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Audio CD | Live
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Europe Live was recorded in venues across Johnson's tour of the continent, with the majority of the album capturing
his appearance at Amsterdam's Melkweg along with selections from two dates in Germany at Die Kantine in Köln and
Bochum Zeche and the Paris show at New Morning. Each appearance featured a unique set list, offering Johnson the
opportunity to cull this track listing from a wealth of repertoire captured.
100 Greatest Guitarists of the 20th Century --Musician Magazine
Eric Johnson is one of the most respected guitarists on the planet. --Guitar Player Magazine
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Top Customer Reviews
One of the most spectacular things about watching Eric play live is his ability to execute these incredibly complex compositions without hint that he's exerting any effort. Unlike watching an orchestra play a fantastically rehearsed symphony, it feels like Eric, with his band, invents a symphony off the cuff.
Europe Live feels more candid than any of his previous live albums. In fact, it feels like you are sitting at a round table in an intimate nightclub setting and soaking in the flavor of every note. It's wonderful.
The set list is comprehensive, spanning from his earlier "Tones" work to include his most recent "Up Close" tracks. Zenland comes up first after a teasing hint of Venus Isle in the introduction. Austin and Forty Mile keep the momentum going before switching gears to the jazzier Mr. P.C. and Manhattan. Zap and Last House are awesome treats. And, the bass player Chris Maresh plays phenomenally on Cliffs of Dover.
New Music? "Evinrude Fever" heads up the encore. Described as "just jamming" by Eric, I sure hope this makes it to a studio release sometime in the near future!
Collectively, the Europe Live release is a wonderful compilation of Eric's work. His three-piece band has truly never sounded better. The phenomenal Chris Maresh (bass) and Wayne Salzmann II (drums) complete the trio.
I'm certain this live collection will appeal equally to both casual and devoted fans. It's one of those "listen start to finish" albums. I highly recommend you pick it up!
That's as good a criteria as any I can think of for determining what is a 'great' album.
Having been an EJ fan for almost 25 years, I'd buy anything he put out; since his releases are few and far between. That said, this has become my favorite of all of them after a few listens.
I'd love to go track-by-track to give you my thoughts, but this would be a longgggg review. Here are the high points:
Eric's playing and tone are better than ever. Zenland just screams Knopfler / Dire Straits - but oh-so-tasty. Manhatten and Forty Mile Town sparkle - that clean tone is just amazing. Zap takes us back to Tones, and is spotless. I could go on... My only critique; and it's a small one; is he starts off on a strong jazz course on the Coltrane tune Mr. P.C., but reverts back to EJ by the end. Still amazing playing, just less jazz-oriented.
The drummer, Wayne Salzmann, is nothing short of spectacular. How have I not heard of this guy outside of Eric's most recent US tour?!? I love Tommy Taylor - very Hendrix-esque drummer. Wayne is much more complex -a first-rate jazz drummer, with some serious chops. He locks into a groove on Forty Mile Town that elevates it to a whole other tune - I mean, and I don't say this lightly, it is Absolutely Amazing. The album is worth the price of admission just for this track alone. The finesse he shows on Mr. P.C. is incredible. Í play drums, and don't think I've heard a better drummer in my life.
Chris Maresh (aka Benicio Del Toro Jr.) is a strong bassist, and dishes up some tasty solos on Mr. P.C. and Zap. His highlight, in my opinion, is the extended bridge in Song For Life. It's a subtle bass solo in the background, very reminiscent of Bruce Cockburn, Pacing the Cage, Mistress of Storms, etc. Very, very tastefully done and paints a wonderfully dark background. My only complaint is that sometimes the bass gets lost in the mix a little too much for me (Zenland).
All said, if you are new to EJ or a longtime fan, you will not be disappointed with this album. I'd give it 6 stars if I could.