For audio samples you'll 
need the RealPlayer


WINTER 2006

 

     
 

 
PAUL McCARTNEY


SANTANA


WILLIAM ORBIT

 
PROTO-KAW
 
ST. ETIENNE
 
PHIL MANZANERA
 
     
 

PAUL McCARTNEY
Chaos And Creation In The Backyard
(Capitol)

The reasons why John Lennon chose him as his first songwriting partner are laid out plain as day on the 2005 solo album from Paul McCartney. A brilliant showcase for his unerring melodic pop sensibility, Chaos And Creation In The Backyard is among Macca’s best albums since Band On The Run and Tug Of War—two albums which skillfully paired a symphonic rock twist with the ‘50s rock beats of Holly and Berry. A good indication of where his head is at these days, the strategically titled Chaos And Creation In The Back Yard features Paul creating masterfully in the studio with effective support on targeted cuts from his current guitarists Rusty Anderson and Brian Ray—both of whom incidentally have both recorded fine 2005 solo albums. Maybe it’s because Brian and Rusty add a harder rock edge to Paul’s live sound that Mac decided to go more for a self-produced sound he first explored in ‘70 on the self-titled McCartney. In the words of Sir Paul, ‘I did not want to rush this album, I think the wait was worth it.’ Ever the perfectionist, McCartney’s backyard excursion yields some amazing musical fruits, especially the Beatles inspired “Fine Line”, the George Harrison guitar influence on “Friends To Go”, the Motown meets Mussorgsky edge of “Promise To You Girl”, more Beatles influence on “Too Much Rain”, the orch-pop leanings of “At The Mercy” and the list goes on and on...including a hidden bonus track—an off-beat instrumental that really rocks. McCartney band guitarists Brian Ray and Rusty Anderson play acoustics on “Follow Me” while Jason Falkner lends sonic guitar support on a pair of tracks and an non album b-side from the sessions. In the same way that Brian Wilson was able to realize his Smile album teamed with The Wondermints, Paul could technically create a Beatles for the new century if Falkner, Anderson and Ray start contributing on further McCartney albums. A FARM supergroup CD, anyone? Next time round, how about that London-L.A. pop axis becoming greatly enhanced by a guest spot by Brian Wilson? Chaos And Creation In The Backyard is the latest textbook lesson in how to craft brilliant pop music from one of the main players who started it all. Paul should be commended for his support of the animal rights group PETA and in the spirit of John Lennon’s anti-war stance back in the ‘60s, McCartney is an equal advocate for the environment, human and animal rights in the millennium. www.paulmccartney.com

 


 
 

SANTANA
All That I Am
(Arista)

Feel like jumping off the Brooklyn Bridge or getting crushed by a tsunami? Then get an attitude adjustment with a tidal wave of discoid jazz-rock from classic Latin guitar icon Carlos Santana. Recording at least a dozen essential desert island album classics over his career, Carlos Santana changed the music world forever with his now classic ‘69 debut and 37 years later he’s still got the knack for making you move both body and soul. It’s almost impossible to not be moved by Santana’s latest Latin rock extravaganza, All That I Am. Purists still claim he’s sold out mixing R&B, rap and even dance into his fusion mix but that’s where Carlos has always been ahead of the pack. Still under the guidance of his first biz mentor Clive Davis, Santana continues to break new musical ground on All That I Am. From omnipotent guitar fusion to catchy rock to you name it in Latin rock, it’s all here to hear on All That I Am. www.santana.com


 
  WILLIAM ORBIT
Hello Waveforms
(Sanctuary)

William Orbit and I spoke on occasion in the ‘80s. Orbit had just broken out with his pop debut on IRS and I spoke with him about listening to a couple Lp releases on my record label Breakthru’ Records. A U.K. artist best described as ahead of his time, Orbit’s ‘80s musical vision—both his approach to instrumental rock sounds and his work with numerous great singers—went on to establish him as a leading producer, most notably producing and coaching Madonna’s most artistic works. Well, Orbit is back with a new album of his own, now on Sanctuary, entitled Hello Waveforms that recalls the best of his ‘Strange Cargo’ instrumental music sound + several cuts with those sultry female voices, once again from Laurie Mayer, the singer that sounded so great on his first 1986 IRS album. www.williamorbit.com

