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Curtis, Anthony: Book of the Key

Guitarist Anythony Curtis has assembled an all-star cast for his latest album, Book of the Key. Joining Curtis are Tony Levin on bass, Mike Keneally on keyboards, Jeff Gauthier on violin, and Lewis Pragasam on drums, and they prove to be quite the formidable line-up. The music on Book of the Key is a very textured and spacey mix of prog rock, jazz fusion, and avant-garde sounds.

Mr. Curtis has a very interesting guitar style that utilizes lots of different effects, such as wah-wah, chorus, delay, distortion, and whammy bar, that is at times similar to David Torn, Adrian Belew, David Fuiczynski, Reeves Gabrels, Vernon Reid, or Terje Rypdal. On the CD's opening cut, the moody "The Ruins", the guitarist lays down shards of molten lead passages while Levin's bass just bubbles and boils underneath, mixing effectively with Keneally's 70's influenced Fender Rhodes melodies. There's also some manic, upbeat tracks, such as the raucous "Gallabalba", which sees Levin in amazing form popping gymnastic bass lines alongside the crashing drums of Pragasam, while Curtis is ripping tons of distorted whammy bar leads. You can really hear Curtis' emotional side on the gut- wrenching "Hymn to Helios", a mellow piece that features plenty of passionate and tortured lead passages. "Balinus" leads in with some majestic violin work from Gauthier before Pragasam struts his stuff with some very technical percussion work underneath the searing leads of Curtis. The real highlight of the CD though is the epic 23-minute title track, a bubbling couldron of hot, groovy playing from the whole cast. Featuring meaty guitar riffs, wild leads, searing violin, jazzy keyboards, and a frenzied rhythm section, this song is almost like the second coming of the Mahavishnu Orchestra.

Anthony Curtis has put together quite a line-up here, and they have delivered on all levels. Hopefully this is not just a one shot deal, and these guys get together again for another round of musical mayhem. Highly recommended!

Track Listing
1) The Ruins (12:15)
2) Gallabalba (2:16)
3) Inland Sea (3:09)
4) Hymn to Helios (3:31)
5) Saturnalia (3:57)
6) Balinus (3:58)
7) Oracle (0:53)
8) Book of the Key (23:25)
9) From Towers to the Dome of Heaven (2:08)
10) Hikmat Al-Ishraq (18:06)

Added: March 4th 2004
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Anthony Curtis Website
Hits: 29248
Language: english

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» Reader Comments:

Curtis, Anthony: Book of the Key
Posted by Josh Peters on 2015-07-31 09:29:26
My Score:

Oh yeah now I see what Mike Keneally was raving about!!!

Curtis, Anthony: Book of the Key
Posted by Pica Moselli on 2014-12-07 06:13:52
My Score:

I now teaching guitar for more than thirty year in love and awe of Anthony such mastery!

Curtis, Anthony: Book of the Key
Posted by Anonymous on 2013-09-18 12:55:19
My Score:


Curtis, Anthony: Book of the Key
Posted by Grayson Meeds on 2013-08-08 09:21:07
My Score:

Guitar teacher here now I see what all the fuss is about awesome!

Curtis, Anthony: Book of the Key
Posted by Tracey Atkins on 2013-07-30 12:59:03
My Score:

Teacher and performer I opened couple of times for Allan Holdsworth never seen anything like Anthony Curtis on guitar check out his MIST on Youtube incredible!

Curtis, Anthony: Book of the Key
Posted by Roland Shamesse on 2013-06-18 09:54:56
My Score:

So Awesome!!! greatest chops

Curtis, Anthony: Book of the Key
Posted by Anonymous on 2013-04-04 18:12:18
My Score:

wooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!luv it

Curtis, Anthony: Book of the Key
Posted by Dave Maone on 2013-02-01 12:57:06
My Score:

yes very nice indeed thoughtful super powerful !

Curtis, Anthony: Book of the Key
Posted by Chas Hilary Defoe on 2012-01-22 19:36:06
My Score:

O My God so amazing I have been playing and teaching the past 20 years so many voices here, superb!

Curtis, Anthony: Book of the Key
Posted by Alberto Conini on 2010-02-14 13:28:52
My Score:


Curtis, Anthony: Book of the Key
Posted by Anonymous on 2005-05-23 05:43:39
My Score:

great beauty and power! absolutley love BOOK OF THE KEY
Thanks SOT for the heads up.

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