Daryll Dobson (Guitar & Guitar Synth); L. Shankar (Double Neck 10 String Violin); Tony Thunder Smith (Drums); Kenwood Denard (Drums); Ricky Sebastian (Drums); Fernando Saunders (Bass); Rael Wesley Grant (Bass); Bobby Thomas Jr. (Percussion); Prabuddha Phil Brown (Tamboura); Kenny Kirkland (Synthesizers); Delmar Brown (Organ & Synthesizers).
Originally released as an LP in 1986. This CD has been digitally remastered ("Solarized" Mater Disc) with two bonus tracks added. Another release under the Solar Guitar label.
God this guy is great! Magnificent rolls and gooves abound in this Led Zeppelin like production. It's fat, big and formidable, and it flies! Try going to this man's world. He created it and he's willing to share!
-ZAZZ MAGAZINE 1986
Somewhere between the gigantic continents of jazz and rock lies a formidable musical gulf that is as controversial as it is undefinable. Jazz Purists"cynically categorize it as fusion, but within its fat layer is a lean, mean, muscular infrastructure, rich with technical wizardry, emotional breadth, and unexplored musical frontiers. Guitarist, in particular know this groove that includes the likes of John McLaughlin, Jean-Luc-Ponty, Return to Forever, etc....
The styles are so diverse, but the language is so phonetically similar. These musicians have culminated years of listening and playing into forms of music processed without artificial ingredients and have plunged into the beyond with a musical sword, forged in a new . Mainstream that has converged all the older tributaries. New introductions are rare but when they creep out of seclusion, the listening underground wails and fights for a glimpse of the discovered prodigies.
Debut releases usually only hint at the enormous potential underlying musical savants, but Daryll Dobson's THE MIND ELECRIC is a fully realized guitarist's odyssey that will assure his acceptance as Jazz/Rock/Fusion's newest potential guitar legend.
As a guitarist, Dobson is at the pinnacle of the emotive guitar technicians, citing phrases that echo a breath-stammering Cotlrane, with Far East modalities, and the special belching feedback of Hendrix. He has also decided to chart his course with the axe of the future, the guitar synthesizer. Wielding this instrument, Dobson merits inclusion in the newly formed guitar synthesizer front, previously dominated by McLaughlin and Metheny. His utilization of the guitar synthesizer goes way beyond this scorching leads, delving into a domain that keyboard synthesists have long worked in, to obtain background coloring effects.
Another testament to Dobson's ability is the supporting personnel that his reputation gained him during his stay in N.Y.C. L.Shankar's playing is one of the hottest of the many hot spots on this album. Long a compatriot of McLaughlin, Shankar is well established in the school of rip and burn, but never before has he been able to grind with the intensity he displays on Babylon. Shankar's intervallic and octaval repetitions interplay with sliding emotions that echo the cries of whales and seagulls, relaying a rock sensabiltity that many may not have realized he was capable of. Dobson's continual space acoustic guitar bites and grabs, easing into a solo that initially sounds like Shankar on violin, only to discover that the resonating reverberating violin sound is actually a guitar/synthesizer mix. From here Dobson proceeds to work out the guitar, setting the frets afire, piledriving into some of the most unusual eclectic scalar time excursions ever heard!
Final Frontier is a real showcase for guitar synthesizer as it features only Dobson and Tony Smith on drums. Dobson's ability to extract violin and high pitched trumpet sounds is scary in its mimicry. Life sounds like a virtual orchestra of frenetic instrumentalists. Weary Planet is solo Dobson on guitar synthesizer. His wide emotive abstractions range from a crystalline cross-picking backdrop, to bellowing resonant ambiences that scream resolution from his slide guitar. Thor (Part 1) features a churning cyclical melodicism, driven by crashing syncopations from Kenwood Dennard (Drum solo intro spells Thor in morse code). Tibet is an interlude of dark industrial Soho atmospheres which includes Tamboura, Acoustic Guitar, Organ and reverse/tape guitar effects. Thor (Part 2) re-enters to close the album. Dobson's solo let's loose all the chops as his guitar exhibits a vocal quality using multi-noted bends and chomps that feedback reincarnated Hendrix in between fast scales that climb and stack up with pulsing fanaticism.
Daryll Dobson may be a new face on the scene, but his playing echoes a musical maturity that could only be achieved through years of playing. Somewhere this guy paid his dues, and how he managed to escape recognition is as unbelievable as it is true. Plug into THE MIND ELECTRIC, activate your sensory receptors, and be prepared for voluntary shock therapy!
-From The Liner Notes of The Mind Electric Vinyl LP. 1986
Written by Charles Little – freelance writer for Jazziz Magazine and other publications.
...a mahavishnu-esque journey to the stratosphere with Hendrixian flights of feedback...untamed, explosive, guitar fantasia...
-Downbeat magazine 1986
...backed by musicians such as violinist L. Shankar and keyboardist Kenny Kirkland, Dobson burns...deft ensemble playing...
-Guitar Player magazine 1986
...an exceptional guitarist...gobs of virtuosic guitar...fusion guitar fans will eat up "Thor Part 2"...
-Option magazine 1986
...a sense of sophistication that is rare on debut releases...an intriguing blend of instrumentation and rhythm...
-Sun-Sentinel, Ft. Lauderdale Fl. 1986