Jazz-rock fusion lives on in these new releases by masters of the electric guitar. It’s worth noting that every composition of each of these recordings is an original by the artist.
Tom Grose – jetsam and At Bay
Tom Grose is a name you may not have heard. You should go check out his music. I spent some time listening to all 19 of the samples on his site and, though you can’t always judge by thirty seconds, I’m impressed by his compositions and playing. He can definitely rock. Tom describes his music as “instrumental jazz-rock/progressive fusion and it can be likened to stuff from Frank Zappa’s early ’70s instrumental period (the George Duke/Chester Thompson era).”
Mike Stern – Who Let the Cats Out? (Heads Up)
“This record is a return to more instrumental playing, more blowing,” says Stern. “In some ways it’s straight ahead, but filtered through my rock and blues influences.” He can blow, no question, but it’s Stern’s ballads on this recording really caught my ear. He has killer musicians on Who Let the Cats Out? including Dave Weckl, Victor Wooten, Richard Bona, and Gregoire Maret.
Al Di Meola – Consequence of Chaos (Telarc)
Sometimes I don’t even have to write about a recording when the artist sums up it so nicely. “This is really a new and refreshing period for me,” says Di Meola. “This recording marks my return to playing solid-body electric guitar in the context of modern concepts and composition. I love the energy and the fact that I have reconnected to my first love.” Listen for his old Return To Forever boss, Chick Corea, on two tracks.