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On disc: Greg Howe



- Hyperacuity - Amir Djawadi - 3 stars


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Hyperacuity
(Mascot Records - 2002)


This man had quite an eventful career after playing guitar first at age 10. During the years he released many albums, some together with brother Al on microphone, others in cooperation with big names like Billy Sheehan, Richie Kotzen, Jennifer Batten and many others. There were instrumental albums as well as releases with vocal parts. Beside the recordings he toured successfully e.g. as opener for Van Halen.
In 2002 we now face the release of Mr. Howe's latest release Hyperacuity - another instrumental piece of music from Greg Howe. Together with drummer Kevin Soffera and bassist Dale Fischer he presents 7 tracks. For a listener with the musical knowledge I do have, the connection to brilliant instrumentalists like Steve Vai, Joe Satriani and the solo albums of Stuart Hamm can be recognized.
The music is almost dominated by guitar lines which partly are almost annoying and the partly extreme playfulness. When you first listen to the album you might have the impression that this is a young guitar hero who has to find his way / identity first. You wouldn't expect an experienced musician like Greg Howe when you hear this obtrusive vehemence. Rarely he stays within the tolerable borders. Too much love for his instrument and a 'raw' realization, a lack of energy management and his undisputed ability of playing guitar. The drums unfortunately support the tendency of restlessness and just rarely build a counterpart to the restlessness.
I can recommend this album just for guitar freaks and people who love instrumental guitar albums. On track no. 3 (Order Of Dawn) starts with a too long drum intro and has more than a touch of Stuart Hamm.


3 stars

Amir Djawadi
(translation: Claudia Ehrhardt)
 

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