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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Jerry Jennings

Shortcut to the Center

Review by Gary Hill

I’ve generally always put fusion into the progressive rock category. For my money, since fusion generally combines rock with jazz, it’s quite related to a lot of prog. That’s why this disc sits there. It features some strong guitar dominated instrumental fusion. The first two songs are particularly noteworthy because of the appearance of Ronnie Montrose as a guest musician. This is a strong album that should appeal to fans of fusion, instrumental prog and classic rock that’s dominated by guitar.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2010  Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Observation

There’s a bit of a reggae element here blended with blues, but the overall concept is fusion. It does move into some almost southern rock type territory later.

One Blue Lady
Now, this is more pure fusion. It comes in fast paced, but slows a bit later. The cut really works extremely well. It’s a tasty slab of guitar based fusion. There is some soaring hot guitar work on this one.
Rule 14
This time around it’s a slower, melodic hunk of fusion that’s especially tasty.
She's
Here we get a ballad. It’s got a lot of jazz built into it and is quite pretty. The guitar soloing is especially noteworthy. They work it up for quite some time without ever rising up beyond the balladic. Then, at the end there’s a more rocking movement that feels a bit like Queen in some ways.
Feeding Time
Although the overall feeling here is a cool jazz meets southern rock texture, at points you might make out some Pink Floyd.
Bones
A very smooth and slow groove, this is a killer funky jazz tune that’s among the tastiest on show here.
Weather Manipulation
There’s more of a classic rock feel to this, but plenty of fusion on display, too.
The Next Mile
We get some tasty retro sounding keyboards and smoking hot guitar work on this uptempo fusion number. It’s one of the standouts of the set.
Meltdown
The fusion balance falls further on the side of rock on this cool number. That southern rock element is again present here a bit. There is a killer keyboard solo on show.
A Dime for the Phone
A mellower cut, this is closer to pure progressive rock than the fusion end of the spectrum where much of the music lands. Parts of this remind me of The Grateful Dead’s Terrapin Station album.
 
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