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Fassi; Nicola: In Blue

An accomplished guitar virtuoso, Italian Nicola Fassi released In Blue way back in 2006, although this collection of guitar led instrumentals is only just reaching my review desk some seven years down the line. Now with a name like In Blue you'd be expecting some shredder's re-imagining of the blues and while it is a style Fassi can no doubt handle, for the most part this album is more interested in mining the same territories as the likes of Joe Satriani than Muddy Waters. Although to suggest he is a straight copyist would be unfair - even if there is an air of "heard this all before" about much of In Blue.

There's no doubting Fassi's six string skills, with him being a player capable of blinding speed coupled with pin point accuracy, however he also possesses great tone, commendable restraint and wonderful touch. All three of those latter aspects are features often discarded by those more interested in hammering out million note a minute show-off routines, something Fassi avoids more than not. However that's not to say that Satriani, Vai, Moore or Timmons need to be looking over their shoulders just yet. Not because Fassi can't manage to match their fret flurries, arpeggios, or sustain, but because even with skilled companions in the shape of bassists Gaetano Puzzutiello and Fabio Rigmonti, drummers Paolo Frigerio, Paolo Sannazzaro and Stefano Galli and keyboard player (when Fassi isn't handling them) Max Annoni, the melodies and hooks on In Blue just aren't all that memorable. "Tower Of Funk" is as its name suggests a sassy bass funkin' tune with keyboard-brass and boinging bottom end, however even after you've ground and grooved to your heart's content, try and hum it five minutes later and it's a no-can-do. The same goes for the bass rumbling, straight down the line beat and slow guitar build of "Rock In Blue" (which makes for a very Satch like opening), "Wake Up", where things atmospherically jazz fusion out before exploding through a gritty riff and double kick blasts, or "Spot" where a gentle country vibe infuses the ever eclectic proceedings. None of these tracks (or any of the other eight on In Blue) are anything short of impressive and entertaining while you have them spinning. However there simply isn't enough about any of them to draw you back for repeat listens - other than faultless musicianship.

Nicola Fassi is a superb guitarist and if that is one of the main driving forces behind your music purchasing, then In Blue is definitely an album you should investigate. Just don't expect to catch yourself humming anything from it as you wander down the street afterwards.

Track Listing
1. Rock In Blue
2. Ehm...Who Can Say It?
3. Wake Up
4. Tower Of Funk
5. New Ways
6. The Wait
7. Apripa
8. Jets
9. Spot
10. Rebel Hot
11. Night Waves
12. One Minute Story

Added: June 27th 2013
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Nicola Fassi on MySpace
Hits: 1649
Language: english

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