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Jazz Fusion Progressive world music
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Carl Filipiak: Hotel Real
2000, Geometric Records, GEO-242

Buy it now!=>Hotel Real

Hotel Real by Carl Filipiak is a collection of upbeat, instrumental fusion tracks with a classic jazz fusion feel and style that is reminiscent of many fusion pioneers such as Jeff Beck and Al Di Meola, among others. Just to give you a basic idea of what the music sounds like, it reminds me much of Di Meola's upbeat, spanish-flavored rhythms, accessible progressions, and refined soloing. The music deploys much of what you would expect in mainstream jazz tonality, though Filipiak has a definite tendency towards a melodically-grounded and accessible sound rather than exploration of outside harmonization. Filipiak has a strong polarization to coherent arrangements with fluidly-transitioning themes and musical ideas whose motivations are readily perceiveable by the listener. The guitar work is admirable and is accompanied by some excellent sax work, as well. And, though the music is definitely guitar-centric, the overall accompaniment is first rate, as is evident by an inspection of the contributing members of the band, notably Dennis Chambers.

For the guitar efficienados, the guitar work is well-felt, refined, and very polished. Filipiak has excellent fluidity and control over dynamics in his playing. He deploys a broad vocabulary of musical ideas, all of which have been polished to a bright shine. And though I wouldn't say that Filipiak is pioneering any new ground in his technique, he does present a solid grasp on existing technique and a good vision of how to apply it and integrate it with a musical vision.

The first and title track, "Hotel Real", is an upbeat, spanish-flavored instrumental that features some Di Meola sounding rhythms and solo work that is very fluid and quickly paced. It is a really great track with a lot of accessible themes and guitar work that work well together to form a cohesive instrumental. The ensuing track, "Mayberry", takes a divergence to a different style and setting that will conjure images of Andy Griffith and Opie walking off for a day of fishing. Filipiak pays impressive tribute to Jeff Beck with two different versions of Stevie Wonder's "Cause We've Ended As Lovers". Filipiak has absorbed and assimilated the Jeff Beck interpretation to near perfection. Jimi Hendrix is the next influence that Filipiak pays homage to with the next track, "Hey Jimi", which is a variation of the theme to "Hey Joe" done up in a jazz suiting. "Song For Irene" is a mellow, jazz ballade with some tasty melodies and catchy hooks, all done with a smooth jazz feel; a very tactful tune for relaxing on a Sunday afternoon for certain.

Well, in summary, I would reccommend this album to fans who might like straight-ahead jazz fusion with a grounding in the sound and feel of the earlier rock pioneers like Jeff Beck and Jimi Hendrix, though with some of the jazzier rootings of Al Di Meola, though I might note that Filipiak has a tendency more towards Di Meola's refinement rather than his aggressive side. The music on Hotel Real definitely has some quality to it both in musicianship and compositional content. The music on this album is widely accessible with its roots planted firmly in a philosopy of coherent themes, rhythms, progressions, and soloing.

Guitar Carl Filipiak
Saxophone Bob Berg, Gary Thomas
Bass Gary Grainger, Lamont T. Battle
Drums Dennis Chambers, Will Calhoun, John Thomakos
Keyboards Paul Soroka
Percussion Victor Williams
1) Hotel Real
2) Mayberry
3) Cause We've Ended As Lovers
4) Hey Jimi
5) Song For Irene
6) Theme From The Lottery Incident
7) Blues In 0
8) Cause We've Ended As Lovers

~ Christopher Ruel ~ ~ ~ Chris Ruel's Monthly Spotlight

Jazz Fusion Progressive world music
Find this CD at for bargain price!

Carl Filipiak: Peripheral Vision
2000, Geometric Records, GEO-246

BUY THIS CD NOW! -> Peripheral Vision

Peripheral Vision by Carl Filipiak maintains the standard and quality that Filipiak defines in Hotel Real. In fact, Peripheral Vision borrows several tracks from Hotel Real, as well as adding a number of other tracks. Peripheral Vision is an enjoyable album that contains many accessible tracks that feature the polished and savvy playing of Filipiak on guitar and talents like Bob Berg and Dennis Chambers on other instruments.

Peripheral Vision is much in the same vein as Hotel Real, and the same comments for that effort apply to this one. If you enjoy Hotel Real, you should also check out this CD from Filipiak.

On one sad note, the great, inspiring saxophonist from Filipiak's albums, Bob Berg, recently died in December of 2002 in a tragic accident. I would like to offer my profound sympathies to those that knew him in person and through his amazing musical recordings that graced many jazz and fusion CDs in recent decades. His death was a great loss to modern music and has left a vacuum that will not easily be filled.

Guitar Carl Filipiak
Saxophone Bob Berg, Dave Fairall
Bass Gary Grainger, Lamont T. Battle, Jim Charisen
Drums Dennis Chambers
Keyboards Paul Soroka
Percussion Victor Williams, Greg Grainger
1) Hotel Real
2) Mariko
3) Little Wing
4) Song For Irene
5) Right On Time
6) Blue Entrance
7) Cause We've Ended As Lovers
8) Two PM
9) Say You Were
10) Nuji
11) Forest Flower

~ Christopher Ruel ~ ~ ~ Chris Ruel's Monthly Spotlight





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