Learn How

Help improve All About Jazz

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. For $20, we'll hide those pesky Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

182

Brian Hughes: Fast Train To A Quiet Place

Jeff Winbush By

Sign in to view read count
Brian Hughes: Fast Train To A Quiet Place Guitarist Brian Hughes might not consider comparisons between Fast Train To A Quiet Place and early Pat Metheny albums all that flattering, but he should. When Metheny was stretching the boundaries of jazz guitar with his recordings for the ECM label, he took the instrument places it had never been before. Metheny has moved on to conquer new musical frontiers, but Hughes, who seems to have been listening closely to Pat Metheny Group (ECM, 1978) American Garage (ECM, 1980) and Offramp (ECM, 1981) mirrors where Metheny was already headed and takes it further in his own musical direction.

The Canadian-born/Los Angeles-transplanted guitarist gets things up and running with the propulsive "Fast Train." Matt Rohde is no Lyle Mays, but he's not spam in a can either, as his lustrous keyboards compliment Hughes nicely. Rohde takes a few turns on the Hammond B3 organ and adds a little funk to "Gotcha!" and "Super Tight." They're fine, but the dazzling "Fast Train" sounds like the best Metheny song Metheny never made and it foreshadows what turns out to be an energetic and thrilling album with an opening that never flags or loses energy.

The Metheny mood is maintained on the follow-up "A Blanket of Stars," but shifts into more standard territory with "Would You Like Fries With That My Dear?" Mind you, there is nothing bad about it. Hughes is a mercurial guitarist who is perfectly comfortable with switching up the groove when it suits him to do so. Quite possibly, he has no wish to be trapped in the safety zone of a "He sounds just like..." category.

The evidence how Hughes has no wish to be neatly pigeonholed is his Spanish guitar on the irresistible "Cafe Sin Nombre," and sitar on "The Gift." Hughes' mastery of his instrument is demonstrated in the understated grace of his playing.

Rather than narrowing his options to merely being a pretty good Metheny imitator, Hughes displays his comfort with a variety of genres, and Fast Train To A Quiet Place confirms he has a place among the most talented and versatile guitarists working today.


Track Listing: Fast Train, A Blanket of Stars, Would You Like Fries With That My Dear?, You & I, Gotcha!, Super Tight, Cafe Sin Nombre, The Gift, To A Quiet Place, Hallelujah

Personnel: Brian Hughes: electric and acoustic guitars, electric sitar, celtic bouzouki, guitar synthesizer, fretless bass (9); Tal Bergman: drums, barabuka (8); Rufus Philpot: electric bass; Matt Rohde: acoustic piano, Hammond B3, Fender Rhodes, keyboards; Ron Powell: percussion (1-7, 10); Quinn: percussion (8)

Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Sylvan House Music


Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read Hear & Now CD/LP/Track Review Hear & Now
Read Known-Unknown CD/LP/Track Review Known-Unknown
Read Live At Vilnius Jazz Festival CD/LP/Track Review Live At Vilnius Jazz Festival
Read Stinger CD/LP/Track Review Stinger
Read Binary CD/LP/Track Review Binary
Read Piano Song CD/LP/Track Review Piano Song
Read "Well Lit Shadow" CD/LP/Track Review Well Lit Shadow
Read "Live In Ludwigshafen 1961" CD/LP/Track Review Live In Ludwigshafen 1961
Read "Something Real" CD/LP/Track Review Something Real
Read "Today" CD/LP/Track Review Today
Read "Vol. 02" CD/LP/Track Review Vol. 02
Read "Collage" CD/LP/Track Review Collage

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Get Jazz Near You via email!

Enjoy the convenience of receiving a comprehensive listing of jazz events in your area every Thursday. It's free!