Varney Project, Mark - Truth In Shedding

Year of Release: 2003
Label: Shrapnel Records
Catalog Number: TC-40302
Format: CD
Total Time: 53:46:00

First released way back in 1990, this album puts top fusion guitarists Frank Gambale and Allan Holdsworth back to back. Conceived by Mark Varney and released on his very own Legato label, this pure instrumental album delivers two climaxes in the world of guitar playing. Helped out by such accomplices as Jimmy Earl, Steve Taglione, Tom Brechtlein and Freddy Ravel, the playing level of Gambale and Holdsworth gets to unheard of heights. Of the seven tracks on display here, only one was written by Gambale. One is a Randy Brecker original, whilst two are from the hand of his brother Michael Brecker. Two others are from Wayne Shorter. Having been a member of the Chick Corea Elektric Band in which he was able to demonstrate his unlikely fretwork, of course Gambale had to include a Chick Corea original as well. The choice became "Humpty Dumpty," probably one of the most energetic pieces on this album. Not all the solo work you'll hear is pure electric, as the tremendously fast and furious acoustic guitar solo by Frank in "The Fall" illustrates, followed in its footsteps by the jazz saxophone of Steve Tavaglione, which in turns gives way to yet another solo, this time delivered in a more experimental way by Allan on his synthaxe. Strange as it may seem, but all of Holdsworth's parts have been recorded in the secluded tranquility of his very own The Brewery home studio. It was, however, planned that each solo should last for at least two minutes, so as to really put each of the main musicians in the spotlight. One of the major attractions of this album probably has to be the wild version of "Not Ethiopia," which has our players speed up their respective solos, as if it concerns their final achievement ever! It also strikes me that the rhythm section often signs for a pure "swing" rhythm whether at a "normal" speed or incredibly spiced up. On the final track, "Bathsheba," drummer Tom Brechtlein is allowed a solo spot, whilst his name is even forgotten on the sleeve of the album, which perfectly proves how far inferior his role is seen as opposed to the guitar parts!

To be honest, I like my fusion to have a little bit more emphasis on the keyboards, preferably in the Alan Gowen direction. Truth In Shredding, however, is above all a guitarist's wet dream, with the powereful, fast Frank Gambale on one side and the more technical, experimental Allan Holdsworth on the other. Although the musicians around them are some of the world's finest, all focus goes towards our guitar friends. So if you enjoy the skilled approach of the six-string instrument to be savoured in the calm of your very own dreamworld then no doubt this one's for you.

First released by Legato Records (1004) in 1990

Rocks (6:51) / Humpty Dumpty (6:23) / The Fall (8:03) / Not Ethiopia (9:21) / New Boots (6:15) / Ana Maria (8:51) / Bathsheba (8:02)

Frank Gambale - rhythm and lead guitars
Allan Holdsworth - lead guitar, synthaxe
Jimmy Earl - bass
Freddy Ravel - keyboards
Steve Tavaglione - saxes, E.W.I.

Centrifugal Funk (1991) Truth In Shredding (1990/2003)

Genre: Fusion/Jazz Fusion

Origin US

Added: October 27th 2003
Reviewer: Keith "Muzikman" Hannaleck

Artist website:
Hits: 470
Language: english


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