Phil Sargent: A New Day (2010)
Aubrey Johnson's beautiful voice is one pleasant inclusion. Augmented by a more-than-capable rhythm section, her wordless vocals add panache and atmosphere, buoyed by the atmospheric compositions, and act as an effective lead instrument that superbly matches Sargent's exquisite playing. Their unison voices soar in harmony on the title track, a labyrinthine piece that also contains some progressive rock fireworks. Her supple creations are elegant in "Kelita," marked by its picturesque folksy melody, and where bassist Greg Loughman delivers a muscular solo.
With demonstrative technique, Sargent is cognizant of the tradition but thinks outside of the box. A guitarist in the vein of Ben Monder
The amicable "Nobody Nothing" digresses a bit from the other tracks; a fine conclusion, albeit not quite as edged as the rest of the set. But that's a minor quibble. More slashing might have been nice, depending on individual preference, but its absence doesn't, in the least, detract from this fine release.
Track Listing: A New Day; Kelita; 8/31; Light; Gridlock; Powerplay; Nobody Nothing.
Personnel: Phil Sargent: guitars; Aubrey Johnson: voice; John Funkhouser: piano (1); Brian Friedland: piano, organ (3); Greg Loughman: bass; Mike Connors: drums.
Record Label: Self Produced