161

Al Garcia: Make It So

Todd S. Jenkins By

Sign in to view read count
Al Garcia: Make It So Hard-hitting, well-executed fusion from a promising new voice. The arrival of CDs which feature one individual playing most of the instruments tends to give chills to reviewers. Fortunately, Al Garcia breaks the mold by crafting inventive, appealing arrangements that utilize all the sounds he has on hand to good effect. He is a member of the Latin jazz group Quarteto Nuevo, but that influence only rears its head on the fine closer. Since the bass guitar tends to be a primary voice, the initial impression is that Garcia is a bassist at heart with a strong appreciation of the guitar as well. Whatever the case, he weaves tasteful tendrils of fusion heat without kissing the sneakers of Jaco and Stanley. Initially the ping-ponging “Harmonic Sketch #1” might recall Jaco’s mind-boggling harmonic skills, but after a moment Garcia makes it clear that he’s not just aping the master.

With the exception of Bach’s short “Menuet”, delivered with respectful dignity on bass, Garcia wrote or co-wrote all the selections here. The enjoyable variety of the tunes testifies to big ears and a vivid imagination. The title track has all the expected elements of good fusion — tight drums (courtesy of Dean Rohan’s MIDI set), hard accents, fleet technical execution, appropriate shifts in mood — without sounding the least bit clichéd. Garcia proves himself perfectly capable of shred velocity, then moves on to judiciously use the Roland guitar synthesizer as a coloring tool; the keyboard sounds on “The Heart of the Matter”, vibes on “Communiqué”, and Methenyesque resonance of “On Cloud Ten” help round out the spirit of the tunes. On “The Unexpected Answer” the bass begins with almost a bagpipe-chord figure, then transforms into a cascade of prettiness. On “A Bird in the Hand” a Charlie Parker sample serves as a takeoff point for the bass, while “Natural Knowledge” has gorgeous fretless bass, crisp acoustic guitar, and bright Indian percussion. “Journey” is highly unusual in its long, flowing lines and tense undercurrent, an utterly fascinating performance. An excellent offering from an artist to watch.

Visit www.liraproductions.com/alf gar .


Track Listing: Make It So; On Cloud Ten; The Unexpected Answer; The Heart of the Matter; Menuet; Communique; Harmonic Sketch #1; Driving Through Krystal Town; Natural Knowledge; Journey to the Center of the Earth; A Bird in the Hand/Mosaic; Once Upon a Dream.

Personnel: Garcia, guitars, Roland GR-33 guitar synth, electric basses, percussion, drum programming; Dean Rohan, MIDI drums (#1,2,4,8,11); Chris Garcia, tabla, kanjira (#7).

Title: Make It So | Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: Independent Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Mata Hati CD/LP/Track Review Mata Hati
by Ian Patterson
Published: July 29, 2017
Read Donora Autumn CD/LP/Track Review Donora Autumn
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 29, 2017
Read A Wing Dissolved In Light CD/LP/Track Review A Wing Dissolved In Light
by John Sharpe
Published: July 29, 2017
Read Passin' Thru CD/LP/Track Review Passin' Thru
by Mark Sullivan
Published: July 29, 2017
Read Amour Cruel CD/LP/Track Review Amour Cruel
by Peter Jurew
Published: July 29, 2017
Read Translator's Note CD/LP/Track Review Translator's Note
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: July 28, 2017
Read "Oaktree" CD/LP/Track Review Oaktree
by Budd Kopman
Published: March 12, 2017
Read "Rotterdam 1969" CD/LP/Track Review Rotterdam 1969
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 11, 2016
Read "Chapter Five" CD/LP/Track Review Chapter Five
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 28, 2017
Read "Cómo Desaparecer Completamente (How to Disappear Completely)" CD/LP/Track Review Cómo Desaparecer Completamente (How to Disappear...
by Troy Dostert
Published: November 11, 2016
Read "More Powerful" CD/LP/Track Review More Powerful
by Roger Farbey
Published: July 6, 2017
Read "Strong Tea" CD/LP/Track Review Strong Tea
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 27, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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