Frank Gambale - Stuart Hamm - Steve Smith: GHS3 (2002)
The super trio reunites again for a set brimming with pummeling rhythms and joyous musings. Here, Frank Gambale employs both electric and acoustic guitars amid his now infamous chord sweeping techniques and mesmerizing single note leads. As this mighty rhythm section offers a rather ominous delivery, whether Gambale is exploring lyrically rich themes or driving the proceedings into the ozone.
The band provides an entertaining mix, consisting of jazzy hooks, climactically oriented crescendos and difficult to perform time signatures. Yet, this effort represents more than just your typical chops fest, as the musicians really delve into the various compositional frameworks. Although Stewart Hamm’s melodically tinged, but superfluous bass passages on the piece titled “November” fails to sustain long-term interest.
This is fusion at its very finest and most prolific, as the musicians display insightful camaraderie to complement their ritualistic mode of technical excellence. The trio projects a sophisticated approach that speaks volumes - especially when we consider the droves of copycat bands, masquerading as fusion pioneers. Recommended.
Track Listing: 1.All In Your Head 2.The Great Roberto 3.Confuse-a-Blues 4.Saving Grace 5.Culture Clash 6.Geo 100 7.November 8.The Challenger
Personnel: Frank Gambale: electric & acoustic guitars