Monday, 4 February 2013

Chris Cooper: Lines the new CD

Chris Cooper - Lines
Chris Cooper - Lines

Chris Cooper's Lines sits comfortably in that space between melodic subtlety and full-on shred. A mix of jazz, blues, and rock, and inspired by the likes of Eric Johnson and Robben Ford, Lines is an instrumental guitar album for discerning listeners. And while Cooper’s technique shines on his debut album, so does his sense of song and tone. From the fun rock of “Fireflies” to the sentimental jazz of “Snow Day,” Lines is full of feeling.

And feeling, after all, is the point. Cooper says, “The guitar is one of the most expressive, lyrical instruments on the planet. So if I can inspire some kind of emotional reaction with the instrument then I'm happy.”

When he set out to make the record, Cooper began writing using a Boss Loop Station, an approach that allowed the guitarist to layer and arrange parts without getting lost in the details of making the perfect demo. Once the song concepts were complete, Chris entered the studio, and began recording.

For gear, Chris played a frankenstrat and a 93 Ibanez RT450 through Fender amps. “I generally prefer to use clean Fender amps and get my dirt from pedals. Some overdubs were done with a Gibson SG, a PRS SE singlecut, a borrowed Taylor acoustic, and one of Jeff Savage's beautiful hand built archtops. Pedals i can't live without are my MXR Dynacomp, Maxon TS808 clone, a hand built overdrive by Jason LaQuerre, a Boss Turbo Overdrive (which i've had for 20 years) and my little 80s Ibanez Delay Champ. I actually use 3 different delay pedals. I kind of like delay, I guess.”

Two weeks later, Lines was born: a seven track album that Cooper describes as “instrumental guitar goodness that encompasses rock, blues, jazz, country, and a little shred for flavoring.”

Chris Cooper's Lines is available now:

Łukasz Kulczak, Maciej Rzeczycki: The Company-Bad Man Jack

The Company-Bad Man Jack

Michael Wolff,Mike Clark: Wolff & Clark Expedition

New York, NY – When two of the best musicians on the planet decide to combine their estimable talents to create a band without boundaries, the result is the WOLFF & CLARK EXPEDITION. Dizzy Gillespie famously said that jazz must have “one foot in the past and one in the future.” With the Wolff & Clark Expedition, the music embraces the past, ventures into the future, but remains rooted in the improvisatory present. After several high profile performances in 2012, jazz legends Michael Wolff and Mike Clark, the Wolff & Clark Expedition, are preparing to release their self-titled debut album in February 2013. Performing with creative bassist Chip Jackson, the Expedition's initial outing aims for uncharted, compelling musical territories while still entertaining a wide audience of astute listeners.

From The Beatles to Zawinul, Wolff & Clark navigate a disparate set of beguiling material. They commune with "Come Together," determine "What Is This Thing Called Love," before showing no "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy." Wolff's beautiful composition in 7/4, "ARP," precedes a burning "Flat Out," rout. By the time Horace Silver's "Song For My Father" is proffered, listeners will realize this is not their fathers' jazz trio. This is something very new, quite different...This is exciting, sublime but accessible music.

The sizzling "Is There A Jackson...?" leads to Wolff's soulful intro to Brother Nat's "Hummin'." After church, the trio tears up Gamble and Huff's "For The Love Of Money" before winding down with the gorgeous ballad "Elise," Michael's homage to his late Mom.

Expedition: A journey undertaken by a group of people with a definite objective; or the group undertaking such a journey. So it is with the fearless, tuneful negotiations of the Wolff and Clark Expedition. Although the name may recall other explorers from another era, Wolff and Clark are thoroughly modern: They blaze musical trails, fresh and fertile, with sounds not previously heard.

Says Wolff & Clark, “We have been playing together for many years – We share the same vision, energy and excitement for jazz music, for improvisation. The musical goal of The Expedition is to utilize well-known tunes in addition to intriguing originals and to deconstruct them, then reconstruct them as vehicles for self-expression. We believe it is time to bring modern sensibilities and styles of playing (and writing) to music that comes from the Blues and the roots of Jazz to create fresh rhythmic and harmonic/melodic adventures.”

