I don't know what Dan Begelman's previous six musical projects were, but Project 7 sure hits the spot — especially if you're craving some instrumental virtuosity. Paradigm Shift, the third album from guitarist-bassist Begelman and keyboardist/drummer Tony Gallino, is majestic stuff that deserves a wider audience. (For some reason, this 2008 album only recently landed at SoT HQ.)
While Project 7's previous two releases reflected more of a jazz-rock influence, Paradigm Shift lives up to its title by going in a more rock-oriented direction. There are plenty of references to Cream, Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd here, but listen for modern influences, too. Opener "The Core" begins with a piano intro that gives way to Derek Sherinian-style synth histrionics, and "Redemption" sounds like an exercise in prog-ish improv that transitions nicely into the album's most beautiful song, the hauntingly melodic (and, eventually, bluesy) "Horizon." The title track is pure prog with nods to Rush, while "Theme From An Imaginary Western" is a stunning acoustic/electric mood piece.
Complex yet accessible, the nine songs here represent three years of hard work, and you can almost hear Begelman and Callino's dedication in every note.
1) The Core
7) Theme From An Imaginary Western
8) Paradigm Shift