Waldon Reed, Jr.: From Today Until Dark; (CD, 50:56) Independent release, 2000 WLR1161 Cyberhome(s): http://www.waldonreed.com E-mail: email@example.com For well-executed jazz fusiony guitar that swings regularly into instrumental rock environs with ease and finesse, Waldon Reed, Jr. is a recommended listen. This is his 2nd release. Imagine Tommy Bolin and Joe Satriani decided to do some Holdsworthian legato runs and got hooked on the feel of fusion in much of their riffs. That's what I hear here. Best cut is "Blues Emporium (Part 2)" where Reed lets it all come out, all his best moves and liquid crunch. I like Reed's voicings, tone, and attack on each note. He creates a certain suspense and holds interest in his soloing. A relaxed waltz in Reed's riffage is evident on most songs. He avoids flash and empty technique to enable soul and thus ephasize melodic song vs. look-at-me showiness. For some great axe crunch in that Marc Bonilla or Jaye Foucher mood do sample his "From the East" cut! Much of Reed's compositions reflect a blue to mellowed mood exuding a sombreness of deeper contemplation - ergo relaxing, even some lilting flute is featured in one track. My next fav song, "Suggestions", features a McLaughlinesque acoustic intro that breaks into a Dregsian crunch in a Morse saunder with a Montrose mean solo. Another song worthy of mention is "Almost Rock" with a great bass solo by Paul Laginess. Reed of course, wails on axe quite deftly with fusiony rock ease. Give Reed your attention soon. Strong tunes here. Do it again, Waldon. ~ John W. Patterson, EER-MUSIC.com
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Waldon Reed, Jr. Resonance Reconnaissance(Independent, 1998) E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Cyberhome(s): http://www.angelfire.com/mi2/waldonreed and http://www.guitar9.com/resonancerecon.html
Waldon Reed's Resonance Reconnaissance features an electric fusion trio of guitar, bass, and electronic drums. Reed handles all the guitar, and occasional keyboard sequencing, with Paul Laginess on bass and Norm Euker on drums.
The songwriting, all by Reed, consists of riff based fusion with sparse clean guitar parts, including an introduction to "Corean Samba" that strongly evokes Robert Fripp's clean arpeggios on King Crimson's "Vroom Vroom." The styles and tempos range widely, with some raucous rock tunes and several shuffles. The tiresome rag of "Recess" sounds like a Kenny Loggins movie soundtrack, but the rest of the songs are solid, moderately heavy, guitar fusion. Some of the music includes a melodic Steve Vai influence, with harmonized guitar lines soaring over the backing chords.
The recording and mixing, by Reed and the whole band respectively, maintain a clear sound with distinct separation between the instruments. They chose good electronic drum sounds, as the drums remain unobtrusive and do not sound overly electronic. Resonance Reconnaissance doesn't sound like a fully professional recording, but nothing in the sound attracts attention to the self-produced recording.
Laginess' bass work lays a solid foundation, particularly his low range on the five string bass. Reed's guitar tone and playing impress, partly because he doesn't have an unoriginally dominant fusion guitar influence like the derivative styles often found among independent fusion guitarists. He uses few effects save a wah pedal, and the guitar sounds retain a pure, unaltered feel. Although his compositions remain similarly non-derivative, they also lack a spark of brilliance that might boost his solid songwriting to a higher level.
Resonance Reconnaissance would be a solid debut record for an independent artist, (if it is Reed's debut)*, while still showing room for compositional refinement.
*(CD liner notes contained no background artist information.)
Reviewed by Scott Andrews [sha3u@Virginia.edu].
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