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Ramin Partovi

27 Faces of a Broken Heart

Review by Gary Hill

This is an intriguing set. It's a double disc set that is made up of various versions of the same piece of music. Guitarist Ramin Partovi and drummer Simon Phillips along with  bassist Jimmy Johnson create the basics, while guest musicians contribute creating their own renditions. You might imagine that it would start to feel redundant. It does a little at times, but things are varied enough to keep it from really becoming tired. There are a couple tracks that have vocals, but the majority of this is made up of instrumentals. Since all the songs are the same tune (see the title of the album) the tracks are titled with the name of the featured performer.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2018  Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
CD 1
          
Ramin Partovi

Starting with a percussion bit, this works out to a cool piece that is part fusion and part rock music. The guitar work on this is so expressive and powerful. There are some particularly soaring moments built into this thing.

Yussi Wenger
More of a flamenco guitar approach brings this into being. There is definitely a Latin flair to the piece. The jazz elements on here are so classy. The percussion gets pretty involved at times. There is an explosion of Spanish acoustic guitar later that is just so cool.
Brent Mason
I love this cool rock meets fusion rendition of the piece. The instrumental interplay is purely magical. There is an almost metallic movement later in the piece that is just but one intriguing shift within this performance. The guitar solo that comes after is purely on fire.
Jinshi Ozaki
This has such a pretty and almost introspective vibe as it starts. It grows out with some particularly evocative guitar work. This gets more powered up and rather soaring further down the musical road. It's a pretty remarkable version of the cut. In fact, it's one of my favorites here. It has such expressive musical passages along with a great balance of different textures and flavors.
Tom Kolb
Coming in with a bit of a blues rock vibe ala Gary Moore, this still sits nicely within the fusion category. The guitar soloing is particularly meaty on this. This version of the piece is a bit of a powerhouse.
Jon Reshard
I love the bass work on this piece. There is a really slow and thoughtful vibe to this. the bass really manages to shine on the number. As a bass player myself, that speaks to me. This rocks out like crazy further down the road.
Scott Henderson
Another that comes in more reflective, this has some intriguing fusion textures built into it. The bass work on this is particularly noteworthy, too. That said, the guitar certainly doesn't take a back seat. The guitar solo around the three and a half minute mark is among the best of the whole seat, really elevating this to one of the top spots here.
Andy Becht
A blues concept opens this. The cut works forward with that thoroughly on display. It gets into more jazz based territory as it continues. There is some exceptional guitar work here, and the track has some dramatic twists and turns. There are some nearly metallic moments, too.
Ervin Toucet
Here we have one that's more of a slow moving and thoughtful fusion treatment. It turns out into some of the hardest rocking stuff of the set in the second half of the piece. This is purely on fire.
Ernesto Homeyer
I love the expressive guitar work on the mellower introduction to this number. The cut intensifies as it moves forward. The bass work on this one is so tasty. The guitar solo section later in this piece is purely incendiary. The outro is purely magical.
Erick Walls
Starting with drums, this drops to an especially mellow movement as the other instruments join. This is another solid rendition, but perhaps not a highlight.
Doug Rappoport
I love the bass work on this, but the whole piece is just such a killer fusion number. Everyone really shines. It's just that the bass steals a lot of the show.
Masta Edwards
Starting with drums, it drops back for a piano led movement. More of a traditional jazz arrangement, this one includes a soulful vocal performance. It has some seriously soaring moments, too.
CD 2
             
Carl Verheyen

I love the guitar work on this version of the song. It's a killer fusion performance that has some bluesy guitar soloing at times.

McCoy Mason
Expressive and cool in a rather restrained way, this is a big change from the other versions here. It has a ton of style and class. At times there is almost a Pink Floyd vibe here. There is a harder rocking, explorative movement later in the number that works really well.
Jeffery Marshall
A bit more restrained and very expressive, the bass work on this really steals the show. It's another killer fusion interpretation of the main tune.
Robin Siedschlag
One of the rare pieces to include vocals on this disc, this is a killer version that focuses more on a rock end of the equation. That said, the first musical explorations later are full on fusion. It really explodes out into some intense, soaring rock jams further down the road.
Brent Mason's 2
More killer fusion jamming ensues, and the bass really shines here. Somehow there are some moments on this number that make me think of Rush just a bit, though.
Brad Bailey
Another evocative fusion jam, this is effective.
Oz Noy
I dig the slow, almost space blues groove of this rendition. There are hints of Pink Floyd here. This is one of my favorites here and has some particularly cool music built into it. The guitar soloing on here is purely on fire.
Jeff Richman
Much more of a straight ahead rocker, this is another solid version of the piece.
Mike Stern
More pure fusion is on the menu here with this killer rendition. The drums really show off later in the track. It also moves into more pure hard rocking zones later, too.
Gabriel Forsman
I love the killer mellow jazz explorations on this number. The bass work is so cool, but the whole piece has a great groove. This is one of the most "different," and one of my favorites. I am quite enamored with some of the guitar soloing here, too.
Mark Lettieri
Another guitar showcase piece, this is a solid one that lands more on the rock side of the equation. I love the bass led movement later in the track. It has some great tones and moods to it and really shines.
Dean Brown
Another that has some killer bass work built into it, this is a great fusion number. It's quite effective, really.
Giuseppe Vasapolli
Keyboards bring this into being, and the cut has a cool mellower jazz groove at its heart. It turns toward an almost space jazz section further down the road.
Ramin Partovi 2
This alternate version of the one that started the set serves as a nice bookend. This is classy fusion that works really well.

 

 
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