Susan Weinert Band: The Bottom Line

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No stars How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

This time out, Susan Weinert has mellowed some since her fiery Crunch Time 1994 release. The excellent guitar playing is still everywhere but things are toned down a few notches leaning more towards straight up jazz with less crunchy-edged fusion. Weinert's acoustic guitar and Martin Weinert's acoustic bass works well in the melding of electric and non-electric moods. Even keyswoman extraordinaire, Rachel Z, chimes in with ivory clean runs and flourishes to augment Weinert's electric guitars and guitar-synth.

That jazz standards feel comes through here and there but this release retains Weinert's strong signature sound, slightly overdriven, and sustained warmly. Again that Scott Henderson aura is predominantly present but a certain Frank Gambale lilt and warmth of presence and tone is recurrent. Rachel Z comes and goes in keyboard washes and embellishings, interwoven wonderfully in Susan Weinert's delightful compositions. Hardy Fischötter plays the drums with perfection and evident purpose. On "Masters of the Midiverse" we are treated to a delicious Holdsworthian guitar-synth intro that melts into an oh-so-Metheny moment complete with brushes on drums and Rachel Z tinkling away in her butterfly kisses way. Very, very nice.

This release is an 11 song delight, track to track, with surprise after surprise of mellow wonder. The final cut, "Vinnie" again treads Holdsworthian waters in the composition's stylings early on but is also seems a subtle tribute to Vinnie Coliauta?, sounding at times like a cut from his recent solo release. Rachel Z gets to stretch a great deal here!

For those of you out there looking for great jazz guitar and splendid keys but want less screaming amps yet able to groove too — The Bottom Line is just right for you. Recommended!

On the Net: http://www.jazzpages.com/SusanWeinert/

Record Label: Intuition

Style: Fusion/Progressive Rock


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