Tag Archives: fusion

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

Jeff Beck to Celebrate 50 Years as Performer in Los Angeles

Jeff Beck
Jeff Beck

British guitar legend Jeff Beck will celebrate his 50 year career as a musician on Wednesday, August 10, at 8:00 PM at the Hollywood Bowl. He will be joined by special guests Steven Tyler and Beth Hart + Buddy Guy.

One of the most widely respected guitarists in popular music, Beck is known for his eclectic mix of blues, funk, and jazz rock, as well as collaborations with countless luminaries. Acclaimed Chicago bluesman, Buddy Guy performs prior.

www.hollywoodbowl.com

Interview with Emerging Fusion Violinist Sergio Poli

Argentine violin virtuoso Sergio Poli recently released a jazz-rock fusion album titled Luna de Hielo. He talked to Progressive Rock Central about the new album and his musical background.

When did you start learning to play music?

I come from a family of musicians, starting from my grandfather and my father who were bassists. Basically, a classical orchestra background but also with some forays into tango and, in the case of my grandfather, jazz. So practically naturally I found myself taking violin lessons at 7. I think I didn’t choose it; it was rather a suggestion by my father (I already had an older brother who played the cello). But what I do remember is that it was love at first sight. That as soon as I took my first steps, I knew that it would be the instrument that would accompany me all my life.

How many violins do you play?

I have a very old violin, from the early nineteenth century, which is what I use to sound “acoustic”, and I usually use two more, one with a Barcus Berry brand bridge (with microphone) installed, and an electric 5-string manufactured in Argentina by Urbanstrings. I also use a bow by Italy-based Argentine luthier Carlos Roberts and one made out of carbon.

Sergio Poli
Sergio Poli

What effects do you use?

Compressor, overdrive, wah wah, chorus, phase, octaver, delay, reverb, loop station. I hope I don’t forget one, haha!

Your latest album is titled Luna de Hielo (Moon Ice). What’s the story behind the title?

Just like I’m keeping things loose to use when composing (it could be a melodic gesture, a rhythm, a succession of chords), say, like a notepad of ideas that I reach for when I need them, sometimes I do the same with ideas for titles of songs. In some cases the musical pieces are born with the title already defined, in others it’s not.

There is an old tale in the book Misteriosa Buenos Aires by Argentine writer Manuel Mujica Lainez, “La escalera de mármol”, (The marble staircase) where the character is the alleged son of Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI, who didn’t die in 1795, and instead the legend says he came to Argentina’s shores. In that story there is an image that struck me very hard, the author says something like the king’s son went to the marble staircase and “the dauphine’s dogs howl at the ice moon”. That’s all; I really liked that image of an icy moon in a clear sky.

Sergio Poli Ensamble - Luna de Hielo
Sergio Poli Ensamble – Luna de Hielo

Which musicians did you work with to carry out the project?

Basically the ensemble with which we have been playing for several years: Pablo Murgier Pazdera on keyboards, Maxi Abal on guitars, Jonatan Schenone on bass, Daniel Viera on drums and Potolo Abrego on percussion.

If anyone is interested in buying the album, where can they purchase it?

It is available in digital format on iTunes, Amazon, and several other online shopping platforms, and also on Spotify. As far as the physical disk, you can get it at some record stores in Argentina.

Argentina has produced very high level fusion musicians. How is the scene now?

If by fusion we understand a wide net, there are many composers and groups carrying out absolutely new projects, some closer to folk rhythms, such as Aca Seca Trio or Cuarto Elemento; some more linked to tango, like the Diego Schissi quintet; or something closer to jazz or the River Plate feel, like what Juan Pollo Raffo is doing. And this is just a quick list; the outlook is encouraging.

If you could bring together musicians or your ideal groups, who would call?

If we talk about fusion, let’s go to the obvious, those groups that marked directions in the 70s, Weather Report, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever. Not to mention the father of contemporary violin named Jean-Luc Ponty.

What music are you listening to now?

I am very disorganized with my listening. These days I’m listening a lot to Radiohead’s new album, or a band that I love which is Primus. But as I said, I go back and forth all the time to what I listen to, and I can listen to both the tango scene as well as Italian opera. Do not forget it was my first love, and I worked 30 years in the Orchestra of the Teatro Argentino de La Plata.

What do you like to do during your free time?

Read and listen to music. Traveling with my family.

Sergio Poli
Sergio Poli

What country or countries would you like to visit?

I played twice in Spain but I’d like to go with more time to explore a little more; a country that has fascinated me. And I don’t know Germany, England, France or Italy, to name a few.

If someone traveled to La Plata, what sites you recommend to go sightseeing, to eat or listen to music?

There is substantial cultural activity in La Plata and it is a city full of cultural centers and bars where music is made.

