182

Brian Hughes: Fast Train To A Quiet Place

Jeff Winbush By

Sign in to view read count
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)

Title: Fast Train To A Quiet Place | Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Sylvan House Music


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Another North CD/LP/Track Review Another North
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 19, 2017
Read Gledalec CD/LP/Track Review Gledalec
by John Sharpe
Published: October 19, 2017
Read Flux Reflux CD/LP/Track Review Flux Reflux
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 19, 2017
Read Christmas With Champian CD/LP/Track Review Christmas With Champian
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 19, 2017
Read Harmony of Difference CD/LP/Track Review Harmony of Difference
by Phil Barnes
Published: October 18, 2017
Read No Answer CD/LP/Track Review No Answer
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 18, 2017
Read "Lockout Station" CD/LP/Track Review Lockout Station
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 1, 2017
Read "Skylines" CD/LP/Track Review Skylines
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: November 13, 2016
Read "A Night Walking Through Mirrors" CD/LP/Track Review A Night Walking Through Mirrors
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 20, 2017
Read "Alto Manhattan" CD/LP/Track Review Alto Manhattan
by Roger Farbey
Published: November 15, 2016
Read "May I Introduce To You" CD/LP/Track Review May I Introduce To You
by Jerome Wilson
Published: September 15, 2017
Read "Begin to Dance" CD/LP/Track Review Begin to Dance
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 19, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.