33-year-old Swedish guitarist Anatholi Bulkin divides his time and talents between a jazz power trio, two different nine-piece groups and world music exploits of the often African variety. In his travels, he's received ringing endorsements from jazz folk like Ron McClure, Dave Liebman and Harvie Swartz. On Initiation, apparently his solo debut, Bulkin states his case, suggesting the fleet and varying styles of Larry Coryell, filtered through such additional influences as Alan Holdsworth ("Initiation"), John Scofield ("The Underdog") and, on guitar synth, a cross between John Abercrombie and Pat Metheny ("Tripitaka"). Bulkin's imagination never rests for any one moment in any one field. But he excels on the charmingly melodic ""Pintor," the funky chordal stomp of "House 418," and the lovely and overtly Metheny-esque "Folksong" (like "Mr. And Mr.s America," a strong feature for Jaco-influenced bassist, Jonas Reingold). Throughout, Bulkin offers tasty, sometimes speedy power fusion, reminiscent of the sort 70s fusers Dixie Dregs spun out. But, more importantly, Bulkin has strong melodic strengths that serve him well in his quite interesting compositions. Bulkin will probably focus his tastes and talents better on future recordings. But Initiation is a good place to start exploring the prodigious talents of guitarist Anatholi Bulkin. Also available via www.anatholibulkin.com .
Songs:Initiation; Wings of Light; The Underdog; Children (Life Is An Open Sky); Tripitaka; Planet Hollywood; Pintor; House 418; Eternal Affairs; Folksong; Presence; Mr & Mrs America.
Players:Anatholi Bulkin: electric guitars, guitar synthesizer, acoustic guitars; Jonas Reingold: acoustic bass, electric bass, electric fretless bass; Anders Hentze: drums, cymbals and percussion.