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April 2003








Night Divides The Day
(Windham Hill / Dancing Cat)

George Winston is best known for his million selling solo piano albums such as Autumn and Winter Into Spring and he’s also quite active with his Hawaiian slack key guitar releases on Dancing Cat. In between his piano explorations and his Slack Key work with Dancing Cat, the Montana native found the time to record and release an evocative solo instrumental piano tribute to The Doors entitled Night Divides The Day. The title of the album is a line from the first Doors single “Break On Through”, a song of which Winston notes, “to me it was the greatest piece of music I’d ever heard. It was deeper to me than anything I’d heard.” Night Divides The Day evolved out of eleven Doors songs that Winston arranged as part of the repertoire for solo R&B piano dances—something that he’s doing quite a bit of these days. Displaying a wide texture of sounds and styles, Winston has totally tuned into and combined some classic barrel-house, boogie-woogie piano sounds with the majestic guitar / keyboard arrangements that The Doors were so well known for. Even original Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek was quoted as saying, “I love George’s playing. He has captured the essence of The Doors, and added his own unique voice.” All the hits are there from “People Are Strange” and “Light My Fire” to “Love Her Madly” and “Riders On The Storm”—the group’s last big hit with the late, great Jim Morrison. Excellent cover art and a fascinating booklet with in-depth liner notes by Winston adds further scope to Winston’s unique piano tribute to one of the greatest American rock bands of the ‘60s.



The Radiosong

It’s a rare event when a certified jazz-rock fusion guitar icon stretches out into the realm of rock and roll and hip-hop, but that’s exactly what Norwegian guitar ace Terje Rypdal did. Teaming with guitarist / vocalist Ronnie Le Tekro and a number of other fine players on the 2002 release of The Radiosong, Rypdal has recorded an exquisite, unexpected album of instrumental and vocal tracks that almost invents a new musical language. Rypdal is still the master when it comes to icey-hot, soaring guitar pyrotechnics and his touch is right on the money here. Blending ECM-style ambient fusion with Tekro’s pop / fusion bent, The Radiosong is a splendid ten track affair that invites the listener in and then overpowers with sheer emotion and musical majesty. Primarily instrumental, with Rypdal’s guitar in top form, the album lightens up a bit with Tekro’s vocals, especially on the whimsical title track. The Radiosong goes well beyond Rypdal’s ECM sound with a wealth of innovative, passionate electric guitar instrumental sounds.



Create Your Own Reality

Guitarist Scott Bradoka won over lots of guitar fans with his first three solo albums including two sets produced by guitar great Carl Verheyen. On his latest album, Create Your Own Reality, Bradoka is joined by the gifted producer and multi-instrumentalist Eric Bazilian and the result is Bradoka’s most accomplished and melodic album yet. Kicking off an atmospheric fusion jaunt entitled “X2000”, Create Your Own Reality proceeds with an impressive range of modern, high-tech guitar instrumental sounds even including a rockin’, jazzy instrumental of Brian Wilson’s classic Beach Boys melody “California Girls”. Trading off hot guitar licks and sharing compositional credits on a number of tracks here, Bradoka and Bazilian receive like-minded support from drummer Scott Williams and there’s even an appearance from guitarist Jeff Golub. In the spirit of guitar masters like Beck, Morse and Howe, Create Your Own Reality is a near perfect sounding and thoroughly inventive guitar instrumental album.



(30th President)

A relative of former President Calvin Coolidge, guitarist Calvin L. Coolidge II recently released his second instrumental guitar album and it’s a winner. Produced by New Age synthesist Paul Speer—and featuring a number of gifted players—Seconds is low key, but don’t let that fool you. Coolidge is masterful at combining deeply meditative instrumental moods and eloquent acoustic / electric guitar performance. Describing the musical makeup of Seconds Calvin adds, “I suppose, for this CD, a broad category might be modern day instrumental, but I suppose that's ultimately up to the listener.” An excellent album to unwind and mellow out with, Seconds is a fine introduction to the Seattle-based guitarist.


Classical Graffiti
(EMI / Dramatico)

Conceived and produced by classical rock impresario Mike Batt, the debut CD from The Planets—Classical Graffiti—takes the perennially popular crossover classical rock sound into the 2000’s with style. Batt’s work pay off and the Planets’ CD features an intriguing hybrid mixture of classical strings and rock themes performed by a band of eight mostly British and Euro musicians including electric guitarists Ben Pugsley and Anne-Kathrin Schirmer. Batt’s muse comes alive here, combining his own unique classical/rock compositions meshed with adaptations of timeless music from classical icons like Joaquin Rodrigo, Bizet, Ravel, Bach and Debussy and more. Batt personally selected these young and gifted players from some of the finest music schools in Europe and the extensive CD booklet provides a wealth of information behind each member of The Planets.


Secret Songs Of The Sitar Player
(Akasha Productions)

One of the coolest discoveries on the South Florida music scene is Miami-based Stephan Mikés. Originally from Chicago, Mikés began performing and recording his own unique brand of world-beat instrumental music with the focus right on his superb sitar playing way back in the ‘80s. Renowned for combining the enchanting Indian flavored raga sounds of the sitar with all types of music including Latin, Middle Eastern, Afro Cuban and Caribbean, Mikés further flavors his albums with his compelling performances on guitar, mandolin and lap steel guitar. Late in 2002 Mikés released what is perhaps his best album yet. Secret Songs Of The Sitar Player picks up from where earlier Mikés albums like Dakini Beach and The Good, The Bad & The Karmic leave off. A great chill-out album filled with world-beat sitar sounds and subtle yet effective percussion and electronica, Secret Songs is like an audio travelogue filled with magical, mystical sounds. A noteworthy 2001 CD release from Stephan Mikés is Jewel Of The Lotus. With the stress of modern life threatening to tear apart the world it’s great there’s music like the three track Jewel Of The Lotus. Clocking in at over an hour, the CD is a real treat for anyone interested in the karmic sounds of Ravi Shankar and all the great Indian sitar players of the past. Both the upbeat, groove-oriented sounds of Secret Songs and the meditative, downtime vibes of Jewel Of The Lotus show two equally fascinating sides of the artist’s expansive musical horizons.


Attention Artists and Record Companies: Have your CD reviewed in and 20th Century Guitar. Send to P.O. Box 630249, Little Neck, N.Y. 11363-0249 e-mail:

Attention Artists and Record Companies: Have your CD reviewed by Send to: CD Reviews Editor Robert Silverstein, P.O. Box 630249, Little Neck, N.Y. 11363-0249