“Ciudad Vieja” is a traditional place with over ten years making good music. Fine cuisine, and above all, very good sound. In Ciudad Vieja is where we recorded the CD live Ice Moon.

“La Mulata, bar y arte” is another option.

There is a bar called “Rey Lagarto” (Lizard King) in which every Thursday they develop the “Ciclomovil Jazz” in La Plata. Another place with an exceptional scene.
And there is an underground rock joint called “Pura Vida”, which is now going through some building code problems with the city. It is a place that accommodates all expressions more or less linked to rock. Hopefully soon they’ll again operate at full capacity.

What other projects do you have?

I have the Sergio Poli Quinteto de Cuerdas (Sergio Poli String Quintet), which I define as “popular music in academic format” because with a classical format we perform a wide repertoire that ranges from tango to rock, along with Egberto Gismonti, Michael Jackson, The Beatles, etc.

Discography:

Los Salieris de Django (2002) with Cordal Swing.
Grappelliana (2005) with Cordal Swing.
Señales de Humo (2007)
Y en eso estamos (2009)
Canícula Metrópolis (2012)
Luna de Hielo (2016)

Sergio Poli, Emerging Jazz-Rock Violinist

Sergio Poli Ensamble – Luna de Hielo (Aoni, 2016)

Argentine electric violinist Sergio Poli has a new album titled Luna de Hielo. The violin virtuoso recorded Luna de Hielo live at the Ciudad Vieja bar and club. Poli plays a mix of straight ahead jazz-rock fusion, funk jazz, and world music styles.

Luna de Hielo was crowdfunded and showcases the talent of some of the finest musicians in the Argentine fusion scene. The album features a well-balanced combination of high energy pieces and mesmerizing slow tempo material such as the beautiful “Apuntes de invierno” that displays the talent of Poli’s violin and bassist Jonatan Schenone, who delivers a captivating solo.

At times, Poli directs his attention towards other genres and rhythms. Om “Policamdombe” he adds Afro-Uruguayan candombe beats. And “Carito” incorporates flamenco in the form of the bulerias subgenre.

On “Sinergia” and “Postsagio”, guitarist Maxi Abal demonstrates his skill with notable guitar work.

On the title track, “Luna de Hielo,” Poli extracts various captivating sounds out of his violin.

The lineup on the album includes Sergio Poli on violins; Pablo Murgier Pazdera on keyboards; Maxi Abal on guitars; Jonatan Schenone on bass; Daniel Viera on drums; and Potolo Abrego on percussion.

Luna de Hielo highlights the work of Sergio Poli, one of the emerging jazz-rock fusion talents from South America.

Buy the digital download version of Luna de Hielo

Extraordinary Guitar Fusion from Canada

Sputnik – Parallax, Vol. I (2016)

Sputnik is a Canadian band heavily influenced by progressive jazz-rock and funk. The instrumental quartet features two electric guitarists, a bass player and drummer. Having two virtuoso guitar players, Barry G. Player and Tristan Rivers, allows the band to showcase a series of impressive solos and memorable instrumental interplay.

Bass player Leigh Fischer and drummer Doug Northcott also get various opportunities to demonstrate their talent.

The guitarists use various guitar-playing techniques that range from Alan Holdsworth-style soloing to rhythm guitar and spectacular shredding. The band’s name, album artwork and the titles of the musical pieces clearly indicate that the band’s music is inspired by the cosmos.

Parallax, Vol. I is an extraordinary fusion album featuring stellar jazz-rock instrumental performances supported by muscular interstellar funk.

Buy the digital version of Parallax, Vol. I

Buy the Parallax, Vol. I CD

Unpredictable Balkan Keyboards

Vasil Hadžimanov Band featuring David Binney - "Alive" (MoonJune Records, 2016)
Vasil Hadžimanov Band featuring David Binney – “Alive” (MoonJune Records, 2016)

Serbian keyboardist and composer Vasil Hadžimanov Band presents a set of music that crosses several musical boundaries. You’ll find jazz, cinematic passages, freeform improvisation, progressive rock, and Joe Zawinul-inspired world fusion. This project features American saxophonist David Binney. Perhaps I’m saxophoned out, but I much prefer the sections where Vasil Hadžimanov takes control of the show using captivating piano and fabulous electronic keyboards.

Aside from Hadžimanov’s work, the album features spectacular bass work by Miroslav Tovirac and creative percussion and drums.

Vasil Hadžimanov is a graduate of the Berklee College of Music, in Boston. He has played with celebrated international musicians such as David Gilmore, Antonio Sanchez, Matt Garrison, David Binney, Nigel Kennedy and rock stars of the former Yugoslavia, Dado Topic and Vlatko Stefanovski.

