Guitarist Scott McGill has been doing the McGill Manring Stevens gig for a while now, and I'm sure most folks probably forgot that he previously had an equally impressive solo thing going as well. On his latest solo outing Awareness, McGill conjures up images of some of his heroes, forgoing the experimental jazz-fusion territory for a harder rocking and avant-garde type sound. He's joined by drummer Ritchie DeCarlo and bassist Chico Huff, and together the three pull the listener into one wild ride.
Shades of John McLaughlin and The Mahavishu Orchestra come to mind on the mind-blowing rave-ups "Ate the Bed" and "Battery Bop", with McGill's fleet fingered solos sounding uncanningly like McLaughlin from the early 70's. On "O.I.S.S.C. (Optic Inate Surface System Contingent)", you could swear you were hearing an outake from King Crimson's Discipline album, while "Sell Turf-Zoid" is a savage excursion into metallic guitar noise that will make fans of Terje Rypdal scream with delight.
The trio drops into funky jazz on "Like a Stone Cold...", with DeCarlo's fat bass lines and Huff's clever drum fills laying down plenty of delicious grooves while McGill's effects laden leads & melodies weave in and out of the mix. After the techno-jazz of "The Big Cat Diet" comes the pulsating epic "Birthquake", 12 minutes of Miles Davis inspired avant-metallic jazz, with McGill's dissonant and molten riffs and solos cutting like a knife. Spacey prog can be heard on the title track, complete with some neat Moog sounds, and McGill's penchant for Middle Eastern sounds permeate the alluring "Zirafkendi".
Mahavishnu meets Miles on the funky fusion piece "Sexy Explosion", and McGill literally explodes on the mysterious, almost ECM-like feel of "Fadz Enlightenment". His tone and phrasings on this one are really something to hear. The final piece, "Dream Half Remembered", has an Asian feel to it, with McGill's acoustic based sounds buzzing about while Huff and DeCarlo gently paint their textures.
Awareness is an all around great effort from this talented and creative guitar player and composer. McGill and his cohorts show off plenty of interesting styles and textures throughout the CD, and McGill's tone takes on a different color on each piece, making this CD a must hear for guitar freaks and avant-garde music lovers.
- Ate The Bed
- O.I.S.S.C. (Optic Inate Surface System Contingent)
- Battery Bop
- Sell Turf-Zoid
- Like A Stone Cold...
- The Big Cat Diet
- Sexy Explosion
- Fadz Enlightenment
- Dream Half Remembered