“The Wolff & Clark Expedition is what happens when great musicians come together and mean business, but sound like they're having fun doing it!” - Vinnie Colaiuta

Performing together since the 1970's, both Wolff and Clark have each had stellar music careers. Michael Wolff is an internationally acclaimed pianist, composer and bandleader, and is best known for his melodically fresh and rhythmically compelling piano style. Wolff made his recording debut in 1972 with Cal Tjader, and went on to record with Cannonball Adderley, Nancy Wilson, Sonny Rollins, Tony Williams, Christian McBride and many others. As pianist and music director for jazz singer Nancy Wilson, Michael wrote orchestral arrangements and conducted more than twenty-five major symphony orchestras worldwide. From 1989 to 1994, Michael served as the bandleader for the Aresenio Hall Show, which heightened his visibility and gave him the opportunity to perform with many established artists such as Ray Charles, Phil Collins, Whitney Houston, Patti LaBelle, Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock and saxophonist/President Bill Clinton. Michael Wolff has released twelve critically acclaimed solo albums as a leader, 'Joe's Strut' being the most recent. He was a recipient of the BMI Music Award for television composition and was also the winner of the Gold Disk Award in Japan for piano. On Feb 23, 2012 Michael performed a solo piano concert at the University of Toledo, in Toledo, Ohio, as part of their Art Tatum solo piano concert.

Drummer Mike Clark is a true percussion legend - Mike Clark gained worldwide recognition as one of America’s foremost jazz and funk players while touring and recording with Herbie Hancock’s group in the early 1970’s. Mike became known as a major innovator through his incisive playing on Hancock’s 'Thrust' album, which garnered him an international cult following. While often referred to as the “Tony Williams of funk,” Mike, a JAZZ musician, has, in fact, become one of the most vital to ever sit behind a set. He has performed with jazz greats Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Tony Bennett, Bobby Hutcherson, Christian McBride, Joe Henderson, Woody Shaw, Wallace Roney, Donald Harrison, Nicholas Payton, Fred Wesley, Vince Guaraldi, Chet Baker, Larry Coryell, Eddie Henderson, Geri Allen, Billy Childs, Chris Potter, Bobby McFerrin, Al Jarreau, Dave Liebman, Oscar Brown Jr., Lenny White (Mike has a two-drummer band with Lenny called "New Brew"), Mose Allison, Gil Evans and his Orchestra and many more luminaries. Mike is currently finishing his forthcoming solo CD 'Indigo Blue', which features Randy Brecker, Christian McBride, Donald Harrison, Rob Dixon and Antonio Farao.

Says Wolff & Clark, “Together, we have years of combined experience playing with many of the greatest jazz artists of all time, so we share an innate understanding as to how to play at a consistently very high level, with a mutual feel for improvised music. Since we both spent time in the Bay Area, and since we've been friends and band mates for many years, The Expedition is a natural result of our shared, cumulative experiences.”

“It's a joy to hear musicians with so much experience approach the music with such great passion.” - Fred Hersch

Together they bring a combination of swing and groove to a unique deconstructive take on classic jazz, popular standards, and original compositions that creates a freedom in the sound to electrify listeners and audiences worldwide. With their collective vast experience, Wolff and Clark can play with anyone, anywhere, always defying boundaries of genre, mingling and mixing with a kaleidoscope of changing players, keeping the music interesting and dynamic. As such, they are excited to present their VIP (Very Impressive Players) List: Dependent upon the gig, they invite one or several musicians from a roster of colleagues to join them - Jeff Berlin, Larry Coryell, Steve Wilson, James Genus, Christian McBride, Donald Harrison, Randy Brecker, Wallace Roney, Tom Harrell, Alex Foster, Lenny Pickett, Seamus Blake and others constitute explorers willing to join the Expedition's adventures.

Wolff & Clark states, “We strive to take all listeners on unparalleled musical journeys, to unexplored sonic realms. W&C adheres to past musical traditions while pushing the envelope further into the future. We hope to bring great improvised music to as many intrepid listeners as possible; we know that Jazz can be highly entertaining! So hold on tight and join the Expedition...!”

On this expedition, the possibilities are limitless.

The WOLFF & CLARK EXPEDITION Release February 19, 2013
Random Act Records, USA

The Wolff & Clark Expedition CD can be purchased at, iTunes, and at most music stores.