“Alive” was recorded during the Serbian tour in October 2014. The lineup includes Vasil Hadžimanov on piano and keyboards; David Binney on alto sax; Branko Trijić on guitar; Miroslav Tovirac on bass; Bojan Ivković on percussion, vocals; and Pedja Milutinović on drums.

Check out the beautiful saxophone free version of Nocturnal Joy / Tri boje zvuka:

Buy “Alive

Iconic Afro-Cuban jazz-rock fusion group Síntesis to celebrate its four decades in Havana

Síntesis
Síntesis

Síntesis (Synthesis), the iconic Cuban group led by bassist, singer and composer Carlos Alfonso Valdes, will celebrate its four decades on Saturday, March 5 at 16:00 at Casa de África in Havana.

Founded in December 1976, Síntesis started as a progressive rock band inspired by Genesis and the nueva trova, releasing En Busca De Una Nueva Flor. The group later evolved towards a fusion of progressive jazz-rock and Afro-Cuban influences to become those of the most significant and original acts Cuba with their album series called Ancestros.

Progressive Music Trio Consider The Source Releases Free Album

New York City-based progressive music trio Consider The Source is celebrating its 10th anniversary with a free compilation. The anthology, titled “Past Is Prologue: 2005-2015”, includes tracks from every Consider The Source studio album, including multiple pieces from the recent “World War Trio” series.

The band plays Middle Eastern influenced music mixed with progressive rock, heavy metal riffs, cinematic orchestrations, odd-time improvisations and world music beats.

Formed in 2004, the current lineup of Consider the includes Gabriel Marin on fretless double-neck guitar; John Ferrara on bass; and Jeff Mann on drums and percussion.

Tracks include:

1. Aquarians (World War Trio Part II, 2015)
2. You Are Obsolete (World War Trio Part II, 2015)
3. Tsim Sha Tsui (World War Trio Part III, 2015)
4. Put Another Rock In That Bag [single edit] (World War Trio Part I, 2014)
5. Closer To Home (That’s What’s Up, 2010)
6. \ i / (That’s What’s Up, 2010)
7. Blue Steel (Are You Watching Closely, 2009)
8. Moisturize The Situation (Are You Watching Closely, 2009)
9. Constantly Nostalgic (Esperanto, 2006)
10. Patterns (Esperanto, 2006)
Bonus Track: Past Is Prologue (Untitled EP, 2005)

Free Compilation Album Download link

Beledo, a Fusion Master

Beledo – “Dreamland Mechanism” (MoonJune Records, 2016)

Although Uruguayan musician Beledo is best known as a virtuoso electric guitarist, on his new album “Dreamland Mechanism” he showcases his talent as a multi-instrumentalist.

“Dreamland Mechanism” contains a wonderful mix of progressive jazz-rock fusion combined with world music elements, including tango, flamenco and Indonesian music.

Beledo uses various guitar techniques including the captivating Alan Holdsworth-style that has fascinated fusion and progressive rock audiences for years. Beledo is also a skilled violinist and keyboardist, delivering memorable solo work throughout the album.

Joining Beledo is an impressive lineup of international musicians, including some of the best instrumentalists in the current jazz-rock fusion scene.

Although the entire album is outstanding, there is one piece that really stands out over the rest, the delightful laid back “Budjanaji,” a guitar lover’s dream, featuring two guitar masters, Beledo and Dewa Budjana, performing extraordinary guitar solos.

The lineup on includes Beledo on electric and acoustic guitar, acoustic piano, violin, accordion, Fender Rhodes, Mini Moog, fretless electric bass; Lincoln Goines on electric bass; Gary Husband on drums; Tony Steele on electric bass; Doron Lev on drums and percussion; Endang Ramdan on lead Sundanese kendang percussion; Cucu Kurnia on Sundanese kendang percussion; Dewa Budjana on electric guitar solo; and Rudy Zulkarnaen on electric bass.

“Dreamland Mechanism” features remarkable performances by fusion maestro Beledo and his colleagues.

Buy Dreamland Mechanism in North America

Buy Dreamland Mechanism in Europe

Interview with Virtuoso Guitarist Jane Getter

Jazz-rock guitarist and composer Jane Getter has attracted a lot of attention with her new album On. Getter fuses, rock, jazz and other elements, delivering a fabulous progressive rock mix. Getter talks to Progressive rock Central about and her background.

Can you give our readers a brief history on how you got involved with music?

My first instrument was piano which I started at around age 7 or 8. I then switched to guitar after spying on my sister’s guitar lessons. My parents finally gave in and gave me lessons. I stopped for a few years and then picked it up again in high school. It was in college that I became very serious about playing, and practiced 6 hours a day at one point. I chose to make it my career then.

