This formidable power trio of Austrian guitarist Alex Machacek, 5-string electric bassist Matthew Garrison and drummer Jeff Sipe is impossibly intense, dripping with staggering virtuosity and fertile ideas and seething with the kind of raucous improvisational abandon that we haven’t seen since the heyday of Tribal Tech. For fans of acknowledged guitar monsters like Allan Holdsworth, Scott Henderson and the late, great Shawn Lane, the opening track of their new album says it all: “There’s A New Sheriff In Town.”
Machacek’s mind-boggling technique — blazing speed, uncannily fluid lines and daring intervallic leaps — is an obvious place to begin in singing the praises of this exciting new triumvirate. But beyond the abundance of soloistic fireworks on “Improvision” provided by both Alex and Matthew, one of the most gifted and creative bassists on the post-Jaco scene, there is also a remarkable depth to the writing here, which comes across on harmonically sophisticated pieces like the atmospheric ballad “Very Sad,” the compelling “Shona,” the gentle, darkly alluring “To Whom It May Concern” and the gorgeous “Put Me Back To Sleep.” Elsewhere, they exercise zen-like restraint on the freewheeling jam “Yoga For Cats, Part 1 and 2,” then go for the burn on the aggressively slamming, chops-laden fusion showcase, “Gem1 and Gem2.” And the astounding “Matt’s Riff,” is a brilliant showcase for Garrison’s 21st century approach to the electric bass guitar. This stuff takes me back to the early ’70s, to a time when creativity, concept and risk-taking were the watchwords in fusion music.
Format: CD Cat No.: ABLX-007 Barcode: 827912066463
Alex Machacek (Guitar), Matt Garrison (Bass) and Jeff Sipe (Drums).
01. There’s a new Sheriff in Town 02. Along Came a Spider 03. Shona 04. Gem 1 05. Gem 2 06. To Whom It May Concern 07. Yoga for Cats Part 1 08. Yoga for Cats Part 2 09. Very Sad 10. Matts Rif . 11. Put me Back to Sleep
Artwork – Powa Executive Producer, Liner Notes – Souvik Dutta Guitar, Composer, Editor, Mixer, Producer – Alex Machacek Mastered By – Scott Kinsey Recorded By – Jörg Mayr
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Alex Machacek, Matt Garrison, Jeff Sipe: Improvision