Tag Archives: fusion

Norwegian Fusion Superband Meets Mike Stern


Jan Gunnar Hoff Group Featuring Mike Stern (Losen Records LOS 196-2, 2018)

Three of the finest musicians in the northern European fusion scene collaborate with American guitarist Mike Stern on Jan Gunnar Hoff Group Featuring Mike Stern.

Half of the album are laid back tracks that highlight Stern’s guitar and Jan Gunnar Hoff’s piano. The other half are thrilling, high energy, electric jazz-rock fusion pieces with admirable guitar work and fantastic synth solos and electric piano by Jan Gunnar Hoff.

The synthesizer work is so good that leaves wanting more. His synth style is influenced by two of the greatest fusion keyboardists o all time: Chick Corea and Joe Zawinul.

The lineup includes Jan Gunnar Hoff on piano and keyboards; Mike Stern on guitar and vocals; Per Mathisen on electric and acoustic bass; and Audun Kleive on drums.

The John Irvine Band’s Finely Crafted Progressive Jazz-Rock

The John Irvine Band   – Metaphysical Attractions (John Irvine, 2018)

John Irvine is an excellent Scottish guitarist and composer inspired by some of the leading jazz-rock and rock hero guitarists. His music is on the progressive side of jazz-rock, incorporating influences from maestros such as Pat Metheny, Joe Satriani, John McLaughlin and Alan Holdsworth as well as classic progressive rock harmonies.

The guitar sounds are multifaceted, and highly satisfying. John Irvine also plays the bass and keyboards. Guests include Rob Ironside on saxophone; Gwen Kelso on flute; and Rich Kass on drums.


The John Irvine Band   – Metaphysical Attractions

Favorite tracks include “Hymn To The Winter Sun”, full of seductive grooves and memorable guitar work; the captivating “Me And My Idiophone,” where John Irvine uses an impressive arsenal of guitars supported by formidable creative drumming; and the progressive desert blues of “Sahara Yadouin.”

Buy the digital download version of Metaphysical Attractions or the CD from thejohnirvineband.bandcamp.com.

Guitar Genius Dewa Budjana Dazzles Again

Dewa Budjana – Mahandini (Moonjune Records/Bukalapak, 2018)

Indonesian guitarist Dewa Budjana continues to demonstrate why he’s one of the finest guitarists in the jazz and rock scenes. He’s a prolific artist who has recorded and collaborated with some of the biggest names in the progressive jazz and rock fields.

Dewa Budjana has explored various musical genres in past albums. On Mahandini, he incorporates harder edged music. He rocks out throughout the album with a dazzling mix of progressive rock, jazz fusion, Indian vocal percussion (konnakol), transfixing Balinese traditional music and some hard rock.

His colleagues this time are multi-faceted keyboardist Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater), Marco Minnemann (The Aristocrats, Steven Wilson, Joe Satriani), and extraordinary Indian bassist and rising talent Mohini Dey.

The guests include the unmistakable vocals of rock star John Frusciante (Red Hot Chilli Peppers) on two tracks, fusion guitar virtuoso Mike Stern (Miles Davis, Blood, Sweat & Tears, Billy Cobham, Jaco Pastorius) and the enchanting vocals of Indonesian singer Soimah.

Dewa Budjana’s wide range of guitar sounds and techniques is truly impressive with masterfully-crafted melodies and solos, spectacular shredding and exquisite slide guitar.

Buy Mahandini

The Fusion Marvels of Barxeta II

Per Mathisen, Jan Gunnar Hoff and Horacio “El Negro” Hernández – Barxeta II (Losen Records, 2018)

The Barxeta series revolves around two exceptional instrumentalists and composers, bassist Per Mathisen and keyboardist Jan Gunnar Hoff. This is state of the art jazz fusion featuring outstanding instrumental performances inspired by some of the finest acts: Return to Forever, Weather Report, Pat Metheny, and others.

On Barxeta, rhythm is also essential. On volume II, Hoff and Mathisen invited Cuban maestro Horacio “El Negro” Hernández, one of the most reputable drummers in the jazz and Cuban music scene. Horacio’s drums are a perfect fit.

Throughout the album, the listener is treated to masterful bass work, captivating piano and superb synthesizer work by Jan Gunnar Hoff, and the creative drumming of Horacio “El Negro” Hernández.
Barxeta is a recording studio in eastern Spain and a great place to realize the ideas of this talented group of musicians. Per Mathisen promises more Barxeta releases in the next years.

Buy Barxeta II

Dazzling Fusion by Vasil Hadzimanov Band

Vasil Hadzimanov Band – Lines In Sand

Vasil Hadzimanov Band – Lines In Sand (Moonjune Records, 2018)

Vasil Hadzimanov Band is one of the most fascinating progressive jazz fusion acts in the current international scene. Led by versatile Serbian keyboardist Vasil Hadzimanov, this superb fusion band incorporates jazz-rock fusion, world music elements, funk, and electronica.

Highlights include the opening title track “Lines In Sand,” where absorbing wordless vocals and trance-like drums intertwine with electric piano and cutting edge electric guitar; “San Snova,” a jazz-leaning piece where Vasil Hadzimanov showcases his talent on the acoustic piano; the exquisitely gorgeous female vocals and dreamy string synths on “Lost,” featuring the lovely singing by Marta Hadzimanov that transitions into remarkable guitar work by Branko Trijic; the forward-thinking trip hop set “Kazi” and “Kazi Gradiska;” and the Middle Eastern-inspired fusion track “Freedom From the Past.”

