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Lua's Dance
(Lovely Lua Productions)

There’s a good reason why Steve Winwood keeps guitarist Jose Neto in his band. Neto’s unique brand of mellow Brazilian jazz really hits the spot on the 2005 CD with his group, Netoband entitled Lua’s Dance. Like a modern Jobim, Neto lets his guitar do most of the talking. Assisted by the fine players in the Netoband, Jose is also joined by Steve Winwood on synth and background vocals along with percussionist Café, who adds in some fine Milton Nascimento flavored wordless vocals. Neto recently lost his daughter tragically and some of the tracks on Lua’s Dance exhibit a melancholy, meditative feel played within the framework of Neto’s brilliantly executed progressive instrumental Brazilian / World Beat jazz-rock.



Steve Howe's Remedy Live
(Classic Pictures)

The long awaited DVD of Steve Howe’s Remedy was released in 2005 on the U.K. based Classic Pictures. Captured live on their 2004 European tour the 2+ hour DVD features live versions of Steve and company performing tracks from his 2003 Remedy Elements CD, Howe’s 2002 Skyline album (both Inside Out Music releases) along with live versions of ‘70s Howe solo classics, a version of “My White Bicycle” from his Tomorrow days and a pair of instrumental excerpts from his early Yes years, “Close To The Edge” and “Wurm.” Howe and his sons—Dylan Howe (drums) and Virgil Howe (keyboards)—are further complimented here with Derrick Taylor (bass) and guitar great Ray Fenwick (on rhythm). A rockin’ performance from a guitar legend, Howe’s DVD also includes bonus footage of Steve performing solo acoustic live in 2004 boosted with a documentary on the making of the Remedy tour, in depth interviews with all the players, backstage footage and further live footage.



Calling Forth The Stars
(Time Space Music)

Just check out William Taylor Prichard’s imaginative web site and you can get a good indication of where this versatile guitarist is coming from on his fifth solo album, Calling Forth The Stars. Masterful at non-invasive smooth jazz, new age, instrumental rock and all forms of progressive guitar sounds, the San Francisco-based guitarist studied with jazz icons John Abercrombie and Joe Pass and he’s accurately been described as a modern day mixture of Michael Hedges meets Pat Metheny. You can also get a good idea of Prichard’s subtle imagination by the CD cover art, which, resembling a Dali painting compliments the music within as well. Save for a couple guest players on the occasional soprano sax and bass clarinet—and the excellent drums and tabla work by Bob Blankenship—Prichard handles most of the instrumentation here, turning in a remarkable job on electric / acoustic guitars, guitar synths, deering banjo and electronic percussion. Also spotlighting Prichard’s composing, arranging, production and engineering work, Calling Forth The Stars is essential listening for all fans of adventurous instrumental guitar music.



A wild mix of Ventures / Shadows style guitar instros, Ricky Ricardo inspired cha-cha and bossa nova kitsch and late ‘50s film noir soundtracks laced with some mean sax, the 2005 CD from Boston-based Four Piece Suit really swings. Guitarist Milt Reder has lost none of his knack to bowl you over with a guitar instrumental sound that refuses categorization. Much like that freaky camel on the cover, this music out there, but this noctet gleefully embraces a number of instrumental music forms with open arms. Although the name is Four Piece Suit, Spirito finds eight additional players abetting Reder’s meritorious guitar vision.


Hair - A Surf Tribal Love-Rock Musical
(Om Om)

Based over in Italy, OmOm Music have been releasing some great tribute albums including their great double disc tributes American Graffiti Revisited, That's New Pussycat!- A surf tribute to Burt Bacharach and one of their recent 2005 releases, a tribute to Biker / Surf rock king Davie Allan called Evil Fuzz. Now the label reaches another milestone with their 2005 release of Hair - A Surf Tribal Love-Rock Musical. With fantastic music written by Galt McDermott, Hair spawned a number of classic pop melodies such as the title track, “Aquarius” and “Good Morning Starshine.” For their rockin’ Hair tribute, OmOm have assembled some of today’s top guitar instrumental groups to perform on this mostly instrumental 24 track CD. Kicking off the The Atlantics serving up a surf-rock treatment of “Aquarius,” the CD moves on with fine performances from notable groups like The Weisstronauts, The Atomic Mosquitoes, Urban Surf Kings, Seks Bomba and much more. A cool deal for surf-rock fans and those who enjoyed all the great music of Hair, OmOm’s surf-musical version of Hair also features some way-cool psychedelic ‘60s cover art!



Recorded in May 2005, Danza features classical guitarist Scott Morris in the studio with noted rock producer Niko Bolas. Morris was masterful on his last solo outing Invocation, and on the ten track 54 minute Danza Morris furthers his stellar reputation performing a challenging five part classical suite by Heitor Villa-Lobos, the three part “Grand Sonata In A Major” by Niccolo Paganini and a pair classical guitar arrangements by Jorge Morel including “El Condor Pasa”. Currently the director of guitar studies at California State University in Dominguez Hills, Morris waxes on the significance of these timeless guitar treasures in the lengthy Danza liner notes. Featuring a top performance by Morris on his Thomas Humphrey Millennium and Jack Sanders (19th c. guitar), Danza is a worthy addition to his repertoire. Commenting on working with Niko Bolas in the studio Morris adds, ““Having a producer like Niko Bolas really allowed me to just focus on playing rather than engineering or production. Also, he had these custom Yamaha NS10’s that he has glued the guitar picks of musicians he has recorded that should be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame of something. Since I play fingerstyle, he glued my nail file up there right between Keith Richards and Robert Cray. I think that’s pretty cool!” Unobtrusive production by Bolas and Erich Gobel allows Morris to clearly focus on his expressive guitar methodology.

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

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