Tag Archives: guitar

Guitar Maestro Steve Hackett Releases Video for ‘Behind The Smoke’

Renowned guitarist and composer Steve Hackett (formerly of Genesis) is set to release his latest album ‘The Night Siren’ on March 24th , 2017 through InsideOut Music (Sony). In the meantime, Hackett has released a brand new video for the album’s opening track ‘Behind The Smoke.’

I’m thrilled with this video for the track ‘Behind the Smoke’ from my new album The Night Siren,” says Steve Hackett. “Director Ivan and the I-Code team have created an extraordinary film here resembling an epic movie! It perfectly matches the song, which laments the predicament of refugees throughout the ages. More compassion is needed in this world for those escaping persecution and death.”

‘The Night Siren’ is a wake-up call… the warning of a siren sounding in this era of conflicts and disagreement.

The album lineup includes Steve Hackett on guitar & vocals; Roger King on keyboards & programming; Nad Sylvan on vocals on Inca Terra; Rob Townsend on all things wind; Amanda Lehmann on vocals; Gary O’Toole on drums; and Benedict Fenner on additional keyboards & programming).

Also featured are vocalists Kobi Farhi and Mira on Israeli and Palestinian; Nick D’Virgilio on drums, from the USA; Malik Mansurov on tar, from Azerbaijan; and Gulli Breim on drums and percussion, from Iceland.

Additional musicians who add to the rich flavor of the album are Christine Townsend on violin and viola; Dick Driver on double bass; Troy Donockley on uilleann pipes; and Leslie Bennett on keyboards on The Gift.

Order The Night Siren

Pete Oxley and Nicolas Meier’s Extraordinary Guitar Dialog

Pete Oxley and Nicolas Meier – The Colours of Time (MGP Records MGPCD019, 2016)

Two of Europe’s finest eclectic jazz guitarists continue their series of collaborations with a double album titled The Colours of Time. The set is divided into two separate formats. The first album is a series of solo original works composed by either Pete Oxley or Nicolas Meier.

The material on disc 1 showcases the virtuosity of the two musicians along with their talent as composers, delivering a set of exquisite guitar duets. The two guitarists use a wide range of guitars and guitar-playing techniques. In addition to the usual solo and rhythm guitar styles, there is an ongoing guitar interchange throughout the album as well as beautiful moments where the guitarists use a beautiful plucking method that makes the guitar sound like a mesmerizing harp.

Although jazz is the foundation on disc 1, Oxley and Meier inject many other influences such as Gypsy jazz on “Waltz for Dilek”, Turkish influences on “Princes’ Island”, Pat Metheny-style guitar synth on “In Restless Repose”, North African/Middle Eastern sounds on “Sahara” and more Pat Metheny influences on “First Day of Spring,” although this time with Oxley on electric guitar.

On Disc 2, the original compositions become more rhythmic and electric with the addition of bassist Raph Mizraki and drummer Paul Cavaciuti. Pat Metheny’s influence continues on the opening track, “The Followers.” There is also a delicious ballad that perfectly crosses over into smooth jazz territory.

Some of the best tracks on this disc are the ones with a Middle Eastern flavor, such as “Riversides” and “Fethiye Crossroad.” Lastly, I need to mention a fabulous piece titled “Tales” that has instant classic appeal, with memorable bluesy solos.

 

 

The lineup on The Colours of Time includes Pete Oxley on nylon string, steel, electric, synth, jazz, and electric 12 string guitars; Nicolas Meier on nylon string, steel, acoustic 12-string, fretless nylon, glissentar, and jazz guitars; Paul Cavaciuti on drums; and Raph Mizraki on acoustic and electric basses.

The Colours of Time introduces the listener to a remarkable guitar dialog between two extraordinary guitarists.

Buy The Colours of Time

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

David Marnay Releases Resonance

David Marnay – Resonance

French guitarist David Marnay has a new album titled Resonance. Originally from Mayenne, he draws his inspiration from a wide-range of sources such as classical music, jazz-rock fusion, flamenco (Paco De Lucia), Celtic music (Dan Ar Bras), progressive rock (Steve Hackett, Steve Howe) and even hard rock (Rush). The common factor that emerges from this mix is a love for the acoustic six-string guitar, in all its forms.

Buy Resonance

Nicolas Meier, Rising Fusion Star

Nicolas Meier – Infinity (Favored Nations, 2016)

In terms of jazz-rock fusion, this is one of the best albums I’ve heard this year. Swiss-born guitar maestro Nicolas Meier delivers a fabulous set of instrumental pieces filled with memorable guitar work and outstanding interplay with bassist Jimmy Haslip and drummer Vinnie Colaiuta.

What catches your attention quickly is the versatility of Meier. He uses a wide range of guitars and also the Turkish blaglama. With his arsenal or acoustic and electric axes, Meier treats the listener to state of the art fusion where jazz and rock meet Turkish, Egyptian, Balkan and Spanish musical influences.

I usually highlight the best pieces on an album. In this case, the choice is very difficult because all of Meiers compositions are equally good. Meier and his colleagues make flawless transitions throughout the album, combining high energy fusion with delightful laid back sections.

Nicolas Meier
Nicolas Meier

 

Jimmy Haslip gets plenty of opportunities to deliver his remarkable electric bass solos. And Vinnie Colaluta is a master of creative drumming, which he practices throughout the album. In addition to the core bass and drums, Meier also invited three violinists, Richard Jones, Sally Jo and Lizzie Ball and a fellow guitarist, Gregor Bale, to the album sessions.

 

 

Infinity showcases the talent and open mind of one of the finest jazz-rock guitarists in the current scene.

 

Buy Infinity in the Americas

Buy Infinity in Europe

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

Finely Crafted Modern Jazz Guitar

Fabrizio Sotti Trio  - Forty
Fabrizio Sotti Trio – Forty

Fabrizio Sotti Trio Forty (Incipit Records, 2016)

On Forty, virtuoso jazz guitarist Fabrizio Sotti delivers safe zone jazz with a mix of melancholic guitar, swing, blues and a smooth jazz version of a bossa nova classic, “How Insensitive (Insensatez)”.

The highlights of the album are the ambient guitars sounds on “Intro to the Bridge” and the captivating blues piece titled “The Bridge” dedicated to his wife and the Ponte dei Sospire in Venice, where they got married.

The lineup includes Fabrizio Sotti o guitars; Bulgarian artist Peter Slavov on bass; and Cuban musician Francisco Mela drums.

Forty is a finely crafted modern jazz guitar album.

Rock Guitarist Andreas Šala Reveals Play-Through Video for New Song “Hue”

Andreas Šala
Andreas Šala

Croatian guitarist and composer Andreas Šala, who performs with bands Subscale, The Ralph and If And When We Die, has released a play-through video for the song “Hue” taken from his upcoming solo album Pleasure Dome.

Šala plays Wreck Guitars’ BlueMorpho 6 in the video. “I wanted to make a solo record for quite some time now but I just couldn’t decide in which direction I want to take it. But when I got my hands on the BlueMorpho melodies just started to pour out of me and I knew what I had to do. I felt like a kid again,” says Šala.

Pleasure Dome will be different from the albums Šala releases with Subscale and The Ralph in that is more ambient and minimalistic. “I wanted to do something a bit different. For the past 5 years I was composing mostly metal for The Ralph so I wanted to take a step back. I’m a huge Joe Satriani fan (and 80’s/90’s instrumental music fan in general) and I always liked “bigger than life” melodies so it seemed like a logical step to make a guitar driven instrumental album.”

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