0 To 60 - Collected
(Cottage Music Productions)


In previous reviews in both and in my twelve years as the reviews editor with 20th Century Guitar magazine, I always singled out great guitarists from Long Island for review. Although rock legends like Lou Reed and Leslie West are noted Long Islanders who made it big in the rock world, many great players are equally deserving of some press. Case in point is Long Island guitarist Garry Katz. Garry made waves with his 2007 album Straight On Till Morning, which this writer featured in the February 2007 issue of 20th Century Guitar magazine. You can see the interview on Garry’s web site where it’s been archived and now in 2010, is pleased to review Garry’s 12 cut all instrumental compilation CD, released on his own Soundscope / Cottage Records label. 0 To 60 - Collected features classic previously released Katz tracks, several newly remixed and overdubbed tracks plus three brand new tracks. Garry describes the guitar based collection as a mixture of fusion, rock, funk and acoustic instrumental pieces. With Garry handling all the electric lead and rhythm guitars, guitar synth, fretless bass guitar and more, 0 To 60 - Collected also features key contributions from several other musicians including drummers Frank Pace and Leo Portuesi. With its mix of cosmic, New Age-y style instrumental rock or straight ahead, hard hitting instrumental rock fusion, 0 To 60 - Collected has something for all types of guitar instrumental aficionados.

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Musical Background

Over the past twenty years, the guitar has given me a way to communicate through notes and chords in a way nothing prior ever had. Playing guitar afforded me an opportunity to perform, travel, record and produce in a broad range of areas. Some high points along the way include working with Dennis Willams of the O'Jays, touring with Badfinger, and having the good fortune to work with many talented artists and groups, both in recording studios and live onstage.

New CD

In early 2010 I laid down the final tracks to 0 To 60 in my New York studio on a Roland 24-track digital hard drive. I played the guitars, bass, guitar synthesizers, and programmed some drums on the album. For the guitar synth parts, I used the GR30, another great piece of Roland gear. I used this for various string sounds, pianos and piano solos, and for fretless bass parts, among others. Drummer Frank Pace was instrumental in adding to the live energy and feel of the record.

More so than my first instrumental album, which featured a bit more of a variety of instruments, this CD evolved to be a more definitive guitar album, with multiple guitar parts using many of my favorite sounds and styles on many of the tracks of the new compositions. The guitar tracks, especially the solos in these recordings, capture the closest in the studio I've gotten to the live excitement and edge of the stage intensity of a live performance. Like any journey, 0 To 60 is best experienced straight through from beginning to end.

Favorite Guitars

My number one guitar is and for the last twenty years has been my Sunburst Washburn SB-8. Originally purchased as a backup for a Fender Strat, I soon came to realize that no other guitar sounded as good to me as the Washburn. A major factor in the Washburn's usability for me is it's flexibility. The bridge pickup splits between a single coil and a humbucker, which gives me a nice balance of tones. The single coil setting lets me get great Strat-style sounds for funk, R&B, and big tone colors, while the bridge pickup gives me big Les Paul type lead sounds. A Roland MIDI pickup is set up next to the bridge to access the GR30 guitar synthesizer. The Guitar Museum in New Hyde Park, N.Y. does my guitar setups.

My rig is a customized Galien Kruger 250ML through Marshall bottoms. Right after picking up the GK we tweaked the overdrive to give it a warm, lyrical distortion. The clean channel also sounds very good, as does the chorus effects and echo. This guitar/rig setup was used exclusively on 0 To 60.

Musical Influences

The music I remember hearing, the earliest on that made an impression was Simon & Garfunkel. I loved their sound, and later on remember being blown away by the lyrics to the “Sounds Of Silence”. I also remember hearing The Beatles a lot when I was young and loving their unique and timeless song writing styles. Their Revolver album remains my favorite, and also contains more recording innovations than possibly any album ever made.

The earliest guitar influence when I was learning how to play was Jimi Hendrix. He was the person who got me into electric guitar. What he was doing seemed so far apart from anything else I'd heard I knew that although I loved the acoustic that the electric guitar was going to become a very important factor in my life. His song “Drifting” is just unmatchable.

I was also listening to Jimmy Page's use of the guitar to build and orchestrate tracks. Through adding different guitars, guitar sounds and sometimes harmonized parts at key points in the songs, he would bring out the best in the songs in a way no one has done before or since. His choice of notes and edgy improvisational style was ahead of his time. He is also very underrated as a producer, certainly one of the first to bring out the depth and ambiance of the drums. The live version of “No Quarter” from The Song Remains The Same soundtrack remains my favorite Page and Zeppelin moment. Steely Dan's mix of jazz, pop, and rock was also very original and have had me listening for as long as I can remember. Katy Lied is an essential album for me. Alex Lifeson of Rush was very influential to me for creating large sonic landscapes within a trio format and making one guitar sound like many more. The mid-period Rush albums, especially Hemispheres and Permanent Waves spoke volumes to me.

Other landmark albums for me include Yes-Close to The Edge, Laura Nyro-Eli And The Thirteenth Confession, and lots of old jazz and Motown and Philly albums, too many to name here.

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