For more information:
Random Act Records:
Michael Wolff:
Mike Clark:
Wolff & Clark Expedition Facebook Page:

Press inquiries: Glass Onyon PR, PH: 828-350-8158,

Ron Thal: Legendary Rock Interviews

Legendary Rock Interviews: You released 8 albums prior to joining GNR and were on a lot of musician and guitar freaks radar but lot of people know you first and foremost as a guitarist in GNR and have discovered your past and current solo work via the band. Axl seems to be very open to you continuing to work on your own creative ideas which is all most musicians dream of. Is that kind of opportunity like the best of both worlds as an artist?

Ron Thal: Each has something the other doesn’t. I love creating more than anything, and need to write, record, co-write, produce… with my solo music I get to do all that and express myself fully. GNR is a big family, I love them and the experiences and people it’s brought to my life, and having both is absolutely the best of both worlds. I don’t ask either world to be something it isn’t, and accept both as they are, with openness that both will grow in whatever direction they’re meant to. And all is good!


Rob Chappers: Chapman ML-3 Carved Top

Rob Chapman
Mahogany body with carved top
Belly cut back - same as ML-1
horn slight sharper like ML-1
spoon cut to lower horn
Vintage Cherry, & charcoal black

Mahogany neck - Vintage Cherry, satin stain
Rosewood Fretboard - 24 X Jumbo frets
ML-1 Headstock Shape - headstock to match body
Set through construction
Rolled edges

25" scale length
Thin C Chapman profile

Chrome throughout
Grover tuners
Gotoh Steel Tele Hardtail Bridge GTC202
Seymour Duncan USA Little '59 for Tele ST59-1b (Bridge), Hot Rails for Tele STHR-1n (Neck)
1 X volume knob and 1 X tone knob with coil tap under tone if pulled
Wired - Bridge, Both, Neck

Paul Gilbert: Iris North reviews Vibrato for Truth In Shredding

Artist: Paul Gilbert
Release Year: 2012
Title: Vibrato
Label: Music Theories Recordings
Reviewed By / 
Review Author: Iris North

2012's 'Vibrato' marks guitar virtuoso Paul Gilbert's 12th studio release as a solo artist. This progressive platter represents his latest effort to reflect on what he's assimilating from the universe of music. Clocking in at over an hour, this 11-song record, consisting of 8 studio and 3 live-in-concert tunes, ranges from mellow to blistering. Overall, the album is clear, crisp, and incredibly dynamic. Production is, as per this artist's usual, fantastic, with each instrument given plenty of aural depth and room to move.

Fiercely individualistic, Vibrato represents a bold step forward for someone known primarily for their 'fleet of finger' moves. Here Gilbert plays what he wants to play, not what his established fan-base of speed-freaks wants him to play. Further, with this release, he blurs a proverbial entertainment line between material he selects for his guitar clinics and concerts here, by deliberately including a clinic tune (the electric guitar reinterpretation of Dave Brubeck's 'Blue Rondo A La Turk') and 3 live covers. The album forges it's own exciting, new middle ground somewhere: it's not quite all jazz, or all progressive 'rock fusion', or even all insanity. 

Gilbert said, to Fireworks Magazine in 2006, "The whole universe opens up and you go 'There's no way I'm ever going to go all these places', so I really have to choose my favorite ones, maybe take a vacation over here to the jazz planet for a week to get some things there but then I want to come back to rock, which is my home." 'Vibrato' seems a souvenir from that vacation - the musical concepts he plays so jauntily are what he's digested to date. 

The album has a genuine, cohesive 'band' feel, versus an album composed solely for lead guitar to shine. On this disc, everyone has opportunities to strut. Influences are diverse and songs are fluid, sounding polished or well-composed. The original tunes feature a funky 1970's-infused groove, most reminiscent of Frank Zappa, but also calling forth images of Steely Dan and even Thin Lizzy (their song is called Thunder And Lightning... clever Paul invokes them via title with Rain And Thunder And Lightning).  

All of the studio tracks feature very heavily in their mix, the exemplary keyboard skills of Emi Gilbert, Paul's wife. To be able to hear her showcased this substantially, is fantastic. The songs are lent a vintage, jazz-infused vibe with the various keyboard tones. The texture with Emi's addition to the record is palpably different then if there were no keyboard parts. Each song remains balanced between the instruments. Bass guitar and keys balance out drums, guitar, and vocals, giving the band a full and rich sound. The guitar is fantastic overall - 'Atmosphere On The Moon' was voted as Guitarist Magazine's "solo of the year" for a reason! 

