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.

204

Vertu: Vertu

By

Sign in to view read count
VERTU is Stanley Clarke, Lenny White, Rachel Z, Karen Briggs & Richie Kotzen, the new music collective conceived by former Return To Forever alumni, bassist Stanley Clarke and drummer Lenny White. Their debut release on LegacySony 550 Music titled, VERTU, is ten tracks full of just what the fusion doctors ordered for those that have been starving for this music. The jazz-rock fusion going down on this CD is AWESOME. The die-hard fusion world has known for many years that Clarke and White are two of the best musicians that ever walked planet Earth, but now that they have united with the modern day guitar rocker Richie Kotzen, formerly of Poison, the infamous violinist Karen Briggs and the ever so talented keyboard artist, Rachel Z, the jazz-rock fusion world will never be the same. From the moment the set opens with “V-Wave,” to Clarke’s closer, “Toys,” you know that the golden age of jazz rock fusion is back complete with its unison lines, radical tempo shifts, the odd-time signatures and fast and furious trading.

Stanley Clarke sets the entire tone of the CD, with bass chops so exact, you can set your life-rhythms to them. On his composition called, “On Top of the Rain,” Richie Kotzen stars his notorious lighting guitar licks as Lenny White works out the skins and holds down the rhythm logic. A dazzling solo by the great Karen Briggs will floor you!! Rachel Z underscores it all with her electric piano and some mighty furious chord changes. “Anoche,” written by Karen Briggs, explains another side of her genetic code and showcases her superior composing ability. Rachel Z is all-knowing on grand piano and Stanley is jamming home a lyrical bass. You only have to listen to “The Call,” to know why Lenny White is considered the fusion genius he is. Continuing the pyrotechnics of former RTF guitarist, Al Di Meola, Kotzen trades licks with Briggs in a remarkably display of string virtuoisity written by White. He exchanges, pulls back to compliment, heightens and then literally lifts you out of your complacency on this funk-driven jam that stays with you long after the track is over. “Danse of the Harlequin,” a more acoustic offering with some drop dead changes by Stanley Clarke, is very introspective with Rachel Z on grand piano and Karen talking to each other in harmony and then building to a dramatic finish. Absolutely amazing. The ensemble intros a potent open on the showcase for Kotzen’s bluesy vocals, “Start It Again.” The R&B vibe set on the track finds Clarke walking all over it and is just the right chaser for the 10-song set. “Toys,” concludes the blazing hot set with Lenny White stretching the art of drumming to another dimension - literally inventing another musical genre. Clarke, Kotzen, Briggs and Z all trade powerful eights on the track you don’t want to end.

Vertu’s self-titled debut on Legacy/Sony 550 Music, should inspire many instrumentalists on the fusion path with the new musical course they are blazing toward the next millennium. VERTU is a magnificent announcement of the “fusion protocol” for the next century and a Return to Virtuosity for the genre of jazz rock fusion.


Title: Vertu | Year Released: 1999 | Record Label: Legacy Recordings

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles

More Articles

Read Live at Pyatt Hall CD/LP/Track Review Live at Pyatt Hall
by Jack Bowers
Published: January 23, 2018
Read Flying Heart CD/LP/Track Review Flying Heart
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 23, 2018
Read The 3Dom Factor: Live in Krakow CD/LP/Track Review The 3Dom Factor: Live in Krakow
by John Sharpe
Published: January 23, 2018
Read Solano Canyon CD/LP/Track Review Solano Canyon
by Glenn Astarita
Published: January 23, 2018
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 "Dedication" CD/LP/Track Review Dedication
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: July 15, 2017
Read "Solo: Reflections and Meditations on Monk" CD/LP/Track Review Solo: Reflections and Meditations on Monk
by John Sharpe
Published: November 4, 2017
Read "Formidable" CD/LP/Track Review Formidable
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: November 24, 2017
Read "Live At Okuden" CD/LP/Track Review Live At Okuden
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: June 1, 2017
Read "Daylight Ghosts" CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Troy Dostert
Published: February 5, 2017
Read "Variety of Rhythm" CD/LP/Track Review Variety of Rhythm
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 10, 2018