Tobias Hurwitz, Painted Sky (CD, 48:24); Hurwitz Records, 1997 Hurwitz Records 35 Gilland Court Baltimore, MD 21236 Painted Sky begins promisingly with an unusual piece called "Zen Guitar," pairing digitally* effected guitar with tabla drums. Hurwitz mimics the rapid fills of the tabla with hammer-ons and harmonics. It's interesting. Unfortunately, the record quickly degenerates into a conventional rundown of fusion and metal guitar clichés. There are three cover tunes: Deep Purple's "Space Truckin'," which is merely an instrumental version of the original; Bach's "Invention #8," which repeats the tired maneuver of metal guitarists playing elementary classical pieces with their fuzz boxes cranked to 10; and P-Funk's "Maggot Brain," which contains some pretty funny voiceovers but also an interminable, slow, heavy jam that doesn't go anywhere. The other original pieces all traverse the same territory: mostly slap bass funk** with metal guitar harmonies and quasi-flashy soloing. When Hurwitz goes for a clean solo sound, he can't quite cut the mustard - his time is off and his phrasing unconfident. Even former John Scofield drummer Dennis Chambers, who appears on a couple of cuts, can't make the funk tunes groove. There's an amateurish quality to the package overall. Better luck next time. ~ David R. Adler
=========================== NOTE: Clarifications/corrections per e-mail dialogue with Tobias Hurwitz and David Adler and the Editor . . . JAN. 30 to FEB. 1, 2000 ----------- * Mr. Hurwitz informed me that effects used "are vintage analog stomp boxes" and not digital. ** Mr. Hurwitz felt that Mr. Adler's phrase, "slap bass funk" to be misleading, as Mr. Hurwitz says "that that was mostly me slapping the guitar, not a bass". (E.E.R.'s editor finds that the guitar-slapping employed by Hurwitz to be a truly unique styling. Did AC/DC do chordal slaps?? Hmmm . . .) In response, Mr. Adler states, "As for the slap bass issue, my use of the term 'slap-bass funk' was meant to describe a style of music, not a guitar technique. Any listener would agree that, strictly in terms of musical genre, there's a good deal of 'slap-bass funk' on the CD. And some of that, at least, involves someone slapping a bass, not a guitar." E.E.R. honors Mr. Hurwitz's wanting details further elucidated and E.E.R. also appreciates the fine job of reviewing and feedback on multi-genred music handled deftly by Mr. Adler. =========================== Sounds like this discussion may be 100% resolved for E.E.R. readers by just buying Hurwitz's CD and having a listen themselves!! ~ The Editor Contact Tobias at: email@example.com =========================== E.E.R. strives to be fair to all and give readers "the real deal". ===========================
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