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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Gregg Rolie

Five Days

Review by Larry Toering

Re-looked, recorded, re-claimed.... Five Days is the new six track release from Gregg Rolie. This is a re-recording of songs from both Santana and Journey, as well as his own solo compositions. The interesting thing is that he did these in a laid-back, easy-listening way. One can't help but think of Frank Sinatra while listening to it. There is no specific trend going on with this that I can think of, other than the fact that Rod Stewart has been doing covers of old classics, but that is nothing like this. So this is somewhat of an original idea of, and Rolie delivers it very well. It was recorded in his home in the southwest, on his old piano that belonged to his father and he dedicates it from his home to ours. I wasn't keen to what was going on when I first put it in the player, but I have to say I was surprised and very interested at the first few notes alone, as it is very relaxing and soothing to hear these tracks recorded this way. This is just a great CD for either driving along the countryside or relaxing at home. It’s a special gift for anyone who appreciates Gregg Rolie, and I'm glad to be one of them.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2011  Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Black Magic Woman

This is probably the most satisfying number to hear in this style, as Rolie really slows it down and sings the first verse in a subdued manner. Then he just let’s some great piano fly to compliment things and comes back and springs the second verse out in an almost startling way. This is not going to be everyone's cup of tea, mostly because it's only two versus of vocals.

Anytime
Another surprising way of starting things is presented here, as Rolie comes straight in with his famous chorus of the great Journey classic. It’s quite an interesting take actually, as he just seems to mutter the words as they come to him, without seeming like he even knows them. This is pure magic!
Love Doesn't Live Here Anymore
This has got to be one of the best of the six, as well as the previous two. Perhaps this one works as well as it does because it was a ballad in its original form. It is a brooding one, indeed.
If I Went Home
Things go into a bit more of a pleading fashion on this number, and it’s most refreshing. Rolie sings with his piano and plays with his voice, it seems. This is very much at one with the universe and there are echoes of Billy Joel here. This is a great version with fantastic piano.
Trouble in Mind
More lower register starts this off, and it has a constant flow with the previous tunes. This is very special. I love the piano work as well here. There is a mesmerizing hypnotic vibe to it that touches the soul. This is true blue, through and through.
Cool Little Mama
This track takes the recording out and it’s probably the most up-tempo tune. Just when things get cooking it’s all over, but that is nothing new.
 
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