Instrumental guitarist Jerry Jennings might not be a household name but that is not from a lack of talent. This album which had a limited release in the early 2000's where it was only sold at gigs by the band finally is available worldwide. "Shortcut To The Center" which was produced by Ronnie Montrose (who also contributes some searing guitar on the track "One Blue Lady") is a terrific mixture of jazz/fusion along with rock and roll. Never loud or excessive, Jerry goes for being smooth and hits the mark. His melodic style and jazzy tone is the perfect blend for anyone in the need of a six string dose of cool.
It is hard to pick out favorite moments on this disc as it is so good from start to finish. The first time through the disc the song "One Blue Lady" stuck out for me but then when I listened the second time it was "Feeding Time" that caught the ear. Next time I was enthralled with "Bones" and then on another listen the slow grind of "Weather Manipulation" was the stand out. In other words each track has something to offer and depending on the mood they will strike you in different ways. About the only thing I can say is that this is an album where you will put it on and then be hard pressed to quit listening till the player stops it for you. If you have repeat on then be prepared for a very long session!
You can hear the many influences that Jerry names in the music he plays. Pat Metheny, Weather Report, Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton and Frank Zappa are just a few and all have contributed to the sound that Jennings has molded into his own. A huge factor in the overall style of his music is the keyboard work of Scott Reams on this disc. His creative playing seems to just fuel the fire for Jennings. Together they are a dynamite duo who has come up with one of hidden gems in the world of instrumental fusion/rock. I a certainly glad that this lost gem has been found again as it would have been a shame not to hear this magnificent work.
2. One Blue Lady
3. Rule 14
5. Feeding Time
7. Weather Manipulation
8. The Next Mile
10. A Dime For The Phone