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Electromagnets - Electromagnets CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.59 | 21 ratings

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Dan Bobrowski
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Texas had something to prove. They weren't only the home of a special brand of blues or twanged out country music. They had some boys who could shred with the likes of John McLaughlin, Allan Holdsworth, Jeff Beck and Al DiMeola. Texas was home to Eric Johnson. A guitar wunderkind, tone-master and a very melodic tunesmith. The entire band was fabulous on their respective instruments. Kyle Brock laying down tight, heavy bass lines. BIll Maddox churning out crafty back-beat fills, and Stephen Barber giving Jan Hammer and Joe Zawinul a run for their money.

Each tune sets the stage for creative soloing by Johnson and Barber. The tracks have a live feel, as the timing seems to swell and grow elastic. The music never drags, it engages the mind and soothes the ear. Johnsons tone is so sweet, he seems to always choose the right spaces, never overplaying. I actually wish some of the tunes could have been a little longer, to stretch out the solos.

Motion has that soft sensual fluidity in it's overall effect on my senses. Chris Geppert, better known as Christopher Cross guests on vocals. Hawaiian Punch is a funky piece of playful Jazz Rock that would have sounded at home on a Tony Williams Lifetime album. Dry Ice is a hard driving electric piano tinged workout, with Johnson just tearing notes into teeny pieces. Kyle Brocks bass gets some space to take a few leads as the threesome trade bits over Maddox's hyper-active groove. Blackhole adds more jazz into the mix, with a tight rhythm, tasty guitar licks and deft keyboarding. Salem slows the pace and Stephen Barber takes the lead on Fender Rhodes and vocals. Thomas Ramirez adds his sax to Minus Mufflers and giving the tune a heavier jazz inflection.

Four stars is maybe a stretch, but not by much. Everyone should check it out. It's definitely a "MUST HAVE" for fans of Jazz-Rock Fusion.

Dan Bobrowski | 4/5 |


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