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The Great American Road Trip

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Album Review

An impressive debut; that's all there is to say about The Great American Road Trip. OK, there's actually a lot more to tell, but after the disc stops spinning, the only thing on your mind will be "What, this is a debut album?!?" Hectic Watermelon is a quirky fusion trio led by a very good guitarist, one of the best kinds of guitarists in fact: the kind that eschews pointless flashiness in favor of wild ideas. John Czajkowski possesses all the necessary skills to pull off a fusion career — and he does take the time to impress on The Great American Road Trip — but he is first and foremost a strong composer with a knack for studio work. This album offers a very large sound palette, from madly contorted rock songs ("Twenty-First Century Visigoth," hilarious) to textural sonic experiments ("Layover in Hamemet"). But the bulk of the album consists of spirited fast-paced fusion instrumentals featuring Czajkowski, bassist Harley Mausino, drummer Darren Debree, and none other than Mahavishnu Orchestra's violinist extraordinaire Jerry Goodman as a special guest. Goodman appears on all but two tracks and his trademark sound is put to excellent use in highlights "Bullets, Dice and 30 Megabytes," "The Third Derivative of James Brown" and "Subterranean Rapid Transit." John McLaughlin's influence is felt throughout the album, but Frank Zappa is also quite present — not in Czajkowski's guitar playing, but in his witty writing and sense of humor. Both entertaining and technically impressive, The Great American Road Trip has enough jazz to titillate fusion fans, enough complexity to please the progressively inclined, but most of all (and despite the above statements about Zappa and McLaughlin) it has its own endearing personality. And that, more than anything else, is what makes it such a strong debut album. Highly recommended. ~ François Couture, Rovi

The Great American Road Trip, Hectic Watermelon
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  • 8,99 €
  • Genres: Rock, Music, Jazz, Fusion
  • Released: 25 September 2006

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