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Natural High

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Album Review

Although marketed in guitar publications alongside the top "shredders" of the late '80s, Australian guitarist Frank Gambale certainly stood out from the pack. Although he favored the same guitar make as Steve Vai and Joe Satriani — Ibanez — Gambale was from the jazz fusion school, not the hard rock/heavy metal side of the tracks. After all, he first appeared on scene as part of Chick Corea's Elektric Band. And while his solo recordings from this era wouldn't sound completely out of place on The Late Show with David Letterman (1989's Thunder from Down Under certainly had a "Paul Shaffer flair"), by the early 21st century Gambale was ready to switch gears, as evidenced by 2006's Natural High. Picking up an acoustic guitar, the majority of the album is Gambale accompanied by just piano and bass, with percussion joining in on four of the album's nine tracks. There's some nifty guitar and bass interplay throughout the album, but especially on the album-opening "You Are All the Things," as well as "D's Living Room," while the self-explanatory "Scottish Highlands" is another highlight. If it's challenging jazz fusion that you're looking for, this isn't the place. But for relaxing, acoustic guitar-led jazz that would sound perfect in the background, Natural High is recommended.

Biography

Born: 22 December 1958 in Canberra, Australia

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Frank Gambale is best-known for his fiery work with Chick Corea's Elektric Band. He was a student at the Guitar Institute of Technology while in his early twenties, wrote instructional books, and during 1983-1986, was on the school's faculty. He joined Corea in 1986, has also performed with Steve Smith's Vital Information, and has been a leader on his own rock-oriented dates for JVC. A collaboration with bassist Stu Hamm and drummer Steve...
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Natural High, Frank Gambale
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  • €8.91
  • Genres: Jazz, Music, Fusion
  • Released: 06 February 2006

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