring orchestral drums and an electric guitar solo. Lastly, Part 4 is a gorgeous conclusion to the album with majestic strings.

The lineup on Morning Sun includes Gadi Caplan on guitar, bass, synths, and arrangements; Danny Abowd on lead and background vocals, and trombone; Bruno Esrubilsky on drums and congas; Duncan Wickel on violin, viola, and cello; Jesse Gottlieb on background vocals and trumpet; Jonathan Greenstein on tenor sax; Christian Li on keyboards; and Jay Gandhi on bansuri flute.

Caplan’s previous two albums are Opposite Views (2011) and Look Back Step Forward (2013).

Buy Morning Sun

Prasanna’s Guitar Overdrive

Prasanna – ‘All Terrain Guitar’ (Susila Music, 2016)

Sensational guitarist Prasanna will be releasing his new album ‘All Terrain Guitar’ on August 5, 2016. In this new recording Prasanna masterfully combines jazz with Indian classical music and innovative guitar techniques.

‘All Terrain Guitar’ showcases the talent of this extraordinary guitarist who delivers scorching guitar solos, dazzling musical interplay with his guests and memorable sumptuous melodies. Prasanna is a master at bending the notes, using microtonal slides and modulations called ‘gamaka’, making the guitars sound like a dilruba, veena or other Indian musical instruments.

Prasanna’s guests include Shalini Lakshmi on vocals; Natalie John on vocals; Vijay Iyer on piano; Dave Douglas on trumpet; Rudresh Mahanthappa on saxophone; David Binney on saxophone; Mike Pope on electric and acoustic bass; Bill Urmson on bass; Rodney Holmes on drums; and Mauricio Zottarelli on drums.

In addition to the Carnatic and jazz influences, ‘All Terrain Guitar’ also includes rock, Latin American, electronica and reggae influences. Shalini’s operatic vocals take the music very close to Magma’s sizzling Zeuhl style.

 

Prasanna - Photo by Phil Maturano
Prasanna – Photo by Phil Maturano

 

I feel that ‘All Terrain Guitar’ has the soul to touch people in a simple, direct, and powerful way,” says Prasanna. For him, the essential word is love “… and some sustained feedback on the overdrive pedal.”

 

 

Prasanna is an engineering graduate from Indian Institute of Technology, an internationally acclaimed guitarist in contemporary jazz, rock and blues, a magna cum laude graduate of Berklee College of Music, and a visionary who served as President of a first-rate music college in Chennai, India.

Prasanna has composed music for several acclaimed films, including the 2009 Academy Award-winning documentary “Smile Pinki.”

His previous solo albums include the Carnatic-rock Jimi Hendrix tribute titled ‘Electric Ganesha Land‘ (2006) and the great jazz-fusion album ‘Be the Change‘ (2004).

‘All Terrain Guitar’ is a spectacular Indo-Jazz fusion album by a world class composer and guitarist with an impressive technical expertise.

Buy All Terrain Guitar