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Brian Tarquin

and Company - Orlando in Heaven

Review by Gary Hill

A tribute to the victims of the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando, this is a classy set of music. It includes a performance from Larry Coryell who has since passed away, too. Brian Tarquin has created an exceptional piece of work here. Most of the songs are instrumental, but there are a couple with vocals. The lyrics on those are lasting tributes to those who lost their lives on that fateful day. With a lot of great guests as part the "company," this album is an exceptional release. It lands mostly in the fusion vein, which we always land under "progressive rock."

 

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2017  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Orlando in Heaven featuring Phil Naro & Hal Lindes

This is a tasty cut that has a lot of fusion built into it. Yet the vocals bring us more into a soft rock territory.

Madame Shanghai featuring Bobby Baldwin
I love the killer jazz groove on this instrumental. The sax brings a lot to the table, and the keyboard sounds are very classy. Of course, the guitar soloing here is exceptional, too.
Pulse 49 featuring Larry Coryell & Phil Naro
The opening on this is a full on progressive rock bit. They turn it out into a Latin based fusion jam for the vocal section. The early guitar solo brings some Latin sounds over the top of some particularly hard rocking stuff. They turn in some powerhouse jamming on this thing later.  As in the earlier instance in this piece, I love the acoustic guitar soloing on the cut.
Hustle & Hassle featuring Chris Poland

A killer fusion jam is the simplest description of this instrumental. It has some smoking hot jamming built into it. It seems that everyone gets the opportunity to strut some stuff.

Metropolis featuring Larry Coryell
I dig the shifts and changes on this smoking hot fusion instrumental.
Kinda Sorta featuring Mike Stern & Denny Jiosa
I dig the horns on this killer fusion instrumental. All the instruments really shine, though. The guitar soloing later in the track is especially noteworthy. It's a smoking hot tune on a disc full of hot music.
La Noche featuring Will Ray

A bit mellower and more purely melodic, this instrumental brings a different kind of jazz flavor to the proceedings. As always, the guitar soloing is on point and on fire.

She Used to Be a Lady featuring Bobby Baldwin

Here we get another killer jazz instrumental.

Tropical Trail featuring Tony Franklin

Another energetic and melodic fusion instrumental is the idea here.  As you might guess when Tony Franklin is involved, this includes some particularly cool bass work.

Jacob's Ladder featuring Hal Lindes

There is much more of a focus on the rock here. Still, this is a fusion cut. It has some scorching hot music built into it and really reaches high as it pushes forward. I really dig the electric piano work on this thing. It almost sounds like vibes.

Orlando in Heaven (Instrumental) featuring Hal Lindes

Here is an instrumental version of the title track to end things in style. It serves as a great bookmark, taking things out in much the same way as they came into being.

 
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