The new live CD from bassist/composer Bryan Beller, titled Wednesday Night Live is quite simply one of the best jazz-fusion live albums you'll hear this year. Though to be honest, this one rocks so hard at times that one really can't lump it into the fusion category. Regardless of how you classify the music of Beller and his band, which is comprised of Griff Peters (guitar), Rick Musallam (guitar), Mike Keneally (keyboards & guitar), and Joe Travers (drums), what you get is sizzling instrumental rock of the highest quality.
Recorded March 15, 2010 at the Baked Potato in Los Angeles, Wednesday Night Live shows a band that is firing on all cylinders. "Greasy Wheel" kicks things off in exciting fashion, with Peters & Musallam delivering a non-stop torrent of scorching licks & solos while Beller, Travers, & Keneally keep a furious underbelly going. Things slow down for the melodic "Life Story", a more atmospheric, blues based number that features Beller's wonderful grooves alongside some tasty guitar leads. On "Get Things Done", the band takes a more hard rock approach, as the crisp guitar riffs and popping bass licks become a perfect marriage to drive this thrilling piece. Also featuring tricky drum fills and soaring lead guitar, this is a must hear track. "Thanks in Advance", with its melodic bass leads, classy guitar lines, and sumptuous electric piano, almost sounds like classic Weather Report with Larry Carlton sitting in on guitar.
Mr. Keneally comes out from behind the keyboard to play some lead guitar on the lethal "Love Terror Adrenaline/ Breakthrough" a scorching jazz-rocker that is another must hear track on the CD. Prog & fusion fans will just love the complex musicianship on display here, as guitar riffs & leads fly about the mix, doing battle with intricate bass & drum grooves, but Keneally, as always, just slays with his white hot guitar solos. Wild yet majestic sounding grooves permeate the fun " Seven Percent Grade", a real upbeat jazz-rocker with juicy guitar licks, and the CD has 2 bonus tracks to round things out, the atmospheric jazz of "View" plus the raunchy "Cave Dweller".
You'll wish you were there on this evening at the Baked Potato to witness these musical fireworks after hearing this thrilling live set. Fear not though, as a DVD edition is also available so you can see all the instrumental mayhem with your own eyes. Mind blowing and jaw dropping, Wednesday Night Live is mandatory listening for fans of virtuoso instrumental rock & fusion.
4.Get Things Done
5.Thanks in Advance
6.Love Terror Adrenaline – Breakthrough
7.Seven Percent Grade