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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Tony Senatore

Holyland

Review by Gary Hill

Tony Senatore is one of an elite group of bassists who play the 12 string version of the instrument. This CD showcases a number of tracks featuring that instrument. Don’t expect this to be a bass heavy sort of musicians only outing, though. It’s quite listenable and it’s obvious that the song is the most important element – not any one instrument. While only some of the music is purely progressive rock I’ve included it in that category because for the most part when it leaves the prog rock field it’s into jazz – and that makes it fusion – so, it qualifies.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2009  Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Money Dulls the Pain
Senatore leads things off with a full on jazz treatment. This thing is a fiery street machine and it’s a great way to get us off on a good run right from the starting gate.
A Black Place
This is harder rocking and fits more firmly into the realm of fusion. It’s a killer tune that wouldn’t be too far away from fitting on a disc by Joe Satriani or Steve Vai.
Life and Times
Here’s a killer fusion cut that feels like it could have come from Niacin. Since the bass man in that outfit is Billy Sheehan that says a lot. There are some cool bits of psychedelia amidst this track.
Holyland, USA
There are bits of country in here, but overall this is a great fusion jam. It’s playful and quite tasty. 
Scorpio
Bring on da funk! This is a funky little jam that’s a lot of fun. 
It Was Love
Here’s a mellower, rather smooth jazz number that’s quite tasty. It’s actually got vocals – very crooner like ones at that. It turns into scat after a while. 
Lord of the Subtones
This is a powerhouse prog rock jam. It covers a lot of territory and just plain stomps. It’s sure to please the old school prog purists. This is one of the standout cuts and I like it a lot. 
Apostrophe
Here Senatore and company turn in a seriously jazzy take on Frank Zappa. This is another highlight of the disc. 
Too Shy to Say
This is a mellow and quite tasty jazz number. 
Vocalise
Here we have a gentle duet between piano and bass. It’s pretty and very nice. 
Because
This classic Beatles cut is delivered in a keyboard and bass duet. I’ve always liked this song a lot and this version is powerful. 
Shapla
Still in Beatles territory, this is Senatore’s interpretation of some cool Beatles psychedelia - and I mean that literally.
A Final Song
Here is another tasty little fusion jam. It’s got some great melody and moves quite well.
 
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