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Customer Review

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LET'S JUST BE FRANK!, November 2, 2006
This review is from: Passages (Audio CD)
For those of us who PLAY guitar and like to brush up on [...] guitar leads when practicing, there is no better place to borrow a few tools from the kit than Frankie. For me, this one along with Great Explorers and Thinking Out Loud (I do have a few newer ones too, but I'm making a point about long-term cherished albums) are GO-TO learning tools for complete visions of great guitar-lead passages beyond the norm - and that is just the icing on the proverbial double-layer cake ... the chord progressions are always a demonstration of complete modal genius and control. Why not just take GIT home with you - IT IS A LOT CHEAPER!

Little Charmer is a GREAT start to this ass-kicker, this one will have you shaking your tail feathers and tuning your guitar up for a GREAT next 65 minutes, just listen to those lead structures - I love it! It certainly doesn't let up with the thundering 6.8 shaker, Frank isn't all too polite with guitar teardowns, musical statements are being made in a very firm tone - LISTEN UP! White Room is a scary nightmare of MONSTROUS old-school ass-kicking guitar lead technique (THIS IS FRESH CREAM MADE THE OLD FASHIONED WAY). Harmonized guitar is interlaced all through as in D-Day beach storming - he approaches from this way and that, from top to bottom, does his creativity EVER FIND AN END???

For fusion jazz, the songs carry very nice melodies and don't cliché out like some seem to say. Nunzio's Near is a delightful counterpoint harmony exercise playfully tying together all melodies with the bass (played beautifully all over this recording by Alphonso Johnson no less), these songs stick in your head, and that is a trick for instrumental jazzy albums from my experience, they are glued to my music appreciation nodes like no other. Otmaro Ruiz tickles the ivories electronic and otherwise, in a charming and playful, classy way. Free Spirit is another rhythmic guitar exercise shifting the accents constantly with the spunky clean but narly tone Frank always conjures up, even on seemingly quiet songs (he hauls ass). This is what some other guitarists like Steve Howe always excel at - intensity in the myst of peace and clean tone - THE SIGN OF THE MASTERS!

One-With-Everything is a Mahavishnu/Weather Report/Stanley Clarke like proggy-jazz piece (at over nine minutes), and man is it beautiful as each player talks back at eachother in an elevated musical conversation (keyboards highlighted here)... it is inspiring when the puzzle pieces fall into place during this journey and the picture is finally revealed. Let's see the detractors take a stab at this ambitious form of songstyle? Who dares try to out-do Weather Report, Al Di Meola or MahaVishnu? Perhaps the former Chick Corea guitarist just could be one of the few! Check out his swirly, spiraling guitar lines - WTF (Holdsworth is about to call a showdown)!

I don't know - I seem to always be stuck in some galaxy from yesteryear, but I dearly love these mid-period Gambale albums - THEY ROCK (with a jazzy flair)! Roxanna (I think this is his wife) studies the Larry Coryell school of jazz while keeping a Steely Dan kind of AOR feel intact ... The lightning fast arpeggiated solos are appreciated juxtaposed against the cool horn (saxes) creations that make a rare thick wall of precise structure for Frank to play to and around. Uluru shows the chord work Frank is legendary for with glissando classical sounding runs on a toneful, rich sounding nylon strung guitfiddle (he sings a pleasant scat type of thing on this song). Another Alternative is another bender with the blender, taking the blistering rock leads into the moody, jazzy realm again to end this fine album with some homemade greased lightning. You will be intoxicated, I promise, if you REALLY LOVE BAD-ASS LEAD GUITAR OVER QUALITY FUSION JAZZ COMPOSITION - THIS WILL ROCK YOUR SOCKS!! Practice up, you'll need it to keep up. ENJOY (when you feel wimpiness is creeping into your playing)!
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Location: WA

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