When Frank Gambale discovered a new tuning for the guitar by which he could get piano harmonies that were not previously possible, he patented it as “Nouveau Tuning.” This new tuning does open up the guitar; the voicing is brighter and brings in a nice enough harmonic touch. He uses a double-neck Yamaha guitar that gives him both his Nouveau Tuning and the ambit of a regular guitar.
Gambale divides his time between nods to rock and music that falls under the catch-all phrase of contemporary jazz. The latter sits pretty on tunes like “Table For One,” which flows, well, smoothly, with nary a ripple. The tone he pulls is interesting but the absence of depth makes this one waft by, even when he goes for the other neck and rips loose some bent rock notes with a subtle hint of the blues.
A more interesting tack comes on “May the Fourths Be With You,” the melody more distinct, with Ric Fierabracci accenting on bass and Gambale showing a familiarity with jazz harmonies, a trait he extends to “Monkey Wrench.” However, while he does show that he has enough technique, the creative charter is at best merely serviceable, reclining as it does in cotton candy land.
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