Gambale/Hamm/Smith: The Light Beyond
Hamm and Smith are both monsters on bass and drums adding a huge amount of soul and talent all around this disc. Track four, “The Throne Of Savitar” takes me back to the flavor of Inner Mounting Flame ’s “Dance of Maya” and early Stanley Clarke releases like School Days with the now, long-lost, Ray Gomez going crazy on guitar. Excellent cut! Lotsa classic 70s distortion too, thank-you. The mid-song break, trance-time, lets Steve Smith do some of the best skins work I have ever heard from him to date. Bravo Steve-o!
Next few trax offer solo bass, a mellow jazz, slow tune, then a drum solo. Track eight, “Lumpy’s Lament” gets back to the “meltin’-down-the-Kenny-G-stack-o-plastic” kind of fusion I like with heavy beat, mean drums, and overdriven crunch Gambale used so well on the 1998 Show Me What You Can Do release. Great song but way too short! (CDs will now hold more jams than LPs did guys.)
Remember those excellent Bill Connors’ acoustic, solo guitar releases way back when? Gambale next offers a similarly, superb acoustic guitar vignette. It is an “intro” to the final cut, “Fugitive Aspirations” with reverby, full sustain, ethereal, soul-angst guitar, bell-like introspective bass progression, and truly sexy brushes, high hats aglistening. Schweet boys, that nice. Gambale excels with all his effects, channel switching, feedbacks, loopings, back-o-the-bridge chimings/harmonics, wow, and alien invasion guitar that sang to my soul like no other song on this disk. Frank, my good mate, Stu, and Steve y’all done darn good by me on that performance! Please fill another CD up with killer jams like this again! The Light Beyond is another heads-above-the-rest fusion experience. It’s a high rollin’, hard-chargin’, visionary work – a musicianship tour de force ! “Wake up ya smooth-jazz, limp-wristed, split-reed, weenies and smell this espresso!” Gambale, Hamm, and Smith have done it again. Wham, bam, yes mam!
Record Label: Tone Center
Style: Fusion/Progressive Rock