The band includes Vasil Hadzimanov on keyboards; Branko Trijic on guitar; Miroslav Tovirac on bass guitar; Bojan Ivkovic on percussion, vocals; and Pedja Milutinovic on drums
Special guests: Rastko Obradovic on saxophone; Marta Hadzimanov on lead vocals (track 4); and Dean Bowman on lead vocal (track 8).

Buy Lines In Sand

Versatile Bailenas

Roland Bühlmann – Bailenas (Roland Bühlmann, 2017)

Bailenas is an excellent instrumental album by Swiss multi-instrumentalist Roland Bühlmann. He delivers an engaing combination of progressive rock, jazz-rock fusion, electronics and post rock.

The sounds revolves around various electric guitar sounds although Roland Bühlmann also plays hanottere (a Swiss cittern), bass, stones, and shofar (Hebrew horn) along with loops, drums and percussion generated with Beta Monkey Music samples.

Bailenas is a beautifully-crafted album highlight the versatility of the electric guitar.

Buy the digital edition of Bailenas or the CD from rolandbuehlmann.bandcamp.com

The Laid Back Fusion of Daniel Santiago

Daniel Santiago – Union (Adventure Music, 2018)

Union is an instrumental album highlighting the guitar work of Brazilian musician and composer Daniel Santiago. The album has edgy electric guitar and electronic keyboards. At the same, it is very accessible and laid back. It’s an album that is eclectic and energetic enough to please fusion fans and the smooth jazz market as well.

The lineup on Union includes Daniel Santiago on acoustic and electric guitar, synth bass, keyboards and vocals; Pedro Martins on keyboards; Shai Maestro on piano; Frederico Heliodoro on bass; Rafael Vernet on keyboards; Thiago Rabello on drums; Gregoire Maret on harmonica; Antonio Loureiro on drums; Renato Galvao on drums; and Ricardo Braga on percussion.

 

 

Union is a delightful, masterfully-crafted album where jazz, fusion and Brazilian music find a common ground.

Buy Union

Multiple Stunning Guitar Emotions in 27 Faces of a Broken Heart

Ramin Partovi – 27 Faces of a Broken Heart (Ramin Partovi, 2018)

The album 27 Faces of a Broken Heart features an impressive collection of guitarists. All the tracks are basically variations of the same song, composed by American guitarist and airline pilot Ramin Partovi. He created this musical piece during a very difficult time of his life and invited some of the finest guitarists in the rock and fusion scene to perform and record variations of this song.

Musically, the album has strong fusion, rock, progressive and blues elements and each version features spectacular guitar solos and a formidable rhythm section, plus a great bass solo.

The core band includes Ramin Partovi on guitars, Carl Verheyen on guitars, Simon Phillips on drums and Jimmy Johnson on bass. The guests include famous guitar players as well as lesser known players who are nonetheless highly skilled and equally good.

27 Faces of a Broken Heart opens with the original track by Ramin Partovi and then it’s followed by the multiple variations featuring the following guitarists: Yussi Wenger, Brent Mason, Jinshi Ozaki, Tom Kolb, Jon Reshard, Scott Henderson, Andy Becht, Ervin Toucet, Ernesto Homeyer, Erick Walls, Doug Rappoport, Masta Edwards, Carl Verheyen, McCoy Mason, Jeffery Marshall, Robin Siedschlag, Brent Mason’s second version, Brad Bailey, Oz Noy, Jeff Richman, Mike Stern, Gabriel Forsman, Mark Lettieri , Dean Brown, and Giuseppe Vasapolli.

 

 

 

27 Faces of a Broken Heart is a fascinating concept album showcasing the remarkable talent of Ramin Partovi, his friends and musical heroes.

Buy 27 Faces of a Broken Heart

The Changeable Guitars of Paweł Ignatowicz

Paweł Ignatowicz – Here and Now

Paweł Ignatowicz – Here and Now (Mother of Invention Records, 2017)

Here and Now is the new solo album by Paweł Ignatowicz, a Polish guitarist currently living in New York. Paweł Ignatowicz various forms of guitars, including acoustic, electric, guitar syntheziser and electric sitar.

The material on Here and Now consists of melodic, easy to listen jazz instrumentals with smooth jazz and fusion influences plus a little Indian and Latin music as well. The guitar is highlighted throughout the album, creating fascinating sounds, even though Ignatowicz’s stick’s to conventional melodies.

The lineup on Here and Now includes Paweł Ignatowicz on guitars, guitar synth and electric sitar; Julian Shore on piano, keyboards; Edward Perez on bass; Jonathan Singer on tabla; and Ferenc Nemeth on drums.

Shuggie Otis Releases Fusion Rock Album

Shuggie Otis, better known for his soulful songs, has a new, largely instrumental fusion album tiled Inter-Fusion. The project displays Otis’ talent as a guitarist, featuring his maroon Gibson SG. The band includes Carmine Appice (of Vanilla Fudge and Beck, Bogert & Appice) on drums and bassist Tony Franklin (of The Firm and Roy Harper). Additionally, keyboardist Kyle Hamood (of local L.A. rockers Them Guns) participates as both a musician and producer of the album.

Buy Inter-Fusion