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McGill/Manring/Stevens: Addition By Subtraction

Guitar wizard Scott McGill is at it again with another CD of complex jazz- rock, also mixing in touches of metal and prog for good measure. On this inaugural release on Ken Golden’s Free Electric Sound label, Scott has enlisted once again the drum skills of Vic Stevens, as well as renowned bassist Michael Manring. The results are quite stunning.

Those familiar with McGill’s past recordings with his band Hand Farm will be happy to know that the guitarist kicks it up another notch on this CD. Not one to bore the listener, Scott has seemingly thrown aside the Allan Holdsworth inspired legato lines for a fuller, meaner, and more distorted sound. Not that his mesmerizing, lightning quick solos have disappeared, but his tone has taken on a distinct life of its own, and all for the better. Check out his rampaging licks on “We Are Not Amused” or even on the impossibly complex “In-A-Gadda DaVinci” for all the proof you need. On most tracks, the three musicians are virtually locked in, constantly feeding off each other in an almost telepathic way that is extremely impressive. Much of the complex rhythms from McGill have an almost metal edge to them, while Stevens and Manring provide the fusion vibe. In fact, Manring really adds a tremendous amount to the table here. His melodic, Jaco Pastorius inspired bass lines add not just virtuosity, but beauty as well to the CD’s fourteen songs. All three members get plenty of room to solo with reckless abandon, but the results are extremely focused, tight, and melodic. Dream Theater keyboardist Jordan Rudess also puts in a special appearance on a few tracks, and adds even more jaw-dropping technique to the plate.

There is no doubt that this CD will gather much attention for this amazing ensemble. Fans of complex instrumental music, unique guitar styles, and melodic bass playing need this right away!

Added: October 15th 2001
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: The Lasers Edge
Hits: 3516
Language: english

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