For audio samples you'll 
need the RealPlayer

JUNE 2004








Major Impacts 2
(Magna Carta)

A fretboard master who’s been tearing it up since the mid-’70s, guitar monster Steve Morse pays tribute to more of his big musical influences on his long awaited second Major Impacts CD. With able assistance by Dave LaRue (bass) and Van Romain (drums), Morse expertly tackles all the guitars, keyboards and various extraneous instruments on the thirteen track 2004 release. Fashioning these instrumental originals with major rock influences in mind—including The Who (“Where Are You?”), CSN&Y (“Wooden Music”), ELP (“Organically Grown”) and Aerosmith (“Errol Smith”)—Morse kicks the influence ‘pedal-ing’ into overdrive with further nods to classical master Bach (“Air On A 6 String”) as well as genres like Cajun, Brit-Pop, Country Bluegrass and Celtic Ballads. A rocked-out, dynamic compliment to some of the greatest rock guitar legends, Major Impacts 2 is further explained by Morse in his praiseworthy liner notes. /



Live In Denver
Rockin' In The Free World


Both Joe Satriani and Steve Vai released double CD anthologies in 2003 on Epic / Legacy, and it’s equally apropos that both guitar icons—teamed with Swedish guitar god Yngwie Malmsteen—join forces again for the fifth edition of their celebrated G3 tour. Performing thirty shows over a five week span, the 2003 G3 tour was caught live for posterity on a 2004 double CD release entitled G3 Live: Rockin’ In The Free World (recorded October 21, 2003 in Kansas City) and a single live DVD, G3: Live In Denver (recorded October 20th, 2003 at the Fillmore in Denver). The wide variety of solo material from all three guitarists on both the double CD and DVD gives fans good reason to check out both titles. In addition to a different track lineup of vocal and instrumental tracks, the DVD also boasts several additions including a ‘fretcam feature’. Following blistering live sets from all three guitarists, backed by their ultra-tight bands, Joe, Steve and Yngwie kick up quite a storm on The G3 Jam, with a half hour of smoldering, hard rockin’ G3 covers of Neil Young’s “Rockin’ In The Free World” and the Hendrix favorites, “Little Wing” and “Voodoo Child” (Slight Return). / /



Piano Nights

With each new release on his Bolero Records imprint, Nuevo Flamenco master Armik further establishes his name among the guitar elite. The prodigious L.A.-based guitarist released both Amor De Guitarra and Romantic Dreams during the past year and he swiftly follows up with another 2004 CD release that merges his phenomenal flamenco technique with the passionate piano sound of Joe Vannelli. Keeping pace with Armik’s nylon string virtuosity is no easy trick, but Vannelli’s accompaniment spices things up nicely on a CD overflowing with magnificent flamenco soundscapes. A Latin tang continues to inspire Armik’s sound, and the mixture of Bolero / Cha Cha and Bossa Nova sounds keeps the musical spirit at fever pitch. Guaranteed to lighten and brighten your mood, Piano Nights is a first class instrumental effort from one of the best Nuevo Flamenco guitarists on the scene.


Sparks And Embers

One of the best labels when it comes to indigenous American Indian artists and a variety of Desert Southwest musical fusion artists, Arizona-based Canyon Records released an outstanding 2004 double CD set from William Eaton Ensemble. Entitled Sparks And Embers, the 2+ hour instrumental set features a number of Eaton’s own creations including Lyra-harp guitar, Koto-harp Guitar, 26 string guitar and spiral clef all set against a swirling mist of pan flutes, pipes, mandolin, bass and ethnic percussion instruments. Having built his first guitar back in 1971 as an apprentice to John Roberts, Eaton is acknowledged for his unique guitars and on Sparks And Embers he puts his fantastic creations to excellent use. Featuring excellent audio engineering by Jack Miller, the album also spotlights stellar performances by Eaton on Roland GR-1 and GR-33 guitar synth modules. Quiet a pleasant collection of Native American musical vibes flavored with the meditative imagery of the Desert Southwest, the set contains impressive artwork with detailed liner notes and bio material of all the players on board here.


Joe Nardulli
(Stage Of Dreams Productions)

Long Island-based guitarist Joe Nardulli steps forward with a most satisfying progressive rock fusion solo CD. It’s interesting to note that guitarist Carl Roa, from the group Magic Elf is involved in the audio engineering as well as taking the guitar spotlight on one track here. In the spirit of Magic Elf, Nardulli’s approach to instrumental prog-fusion creates a sonic landslide of sounds that stirs the senses and demands complete attention. With his focus on melodic detail, flawless production and fretboard precision, Nardulli’s guitar style sometimes evokes the tone of Bill Bruford’s late ‘70s albums with Allan Holdsworth and as well as contemporary works by Steve Vai and Steve Morse, yet he is clearly staking out a unique ground all his own on his self-titled, self-produced debut. Another classic example of the great D.I.Y. digital age of self-contained musicians, Joe Nardulli speaks wonders about the current state of the art melodic guitar fusion...all without a word being uttered.


Travesura Chill
(Universal Latino)

Although he hit the U.S. charts billed as a New Age and World Music guitarist, Spain’s José Luis Encinas is actually a world class flamenco guitar trailblazer. Back in the ‘90s he began releasing several fine instrumental guitar albums that perfectly melded a breathtaking blend of Nuevo Flamenco, classical guitar techniques with wide ranging instrumental pop sensibilities that even include some well placed electric guitar sounds. His influences—including Spanish guitar legend Paco de Lucia as well as Metheny and Clapton—are pertinent in the meticulous way Encinas approaches the fretboard. For the casual listener or the seasoned guitar follower, the 2003 Encinas CD, entitled Travesura Chill, is a perfect introduction to the essence of modern Nuevo flamenco sound as there’s very little in the way to distract you from the fact that Encinas is simply one of the finest guitarists out there today. Assisted by several key players, Encinas assumes center stage once again with the excellent Travesura Chill.

Attention Artists and Record Companies: Have your CD reviewed in and 20th Century Guitar. Send to P.O. Box 630249, Little Neck, N.Y. 11363-0249

Attention Artists and Record Companies: Have your CD reviewed by Send to: CD Reviews Editor Robert Silverstein, P.O. Box 630249, Little Neck, N.Y. 11363-0249