Saturday, November 4, 2017

Michael Shrieve - 1994 "Fascination"

Progressing with guitarist Carlos Santana from his early Afro-Cuban rock and pop-based successes to his experimentation with jazz fusion, drummer Michael Shrieve subsequently released a string of fine solo recordings of his own. This one features guitar hero Bill Frisell and the ever-inventive organist Wayne Horvitz for a rather divergent set featuring ethereal soundscapes, loose grooves, and crunching opuses. Here, Shrieve provides sturdy backbeats to coincide with some nicely placed fills and his acute implementations of the dynamic. This effort highlights Frisell's wily and rather slithery guitar work, enhanced by the glowing sonic characteristics of the production, when viewed upon as a whole. The band is apt to soar skyward via climactic overtures in concert with a crash-and-burn methodology. Needless to say, this affair represents a potent concoction of jazz fusion melded with folksy themes and an avant-garde-type swing vamp, evidenced on "The Glass Tent." Yet, after a string of enterprising solo outings, Shrieve's solo career quieted down to a near whisper during the late '90s and into the new millennium.

You never know what you are going to get with this type of CD (great musician's solo effort) so this was a very pleasant surprise. I had a feeling going in that it was going to be new-agey but it's a solid instrumental rock album with some great guitar playing from Bill Frisell and Wayne Horvitz on organ. Every song was strong and no two resemble each other, a difficult task on an instrumental album but this guy can write music. There is also a Chris Whitley composition. If I had to compare it, I guess I would say it's much closer to Jeff Beck/John McLaughlin than Steve Vai/Joe Satriani.

Track listing:

01. Sam The Man
02. Tell Me Everything
03. Circus!Circus!
04. The Glass Tent
05. Fascination
06. One Nation, Invisible
07. The Great Ambassador
08. Living With The Law
09. Jig Saw
10. Soundings In Fathom


Micael Shrieve - Drums
Bill Frisell - Guitar
Wayne Horvitz - Organ



  2. Thanks. Check out Automatic Man some time.