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Schon, Neal: Vortex

I've often said many times over the years, that in the world of rock guitar, one of the most consistent & unique players for decades has been Neal Schon. The guitar legend cut his teeth in one of the early incarnations of Santana, then went on to fame & fortune with Journey, a band he still drives to this day. Along the way he's also lent his talents to HSAS, Schon/Hammer, Paul Rodgers, Bad English, Hardline, as well as made numerous guest appearances on a countless number of hard rock, metal, fusion, and pop albums. There's a reason why this guy has been so successful...he's that damn good. Vortex is his ninth solo release, and it's a two-disc set featuring all instrumental songs running the gamut from hard rock, jazz-fusion, prog, and world music. With Schon playing guitars & bass, he enlisted the help of old friend and ex-Journey mate Steve Smith on drums and keyboard player Igor Len, as well keyboard wiz Jan Hammer.

Whether it's the ripping fusion of "Miles Beyond", the fiery Latin jazz meets hard rock of "Cuban Fly Zone", the intense grooves of "El Matador", the anthemic "Irish Cream", or the soaring "Lady M (Our Love Remains)", front & center is always Schon's explosive, biting, and flashy lead and harmony guitar lines. When this guy wants to be (and it's rare that he doesn't), he's simply the most exciting guitarist alive, firing off meaty riffs and tasty, gargantuan solos that are blazingly fast yet still melodic. Check him out on the scorching"Airliner NS910", "NS Vortex" or the killer "Schon & Hammer Now", where the two old friends trade off for some incredible Mahavishnu Orchestra/Return to Forever styled fusion interplay. For an extended example of majestic, atmospheric jazz/prog, you can't go wrong with "Tortured Souls", a piece jam packed with tasty keyboards and guitars. Another gorgeous track is "Triumph of Love", featuring some of Schon's most emotional solos on the album, almost as if he was paying tribute to the late Gary Moore.

As Vortex is a double album, and all instrumental at that, if your tastes gravitate more towards vocal music, there's going to be a lot to take in here, and a wealth of guitar obviously. However, if that doesn't scare you off, be prepared to be dazzled by one of our greatest musical treasures.


Track Listing
CD1:

  1. Miles Beyond
  2. Awakening
  3. Cuban Fly Zone
  4. El Matador
  5. Eternal Love
  6. In A Cloud
  7. Irish Cream
  8. Lady M (Our Love Remains)
  9. Airliner NS910


CD2:

  • Tortured Souls
  • Schon & Hammer Now
  • NS Vortex
  • Unspoken Faith
  • Twilight Spellbound
  • Triumph Of Love
  • Mom
  • Talk To Me
  • White Light
  • Added: June 15th 2015
    Reviewer: Pete Pardo
    Score:
    Related Link: Artist Facebook Page
    Hits: 2084
    Language: english

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