 


 
  PROTO-KAW
The Wait Of Glory
(
Inside Out Music)

Essentially Kerry Livgren’s band before Kansas, Proto-Kaw reformed a couple year back and ending up surprising everyone with one of the great American prog-rock albums of the new millennium. In early 2006 they follow up the release of Before Came After with another magnum opus called The Wait Of Glory. Perhaps the group’s best part of the Proto-Kaw sound is their ability to combine a soaring progressive rock approach while paying solid attention to crafting the whole thing with memorable pop songs. Commenting on the intriguing title of the album, Livgren adds, “It’s a play on words from a quote by CS Lewis in which he said, “weight of glory” in which it’s a very heavy thing. We used ‘wait’ which is again a nod to how we waited for so long to get where we are now.” Performing all the guitars and writing much of the material on The Wait Of Glory,Livgren is in top form blowing out the stacks with assistance from his long standing band mates including vocalist Lynn Meredith, sax player John Bolton, drummer Brad Schultz, keyboardist Dan Wright, and bass player Craig Kew. www.protokaw.com

 


 
  ST. ETIENNE
Tales From Turnpike House
(Savoy Jazz)

Home of jazz legends like Charlie Parker, Miles Davis and John Coltrane, the prestigious Savoy Jazz label steps into the pop arena with the release of the 2005 CD from Saint Etienne entitled Tales From Turnpike House. Mixing the breathy vocals of Sarah Cracknell with the multitalented duo of Bob Stanley and Pete Wiggs, Saint Etienne continue to revive the sounds of swinging London with added hip-hop, smooth jazz, bossa nova and shining Brit-pop influences like Kirsty MacColl and The High Llamas. The renowned trio has released numerous albums and singles since the dawn of the ‘90s and and their 2005 Savoy Jazz CD Tales From Turnpike House is a great place to discover a swinging Brit-pop legend. www.savoyjazz.com



 
  PHIL MANZANERA
50 Minutes Later...
6pm
(Hannibal / Expression)

Truly one of the most awesome and gifted guitarists of the modern rock era, Phil Manzanera made his mark as the founding guitarist in Roxy Music. Also, Phil’s brilliant mid ‘70s album with his band Quiet Sun, entitled Mainstream, remains one of the most important instrumental rock albums of the ‘70s and not so quietly ushered in the mid ‘70s era sound as ‘eurock’—a sound that transcended lyrics and put the emphasis on creative instrumental fusion. Over the years, Phil has released numerous vital solo albums and in 2005 he returned with two killer albums that interestingly, looks back at the psychedelic art-rock sound of London circa '68. Combined, the 2004 release of 6PM and the 2005 release of 50 Minutes Later finds Phil in studio with musical giants such as his Roxy Music brothers Brian Eno, Andy Mackay and Roxy drummer Paul Thompson, as well as Pink Floyd guitar great David Gilmour, space-jazz giant Robert Wyatt and singer Chrissie Hynde. Both 6pm and 50 Minutes Later show another side of Phil that not many people have heard—Phil as a lead vocalist. Commenting on both of these vital CDs, Phil adds “6pm needed a companion so here it is, it lasts 50 minutes and has pretty much the same people on it, fellow musical conspirators, grown up men and women with nothing better to do than get playful with music in a studio and in their front rooms! We are all part of a new generation…rock kids that have grown up and continue to make music, changing the boundaries as we all get older and refuse to go quietly!" One of the great prog-pop surprises of the millennium, 6pm and 50 Minutes Later are both brimming with Manzanera’s matchless presence as a guitar hero and songwriting giant. www.manzanera.com







 
 
 
   
Attention Artists and Record Companies: Have your CD reviewed by mwe3.com. Send to: MWE3.com CD Reviews Editor Robert Silverstein, P.O. Box 630249, Little Neck, N.Y. 11363-0249
 e-mail:
rss54@mwe3.com
   
 
CD Reviews Feature Reviews & Features Archive Photo Archive Contact MWE3 Home
 

 

Copyright 2000-2005 MWE3.com, Inc. All Rights Reserved