Thursday, October 26, 2017

Frank Gambale - 1989 "Live!"

Live! features some long instrumental guitar tracks by super Aussie guitarist Frank Gambale, recorded live at the Baked Potato on Sunday, August 21, 1988. Gambale recorded this album immediately after a long tour with Chick Corea and the Elektric Band and his chops were flying. Definitely need to strap in with a seat belt while listening to this one. It features Kei Akagi on keyboards, Steve Tavaglione on sax and electronic wing, Joe Heredia on drums, and Steve Kershisnik on bass guitar. Live! showcases Gambale's talent on recordings which are unabashed, unabridged total blasting with no concern for commerciality or airplay. As it should be. Instrumental Guitar (Electric/Fusion)

Gambale graduated from GIT in Hollywood, with Student of the Year honors. He also taught there from 1984 to 1986. After graduation, he played the jazz club circuit with his own band and in 1985 released his first studio album, Brave New Guitar, through Legato Records (owned by Mark Varney, brother of Shrapnel Records founder Mike Varney) in what was to be a three-album contract. In that same year, he toured with Jean-Luc Ponty and shortly afterwards began a six-year stint with the Chick Corea Elektric Band in 1987. During his time with the latter, he has participated in five albums and shared a Grammy Award (with two nominations).

In the 1980s, he released two studio albums and a live album. In 1988, he released Monster Licks & Speed Picking, the first of many instructional videos. An endorsement deal with Ibanez guitars resulted in the 1987 debut of the Frank Gambale Model (FGM) signature series, modeled after the Ibanez Saber. Yamaha also manufactured a signature guitar after he left Ibanez later in the 1990s. He signed with Victor Entertainment in 1989 as part of a five-album agreement, and released Thunder from Down Under the following year.

The 1990s began for Gambale with a pair of albums—Truth in Shredding (1990) and Centrifugal Funk (1991)—as part of The Mark Varney Project. These were collaborations with fellow guitarists Allan Holdsworth, Brett Garsed and Shawn Lane, in a jazz fusion supergroup concept put together by Mark Varney. Around this time, he served as head of the guitar department of the Los Angeles Music Academy. In the 2000s, having parted ways with Victor, Gambale started his own record label named Wombat Records after purchasing his entire Legato discography with the intention of reissuing it himself. A live double album, Resident Alien – Live Bootlegs, was released in 2001, along with Imagery Suite; a duet featuring classical guitarist Maurizio Colonna. He also released a studio album, Coming to Your Senses, on guitarist Steve Vai's Favored Nations label in 2000.

Gambale has also been a member of the jazz fusion band Vital Information since 1988, with the group consisting of keyboardist Tom Coster, drummer Steve Smith and bassist Baron Browne. Furthermore, in a group known as GHS, he has released three collaborative albums with Steve Smith and bassist Stu Hamm through Mike Varney's jazz-orientated label, Tone Center Records. In addition to concert recordings, he released an instructional DVD called Concert with Class in 2003. A reunion with Chick Corea came about in 2004, and Gambale subsequently toured with the Chick Corea Elektric Band. In 2006 and 2010, he released two all-jazz studio albums in the form of Natural High and Natural Selection, respectively. In 2011, he endorsed the Carvin FG1, a thin hollow body guitar made in the US.

Live! is the first live album by guitarist Frank Gambale, released in 1989 through Legato Records and reissued in 2000 through Wombat Records. You can't live without this intense live guitar album with over 64 minutes of blazing guitar virtuosity.

LIVE! was the first album of Frank Gambale I bought. And when I listened to it, I was terrified! First we must remember this is a live album, so there's no cheating. All instruments are played 100% naturally... And Frank has played songs from 'Brave New Guitar' and 'A Present For The Future'. These albums are not especially great, but the transformation on the scene is simply incredible. Frank Gambale sweeping technique is the best I know, and everyone must thank him for his contribution to the world of guitar. Monster licks are possible easier now, and this live album prooves it. No studio, no cheating. Only great technique and... passion.

This is one of Frank's MANY great albums! This music is obviously intended for the true FUSION fan! Brilliant performance by all players involved! The sound quality is FIRST rate! I thought it was a studio recording for a moment! This aint' no "rock" album, and is not intended for fans of low talent, no brainer, 3 chord rock..THESE ARE THE BIG BOYS!

Track listing:

All music composed by Frank Gambale.

1. "Credit Reference Blues" 13:13
2. "Fe Fi Fo Funk" 9:58
3. "Spending Sunday with You" 8:56
4. "A Touch of Brasil" 16:12
5. "Spike's Song" 6:23
6. "The Natives Are Restless" 10:02

Total length: 64:44


Frank Gambale – guitar, mixing, production
Kei Akagi – keyboard
Joe Heredia – drums
Steve Kershisnik – bass
Steve Tavaglione – saxophone, EWI

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