269

Daryl Stuermer: Go!

John Kelman By

Sign in to view read count
Daryl Stuermer: Go! The peril of being a musical gun-for-hire is that it becomes difficult to know exactly who the artist really is. It becomes even more challenging when an artist like guitarist Daryl Stuermer works in seemingly disparate styles. Stuermer first emerged on the 1970s fusion scene, working with violinist Jean-Luc Ponty and keyboardist George Duke. But he quickly became the guitarist of choice for progressive-turned-pop group Genesis through to its 1992 demise, and has remained a member of drummer/singer Phil Collins' touring band.

While Genesis' 2007 reunion tour might seem like the opportune time for Stuermer to release a new solo record, he's actually been releasing albums regularly since 1998, following the ten-year gap after his debut, Steppin' Out (GRP, 1988). Still, the tour won't hurt his visibility, and Go! has enough high energy playing to appeal to fusion fans while retaining the kind of catchy melodies and straight-ahead rock beats to draw in the large international pop audience who'll see him live during Genesis' five-month tour.

Accessible as it may be, this is no radio-friendly smooth jazz outing. Stuermer handles all guitar, keyboard and drum programming duties, with legendary Los Angeles session bassist Leland Sklar on six of Stuermer's ten original compositions. Sklar may be known for work with singer/songwriters including James Taylor and Lyle Lovett, but he's got fusion credentials of his own with the 1970s group The Section. Never obtrusive, Sklar works hand-in-glove with drummer John Calarco, driving the hard-rocking "Breaking Point, up-tempo funk workout "Striker and "Masala Mantra, which combines an Eastern-tinged melody with a taste of country that would fit comfortably on any record by The Hellecasters.

While Stuermer's primary language here is rock and his tone appropriately gritty throughout, traces of a more expansive jazz vernacular seep through, especially on the album's closing three tracks. "Meltdown is a furious workout that harkens back to the best of 1970s fusion, while the funkier "The Archer is no less impressive as he winds his way through a more complex set of changes. The closer, "Omnibus, demonstrates his ability to be blindingly virtuosic and thematically minded at the same time.

There may not be the irregular meters and extended blowing heard on most fusion records—only one track exceeds six minutes, with the majority well under five—but Stuermer simply knows how to build shorter and, in many ways, more meaningful solos. There's something to be said for concision, and with Go! Stuermer delivers a record of ear-catching melodies, rocking grooves and dynamically charged playing that never overstays its welcome.

Track Listing: Striker; Masala Mantra; Greenlight; Dream in Blue; Breaking Point; Urbanista; Heavy Heart; Meltdown; The Archer; Omnibus.

Personnel: Daryl Stuermer: guitar, keyboard and percussion programming; Kostia: keyboards; Leland Sklar: bass (1-5, 7); Eric Hervey: bass (6, 8, 9, 10); John Calarco: drums.

Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: InsideOut Music America | Style: Fusion/Progressive Rock


Shop

More Articles

Read Nightfall CD/LP/Track Review Nightfall
by John Kelman
Published: May 22, 2017
Read Pekka CD/LP/Track Review Pekka
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 22, 2017
Read In the Still of the Night CD/LP/Track Review In the Still of the Night
by Nicholas F. Mondello
Published: May 22, 2017
Read Zea CD/LP/Track Review Zea
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 22, 2017
Read Asian Fields Variations CD/LP/Track Review Asian Fields Variations
by John Kelman
Published: May 21, 2017
Read Left Right Left CD/LP/Track Review Left Right Left
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 21, 2017
Read "The Caustic Ballads" CD/LP/Track Review The Caustic Ballads
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: August 24, 2016
Read "682/681" CD/LP/Track Review 682/681
by Karl Ackermann
Published: May 5, 2017
Read "Nocturno" CD/LP/Track Review Nocturno
by Tyran Grillo
Published: March 9, 2017
Read "Sanjay Divecha and Secret" CD/LP/Track Review Sanjay Divecha and Secret
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 2, 2016
Read "Cross-Platform Interchange" CD/LP/Track Review Cross-Platform Interchange
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 4, 2017
Read "OUTgoing" CD/LP/Track Review OUTgoing
by Budd Kopman
Published: January 31, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Why wait?

Support All About Jazz and we'll deliver exclusive content, hide ads, and provide read access to our future articles.