Virgil Donati: Just Add Water (CD, 45:49); Independent release, 1997 Cyberhome: www.virgildonati.com One of the hottest fusion rock drummers strutting the planet these days is Virgil Donati. This release showcases his enormous talents. Amazingly enough, all the spectacular, percussive energy and sonic paintings on Just Add Water are spontaneous, unrehearsed jam sessions. I have seen video of Donati going absolutely genius-insane on drums with T.J. Helmerich and Brett Garsed. He held my rapt attention. I should admit I am not a drum-fanboy but Donati is heads and high hats above the rest of most fusion drummers. Eight cuts of all-out mayhem and wild-cool, fusion abandon are to be experienced within. Being driven along by Donati’s fury is the bluesy-fusey-rockin’-axeman, Scott “Wildman” Henderson. One word needs to be said concerning Henderson’s jamming on this disc -- inspired. This groove Henderson immerses himself in is as good and better than his finest moments on Tribal Tech’s Thick release. Pumping the blood-hot, low-end heartbeat is Ricc Fierabracci. He’s good, really good. Just sample his solo work in “On Manners”. I recommend this release to you musicians who think you know what fusion, funky, fun-fest jam sessions are all about. Hear a new angle of near-perfect grooves and “what-it’s-all-about” power trio dynamics. Fans of wah-wah blues fusion will be delighted with Henderson’s “fallin’- down-stairs-easy” riff-fest. They wind it up way-tight in climactic fashion building to a fever pitch on the final cut, “How To Grow Great Women”. “Donati, Henderson, Fierabracci! Put down yer sticks, guitars, and face the wall. You’re under arrest for playin’ too darn fast. You have the right to remain silent . . . yeah right.” This has been . . . ~ John W. Patterson
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