What do you consider as the essential elements of your music?

I have a very eclectic taste in music, from rock to classical, world to gospel, metal to blues, funk and R&B, etc. It all comes together in my writing and playing.

Who can you cite as your main musical influences?

My influences have changed over the years: Crosby Stills and Nash, Led Zeppelin, Wes Montgomery, Miles Davis, Jeff Beck, John McLaughlin, Alan Holdsworth, John Coltrane, more recently King Crimson, Porcupine Tree, Animals As Leaders, Opeth, Periphery.

 

Jane Getter
Jane Getter

 

Are there any specific guitarists that inspired you to play guitar?

Bonnie Raitt, Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page, and then a friend of mine took me to see Joe Pass play solo and I was totally blown away and said “I want to do that”. Others are Wes Montgomery, Allan Holdsworth, Jeff Beck, John McLaughlin, Robben Ford.

Tell us about your first recordings and your musical evolution.

I started out playing folk and blues on acoustic guitar. I then started playing jazz on a hollow body guitar and did that for a number of years. Then I started getting into jazz-rock fusion and got my first solid body guitar. From there it’s been a gradual evolution into where I am today.

My first recording which never got released was a straight ahead jazz record (all originals) called “The Weaver”. Then in 1998, my first album came out on Lipstick Records called “Jane”. It’s a jazz-rock and funk fusion record with a couple of smooth jazz songs. “See Jane Run” is a straight up jazz-rock fusion album. “Three” combines jazz-rock and prog rock.

 

 

Jane Getter - Jane
Jane Getter – Jane

 

Jane Getter - See Jane Run
Jane Getter – See Jane Run

 

Jane Getter - Three
Jane Getter – Three

 

What’s the concept behind On, your new album?

My style has been evolving over the years and I feel ON to be my strongest work yet. My eclectic taste in music always enters into my writing and I feel this album is more focused than my previous work. The music for this album is what I am hearing and digging now.

 

Jane Getter Premonition - On
Jane Getter Premonition – On

 

You have brought together some of the finest jazz-rock fusion musicians. How did you connect with the current members of your band?

Adam Holzman is my husband and he’s played in my band and co-produced with me since my first album “Jane”. I’d been a fan of Chad Wackerman’s since I heard the Allan Holdsworth records he’s on and we had done some shows together in LA [Los Angeles] a few times before the recording happened. Bryan Beller is the perfect player for this music and he and Adam had done a project together previously.

Alex Skolnick and I play in another project together and he brought the perfect combination of metal, rock and jazz to this project that I wanted. I had been a fan of Corey Glover ever since I first heard him in Living Colour and I was so thrilled to have him on this record. Theo Travis and Adam have worked together in Steven Wilson’s band and he was perfect for what I wanted also.

 

Jane Getter Premonition
Jane Getter Premonition

 

What guitar types and models are you playing now?

My main guitar is made by Peekamoose Custom Guitars, which is a small guitar shop out of New York. It’s their model 1 made specifically for me – a Strat-style with humbuckers. I also play a 1971 Fender telecaster, a custom Strat from when I was with Fender about 10 years ago. The acoustics I’m using now are: Yamaha AC3R, 1972 Martin D28, 1982 Ovation nylon string.

Do you keep most of your previous guitars?

I have a few that I keep because I love but haven’t been using much lately, especially my 1953 Gibson ES175.

Is there an all-time favorite guitar?

I love them all, but my Peekamoose has become my favorite now.

What guitar effects do you use?

For distortion, mostly my Fuchs amp distortion, but also a Maxon overdrive, Seymour Duncan Dirty Deed, 805 Overdrive, Lava Box, Rocktron Metal Planet Jam Delay Lama, Boss Digital Delay, Tone Concepts Distillery, Vox Wah Wah, Korg Volume Pedal, TC Electronics stereo chorus, flanger, sometimes the MXR Dynacomp compressor.

 

 

Do you play any other musical instruments?

I play a little bass, drums and keyboards.

What music are you currently listening to?

Animals As Leaders, Periphery, John McLaughlin, Steven Wilson, Opeth, Alan Holdsworth, Marvin Sapp, Oumou Sangare, Nine Inch Nails

If you could gather any musicians or musical groups to collaborate with, whom would that be?

I would love to collaborate with Herbie Hancock, Steven Wilson, Mikael Ackerfeldt, Jeff Beck.

Do you have any upcoming projects to share with us?

Right now I’m mainly focused on getting my new project Jane Getter Premonition out to the world. I still play in a few other projects like the three guitar project with Alex Skolnick and Bruce Arnold, called Skolnick, Getter, Arnold – previously called Eclectic Electric Guitar Trio. Jane Getter Premonition is my main thing at the moment.