Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Guitarist Todd Clouser's A Love Electric

Guitarist Todd Clouser has assembled a crack outfit that includes trumpet man Steve Bernstein for his third outing as a leader.

Todd Clouser's A Love Electric (Ropeadope) draws on a jazz-fusion, jazz-rock orientation for a personal blend of sounds that brings in a retro Fender Rhodes-organ centered groove rock that doesn't balk at taking things a little out when the spirit moves. His relocation to Baja Mexico in 2006 after a stint at Berklee has enabled him to come to terms with his own musical vision without the pressure to follow trends or spend most of his time in the scuffle to stay afloat.

What he most certainly done is to free himself up to return to his initial fascination for the electric sound colors that players like Hendrix and Jimmy Page made such an important part of the vocabulary of the electric guitar in the late'60s-early '70s. He goes his own way with those inspirations, injects a healthy dose of the soul-jazz from that era, and works well with Mr. Bernstein as a two-man front line that provides contrast and grits in equal measure.

The originals are good forward-moving vehicles for the musical gymnastics and grooves that take place here.

All in all a solid effort; a pleasure to hear.

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