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PROGRESSION HAS A NEW REVIEW FORMAT!! SCOTT HUGHES Brown Bag 1999(CD) Style: Instrumental guitar rock/ fusion Sound: Composition: Musicianship: Performance: Total rating: 12 (16 is a perfect score) Hughes is back after an earlier strong release called Lapse. As I love to hear, he has greatly improved his art on this latest effort. I was actually quite shocked to hear the wonderful amount of fusion happening this go round. Hughes is more than deft with the olde digits and can lay down some mean riff-rock jams but this time his jazzier finesse comes through more clearly. He even approaches Allan Holdsworth in phrasings and voicings but a split second later he sounds like Ron Thal or JoboJ. His compositions kept me guessing and intrigued with delight. A mellow piece here and there broke things up perfectly in overall disc flow. He is doing some very odd things with his guitars that you axe-heads need to hear. If Hughes keeps getting better at his current “learning curve” his next releases should be close to awesome. More fusion please. Hughes, ya done good this time! ~ John W. Patterson
Scott Hughes: Lapse (CD, 30:56); MA-1001, 1997 M.A. Productions/Free Lunch Music Correspondence:16 Morning Street - First Floor Portland, Maine 04101, USA Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Cyberhome: http://members.aol.com/ma36scott/index.html Lapse is laid back, jazzy, guitar hero rock, Zappaesque and Ron Thal-like guitar and vibes jams. I kept hearing Thal's The Adventures of Bumblefoot. Hughes is not copying any of these styles but the influences seem evident. Tracks one thru three, ":)", "Angular", and "Cats 'n' Dogs" each have the Thal/Zappa twisted feel and inherent fun ride to them. Crank these up for the full range of effects. On "Moods" a mellow Vinnie Moore guitar styling comes through without any bach-rock noodlings, just a well-done ballad here. Immediately Hughes flows into track five "With an `E' " in a bizarre little ditty of tortured whammy bar leads and ascending/descending wah-wah scales, and fiery Steve Vai styled accents of his Flexable era. Vignettes of curiosa guitarra eclectica wail forth upon thou. "Odd" is up next with again a Ron Thal feel but a tinge of Ronnie Montrose and some Jeff Beck. Thal's frenetic axe-torturing around the 22th fret is clearly evident in Hughes' lead stylings as well as his tension building/release modes. Compositional framework calls to mind Zappa but not nearly as frantic here. We end things up with "Mr.Man", a boogie-down, earthy, nite-club jam out, lick tradin' fest with guitarist Bill Pierce. This piece lacked the dimension displayed in the rest of the CD's songs and well -- was not memorable. It was good licks, good playing, but a snoozer song-wise. Scott Hughes does excellent guitars, sequencing, and drum programming throughout. Bill Pierce guest guitars on "Mr. Man" with Jim Goss keys soloing on "Angular". If you liked Ron Thal's debut release then get Scott Hughes' Lapse. -- John W. Patterson
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