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Album review

Andy Summers 

Synaethsesia

added: 9 Mar 2014 // release date: 9 Mar 2014 // label: Esoteric
reviewer: Andy Snipper

Andy Summers - Synaethsesia - Printable version
Andy Summers is much more than just the guitarist from the Police. As a solo artist he plays hard jazz with real passion and depth and a million miles removed from ‘Roxanne’.

In his own words “Each note on the guitar represents a small curve: birth, life and death – and then you start over” and his playing here has that level of import to every note and every accompanying drumbeat or synth line. He is joined by Ginger Baker on drums – a man not noted for carelessness – and Jerry Watts on bass while Summers takes care of guitar, occasional piano and aoccasional Acoustic bass. Keyboards are from the ever excellent Mitchell Forman.

On the opener, ‘Cubano Rebop’ the guitar seems to fly in space above Baker’s continuous multi-element rhythm while ‘Meshes of the Afternoon’ is much darker and has an element of unease in the guitar passages.
Summers even manages a garage punk feel to the excellent ‘Monk Hangs Ten’ with Greg Bisnette on drums creating a very different vibe to Baker’s more African style – think ‘Batman’ done jazz!

The prog elements to the album are possibly the most appealing feature and there is occasionally a sense of self indulgence but the album is full of little gems almost hidden in the music and going back to it time and again reveals a lot of depth but the overall impression is one of strength and style rather than deep emotion.


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3 stars

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