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Becker, Jason: Collection

Here's an example of a musician who had all the tools to have been a legend in the business by now, but thanks to Lou Gherig's disease we'll never really know just how far guitarist Jason Becker would have taken himself. Though he is completely paralyzed to this day, Becker still composes music in his head and has others play the parts for him. Collection is comprised of some of his best material from his back catalog, both as a solo artist, with Marty Friedman in Cacophany, and with David Lee Roth. Quite frankly, one CD is not nearly enough to showcase this guy's talents on the guitar, but if you've never listened to the six string capabilities of Jason Becker, this is a good place to start.

The most impressive material here is from Becker's 1988 Perpetual Burn album, and 1995's Perspective. They are represented by the scorchers "Altitudes", "Opus Pocus", "Rain", "Air", "End Of The Beginning", and "Meet Me in the Morning". Killer tone, stunning technique, and a flair for classical melodies and hard rock fury make up these stunning pieces, as beautiful as they are gripping from a musical standpoint. Sadly, only one track is included here from Becker's days with Marty Friedman in Cacophony, the shred-tastic "Images". By the early 90's, Jason's ALS was starting to get worse, so his playing on much of Perspective was limited, and as a result he brought on board players such as Michael Lee Firkins and Steve Hunter, and this CD even contains some bonus tracks where Firkins, Steve Vai, Greg Howe, and Joe Satriani took Becker's vision and played all the parts. Despite that fact that Jason eventually could not play his guitar at all, he continued to write plenty of material, and still does to this day despite not being able to move or speak. Also included here is the single "It's Showtime" from the album he did with David Lee Roth, Little Ain't Enough. Sadly, Becker was never able to take that gig to superstardom, as the disease had already started limiting his abilities just prior to the DLRB tour, so he had to drop out of the band.

Sadly, there's very little actual recorded history of Jason Becker playing his guitar when you really add it all up, so chances are if you are new to this man's genius you'll get a taste of what he had to offer on this compilation then want to go out and find everything you can gobble up. His Eddie Van Halen meets Uli Roth meets Yngwie Malmsteen meets Steve Vai style was quite impressive, as he mixed neo-classical virtuosity with heavy rock firepower like few others, and his writing chops were solid as well. Though it's a tragic story, the good news is Jason Becker still has plenty of music flowing through his heart and his soul, and let's hope he continues to let us hear it in some shape or form.

Track Listing
1 Rain
2 River Of Longing
3 Images
4 Opus Pocus
5 Higher
6 It's Showtime
7 Altitudes
8 End Of The Beginning
9 River Of Longing [Reprise]
10 Meet Me In The Morning
11 Air
12 Electric Prayer For Peace
13 Mandy's Throbbing Little Heart

Added: November 17th 2008
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Artist website
Hits: 3603
Language: english

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