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The Common Ground of Franks, Malgeri and Pauciello: Portal

This is an album that was released back in 2004. Common Ground is formed with the members, Raymond Franks on drums, who passed away in 2003; Sal Pauciello bass; Joe Malgeri on guitar and Rob David on keyboards.

This is a decent interpretation of some master works combined with some original songs.

Track Listing:

"Portal" is an original song written by all three members. It is an instrumental epic full of heavy deep bass, shimmering drums and cymbals, and experimental lead electric guitar chords. The drums are exceptional. The electric fuzz, reverb and distortion remind you of the late great Jimi Hendrix, whose music is featured later on the album. The deep bass gives the whole production a jazzy sound. An interesting and emotional opening for the album.

"Fancy" is a Kinks/Ray Davies cover. This version is an electric lead and drum instrumental version of the classic.

"Magic Boogie" is another original song full of that heavy bass work. Good drumming and strumming.

"New Reggae Heat Wave" is one of the better original songs on the album. The reggae beat is a welcome relief from the bass and drum set up that has preceded this song. This one has a slow beat full of dripping lead electric with drums supporting. If it's a heat wave, then it's the slow melt kind that overwhelms you.

One of Jimi Hendrix's best instrumental tracks, "Third Stone From the Sun", gets covered well here.

"Pendulum" is another original song from the trio. It's full of more cool bass and drums.

"Bela" has some spoken words before the guitar chords and distortion begins. It gets a little repetitive after a while. Still there is some good lead electric work in here. Definitely inspired by Master Hendrix.

"Astral Orfice" is a wild guitar and keyboard space fantasy flight. This is a Pink Floyd meets Jimi Hendrix kinda song. Surprised they didn't add some of that otherworldly introduction stuff Jimi was so famous for on EXP from Axis Bold as Love.

"Prelude" is another original song, this time full of acoustic guitar and all kinds of percussion sounds and drums.

"Moonflower" starts with an instrumental version of Santana's "Evil Ways" and then progresses into the traditional Santana classic. The guitar and drums are very good.

"The Dragon's Tail" is another original song. This short song is full of synths and keyboard percussion like noises.

"Oye Como Va" is their version of the Santana classic with much more drum than power electric guitar.

Jimi Hendrix's classic "Voodoo Chile" gets a reworking here. This is a weak interpretation of what is one of the best blues/rock songs ever written.

Added: February 3rd 2011
Reviewer: Mark Johnson
Related Link: Aural Innovations
Hits: 2383
Language: english

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