Monday, May 16, 2011

Michael Landau, Robben Ford, Jimmy Haslip, Gary Novak Renegade Creation 2010

Here's an idea. Take two particularly hot jazz/blues session guitarists, add a talented bass player/ producer and an incendiary drummer, and make a blues-rock record.

Landau and Ford are both best known for blues work, but both have done session work in a variety of settings. Haslip is a member of the fusion group Yellowjackets, and has done production and bass work for multiple artists. Novak is a highly respected drummer who has worked mostly in jazz, but he also toured with Alanis Morissette.

Landau and Ford write the songs, and they are certainly capable writers, although the lyrical content is occasionally weak. You don't care. You're here for blues-rock guitars. And this group brings that in spades. What's Up is a funky, stomping rocker, and God And Rock 'N Roll, The Darkness, the title track, Who Do You Think You Are, Where The Wind Blows, and Brothers all follow suit, rocking hard and featuring crazy great drumming and wildly hot and creative guitar solos. Destiny Over Me and Peace both slow the pace, but they are also excellent.

The vocals are good. I prefer Landau as a singer, but that's just me. Ford's thin voice has never excited me much. But again, this record is about guitars, guitars, guitars. If you need a dose of some hot guitar, take this CD and call me in the morning.

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