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October 2001 Instrumentals

     
 


JORDAN RUDESS


WARREN BUTTLER

RAGS TO RICH'S

ZENFIN

TIPSY

RODNEY JONES
 
     
  JORDAN RUDESS
Feeding The Wheel
(Magna Carta)

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Heís worked with The Dixie Dregs, Liquid Tension Experiment, Dream Theater and soon with David Bowie. Now keyboard wiz Jordan Rudess returns with a strong instrumental CD on the New York-based progressive rock label Magna Carta. According to Rudess, "If someone asked me what kind of album this is, I would say a rock album, even though some of it is jazz, some classical, some perhaps leaning toward Dream Theater. So itís a blend." With eleven tracks clocking in at over an hour, Feeding The Wheel simply smokes with a stormy blend of electrifying instrumental jazz-rock fusion. In his effort to keep the high quality sound at fever pitch, Rudess has enlisted some of todayís most gifted fusion instrumentalists including drummer Terry Bozzio and guitarists John Petrucci, Steve Morse and Peter Ernst and bassist Billy Sheehan. His resume as an innovative, hi-tech keyboard synthesist is well documented on the numerous albums on which heís played so itís extremely gratifying to see Rudess return with such a powerful and accomplished solo effort that more or less defines the state of jazz-rock fusion in the 21st Century. www.magnacarta.net 


 
  WARREN BUTTLER
The Properties Of Mercy
(Snowball In Hell)

After too many years away from the guitar world, Georgia-based Warren Buttler recently returned with a new album that tackles an array of guitar styles. New Age, rock and progressive fusion styles add numerous layers to the sound stage and Buttlerís interim work as a counter terrorism expert in the Middle East is reflected in the shadowy make-up of several tracks. In addition to his skills on classical, Flamenco and 6&12 string guitars, Buttler intensifies things with electric guitar, guitar synths and Boss drum machine. In addition to the all original tracks here, Buttler provides some relief from his sonic offensive with a lovely etude from classical icon Fernando Sor. The strongest element at work on The Properties Of Mercy is the CDís daring sense of atmosphere and intrigue. Busy at work on his next album titled, The Cultivation Of Grace, Buttler describes his sound as being like a three car collision between "a mountain folk group from Chile, a bunch of half-assed Flamenco guitar players with the third car occupied by Pink Floyd". An impeccable effort from a rising guitar figure, The Properties Of Mercy is an interesting choice for searching guitar enthusiasts. www.wbuttler.com 


 
  RAGS TO RICH'S
Rags To Rich's
(R-own)

The self-titled CD debut from Missouri-based Rags To Rich's explores the world of instrumental guitar music with styles running the gamut from Duane Eddy and Dick Dale style instrumental surf-rock to Chet Atkins flavored jazz, smooth pop/jazz and straight ahead rock and roll. According to guitarist, group leader and Brooklyn native Richie Rebuth, "I have always stuck to the guitar. Iíve never been a singer, so the whole instrumental think was not an accident." On their self-titled CD, Rebuth shares center spotlight with Eddie Hines (bass), Kelly Brown (keyboards) and John Ďthe Boatí Anderson (drums). Delving into so many styles of guitar instrumental sounds gives the album an appealing diversity while the sure-footed playing and innovative original tunes makes it a sure-fire winner for guitar fans of all persuasions. email: www.ragstorichs.com 


 
  ZENFIN
The Journey Within
(Zenfin)

Essentially a one man band performing all guitars, synths, bass and drum programming, Zenfin is the brainchild of New Hampshire-based Mark Luz. In his credits Luz cites Steve Vai and the space-rock band Ozric Tentacles with inspiration rounded out by influences like Pink Floyd and Carlos Santana. A most promising guitarist and composer Luz is also influenced by Eastern schools of thought like Buddhism and Tantra yoga and the meditative flow of The Journey Within reflects this as well. Luz employs his Gibson PRS Custom 24 and Roland GR9 guitar synth to great avail and his percussion and bass programming adds alot to the overall sound. A solid instrumental CD with the right shadings of New Age and prog-rock, The Journey Within covers alot of musical ground indeed. www.mp3.com/zenfin 


 
  TIPSY
Uh-Oh!
(Asphodel)

The lounge and exotica music craze may have peaked a few years back, but donít tell that to Tipsy. The San Francisco based duo of Dave Gardner and Tim Digulla recently released their second and best album yet on the S.F.-based Asphodel. A stunning composite of experimental sounds, electronica, Ď60 T.V. and soundtrack music and ambient exotica, Uh-Oh! takes a kitchen sink approach to instrumental music. A surreal, futuristic soundtrack, Uh-Oh! masterfully blends guitars, keyboards and drums and then really mixes things up with sound splices of winds, horns, background voices and the ultra-weird sounding theremin. The incredible production and engineering adds much to the often dizzying sound. The appealing cover art gives a good indication of the strange sounds within. www.asphodel.com 


 
  RODNEY JONES
Soul Manifesto
(Blue Note)

One of the funkiest, most soulful instrumental jazz CDs of year, Soul Manifesto finds electric guitarist Rodney Jones in the fine company of jazz superstars Maceo Parker (sax), Arthur Blythe (sax), Dr. Lonnie Smith (organ) and Idris Muhammad (drums). Inspired early on by The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, James Brown and Sly Stone, the NYC-based Jones went on to work with greats like Dizzy Gillespie, Chico Hamilton and singer Lena Horne. Among the many highlights of the guitar-based CD are steamy covers of the Afro-tinged Odillen Dibango classic "Soul Makossa", a soulful cover of the Bill Withersí classic "Ainít No Sunshine", the ten minute title track and the bluesy "One Green Turnip", the latter a tribute to guitar greats Grant Green, Kenny Burrell, Barney Kessel and Wes Montgomery and which Jones describes as "my way of thanking those guitarists who went before and blazed a path for me and others." A jazzy, soulful set of funky, bluesy instrumentals, Soul Manifesto is a stone groove from start to finish. www.soulmanifesto.com 


 
 
 
   
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