What really sets Vibrato apart from Gilbert's earlier releases is an extensive manipulation of 'time', or meter. This transformation is spearheaded by drummer Thomas Lang. Percussion is stellar. Lang shines here, incorporating all sorts of odd time in to what would usually be a straight-ahead rock and roll band. We're treated to poly-rhythm, syncopation, and all sorts of percussive madness - even a vibraslap! Lang raises the bar, so to speak. His work demands a top performance from all, and in the process elevates the entire band a few notches. 

Three tunes were recorded live in 2010 on the Fuzz Universe tour: Roundabout (Yes), I Want To Be Loved (the Muddy Waters version of the Willie Dixon song), and Go Down (AC/DC). There's an unaccompanied guitar solo just after I Want To Be Loved, and that solo, to me, remains one of the highlights of the album. These songs capture the Gilbert and his band - in that incarnation consisting of Tony Spinner (guitar, vocals), Craig Martini (bass, vocals) and Jeff Bowders (drums) - at their most riveting and intense.

I'd have checked it out no matter what, because I'm a die-hard Gilbert fan. I quite enjoy the record. That said, I'm a 'rock and roll' fan, and find that I need a rare 'jazzy' mood to really appreciate this album's nuances, rather then note them as fleeting glimpses. Technically-minded musicians, as well as progressive rock, jazz, funk, and fusion fans, will adore this recommended album. With 'Vibrato', Gilbert's on to something new, incisive, and just plain good. The album's position at #47 on the Top 100 Heatseeker chart clearly shows that he remains a relevant, powerful musical force to learn from and enjoy.

Rating: 4.5/5

Track Listing:
Enemies (In Jail)
Rain and Thunder and Lightning
Put It on the Char
Bivalve Blues
Blue Rondo a la Turk
Atmosphere on the Moon
The Pronghorn
I Want To Be Loved
Go Down

(duration, chart position)
(the solo award is somewhere in there...)

Morten Faerestrand: Get a taste of this lesson option!

Morten Faerestrand:

I promised you recently that I would tell you more about the changes happening on MortensLessons these days. One of them is the "Get a taste of this lesson" link.

When we started MortensLessons back in June 2011, it was a pretty simple site. Basically it was 3 LIVE broadcasted guitar lessons each week that students could follow live, and if they missed a lesson, it would be available for watching the following month. And that was pretty much it.

I realized pretty soon that I needed to expand the site, so the older lessons would be available to everyone joining, and after a few upgrades and changes over the last 18 months, and hundreds of new lessons, the site has now grown pretty large.

With this many lessons, it can be a challenge to find what you're after, so in order to easier find the lessons you want to work with, there's now the "Get a taste of this lesson" link, and that gives you a quick preview from the class!

I think this option is very cool! :-) , and see for yourself!

(As of now we have made links for the 60 most recent lessons on the inside, we'll have links for all of them soon.)

Have a great day,

In case you wondered, we're still doing 3 new lessons each week, so there's always something fresh on the site!

Scott Mishoe: Lizzards - on fire soloing - the return of the beast

By Scott Mishoe " Lizzards " New song

Scott Mishoe " Lizzards " New song

Johnny Hiland: announces live internet show

Johnny Hiland
Hey all....come join Johnny and Ronnie for their live internet show February 7th...7p.m. CST! Again...this is a live internet show that you can enjoy from the comforts off your own home. Visit Stagit list price as 50 notes, which is $5. You can't beat that deal! We have 30 tickets available and they go quick. Get yours today...we sold out last gettem while you can! Peace..Kimmie

Dave Sharman: Evolution Machine - the new album

Considered one of the world’s greatest rock guitarists, Dave Sharman returns with his much-anticipated fourth studio album.

A self-taught guitar prodigy, Dave was catapulted into the limelight with a BBC Radio 1 Rock Show Session. Quickly becoming one of the most exciting talents in his genre, receiving significant critical acclaim and compared to greats such as Eddie Van Halen and Steve Vai. Sharman has toured the world and recorded with some of Rock’s most legendary artists including members of: Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Ozzy Osbourne and Whitesnake.

Evolution Machine is a Trans-Atlantic rampage of future Rock Guitar classics, blended with Funk and Eastern Influences. Sharman’s signature finger tapping, impassioned guitar solos and vocals cascade onto each track, displaying both his sophisticated songwriting and technical brilliance.

"Dave's debut '1990' is infinitely more pleasant on the ear than Steve Vai's Passion and Warfare." - Paul Miller, Kerrang Magazine.

Official website: