Make a difference: Support jazz online

Support All About Jazz Your friends at All About Jazz are looking for readers to help back our website upgrade project. Of critical importance, this project will result in a vastly improved design across all devices and will make future All About Jazz projects much easier to implement. Click here to learn more about this project including donation rewards.

99

Guy LeBlanc: Subversia

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
Canadian Guy LeBlanc is the keyboardist, vocalist, composer, and driving force behind the highly gifted, prog/ fusion, rock group, Nathan Mahl. Subversia is LeBlanc’s solo release. First off, I have to say, this release is on my top ten list for fusion/ progressive rock releases for 1999. So if you want to skip to the next review, ready to buy this, great. Still curious? Read on.

Subversia is much more fusion overall than LeBlanc/ Nathan Mahl’s The Clever Use of Shadows. Progressive rock is still present with LeBlanc’s excellent keys! Jazzy sax is strong as well. Guesting on four extended tracks out of seven total, is the phenomenal, consummate, fusion guitar wizard, (drum roll please), Scott McGill. His contribution to this release alone is well worth the purchase for fusion-heads. But remember, McGill jams in LeBlanc’s well-designed compositional spaces. It is LeBlanc’s genius that makes this release so strong.

That Nathan Mahl feel is evident but Subversia leans heavily towards that Bruford/ Finneus Gauge gestalt in many songs. Lots of good trade-offs 'tween LeBlanc and McGill here — good fusiony conversational soloing like the days of classic Mahavishnu Ork stuff. Subversia all the strong points of Nathan Mahl and more melodic, lyrical, well-placed riffing by McGill. The sonic storms of legato/ ostinato riffage are there for sure but McGill is delightfully even-paced and solos right on like Holdsworth/ Goodsall/ "Unknown" John Clarke did with Bruford.

The CD tells a tale so it is a well-done concept album. LeBlanc is a great songsmith. Plenty of variety here and loads of great instrumental breaks in songs with lyrics. Vox is strong and pleasant. No Geddy Lee screeching or symph-prog bombastic falsettos here — thankfully. I can't remember anything noodling-lame or meandering-weak here — just a solid, 9.2 outta 10, keeper overall. And hey — I gotta openly support great artists like Guy and Scott anyway. They are the type musicians that do stuff worth buying again and again. Highly, firmly, and easily recommended.

Cyberhome: www.spiralwave.com/natmahl.htm


Title: Subversia | Year Released: 2000

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Lucas CD/LP/Track Review Lucas
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: January 22, 2018
Read In Paris: The Definitive ORTF Recording CD/LP/Track Review In Paris: The Definitive ORTF Recording
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: January 22, 2018
Read D'Agala CD/LP/Track Review D'Agala
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 22, 2018
Read Not Bound CD/LP/Track Review Not Bound
by Don Phipps
Published: January 22, 2018
Read Not Nearly Enough To Buy A House CD/LP/Track Review Not Nearly Enough To Buy A House
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 21, 2018
Read Journey to a New World CD/LP/Track Review Journey to a New World
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 21, 2018
Read "Live In Europe" CD/LP/Track Review Live In Europe
by Mark Corroto
Published: November 28, 2017
Read "My Tongue Crumbles After" CD/LP/Track Review My Tongue Crumbles After
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 1, 2017
Read "Verisimilitude" CD/LP/Track Review Verisimilitude
by Troy Dostert
Published: August 1, 2017
Read "I Try To Remember Where I Come From" CD/LP/Track Review I Try To Remember Where I Come From
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 17, 2017
Read "The Motorman's Son" CD/LP/Track Review The Motorman's Son
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 18, 2017
Read "In The Green Castle" CD/LP/Track Review In The Green Castle
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 6, 2017