Street Date 05/22/12
Some things are simply too good to wait on...this is one. In the day of the digital download and pre-ordering new releases the old fashioned "official release date" is somewhat a thing of the past but Frank Gambale and Boca have teamed up for what should be a brilliant future together. Sometimes in moving forward you need to go "Back To The Future." With Soulmine, the Grammy winning Gambale teams up with sublime vocalist Boca along with award winning director Nigel Dick ( Guns 'n Roses, Oasis, and Cher) to deliver an offering of finely tuned original jazzy adult pop songs. Literally 26 years in the making this is the record Gambale has longed to make as this marks his 20th solo release.
While Gambale is known as a "player" the early days of Frank Gambale were with vocal groups which may account for the ease and natural development of a contemporary release that is certainly worthy of a second look! Boca's pristine vocals add just the right amount of vitality and pop to push what may have been an otherwise good release into a special category where a natural pulse settles in for a groove you can use. Gambale's revolutionary instrumental work with icons including Chick Corea, Billy Cobham and Return To Forever have forever changed the form and functionality of contemporary jazz as a genre or idiom unto itself. Soulmine goes back to the vocal roots with as mentioned previously, pristine vocals and a groove you can use for a fresh riff on the tired if not played world of contemporary jazz. "Love Set Me Free" opens this delightful package with Gambale's clean single note lines running free but in harmonic cohesion with Boca's vocals. The tune develops organically, a natural progression where Gambale's keen sense of melody allows Boca's vocals to start to weave a sonic tapestry as it develops throughout this number. "Be The Change" is one of many tunes with tremendous crossover potential and while that is clearly not the musical intention of the release let us be honest - they call it the music business for a reason. There is a vibrant yet subtle funk to "Be The Change" that is infectious and as a release of all original material is certainly as solid as anything floating around in cyber space today. "Keep Leadin' Me On" has some bite to it. A tune that tells a story without getting bogged down in the self indulgent or pretentiousness of lame commercial lyrics that have little if any lyrical purpose. Gambale's solo is clean and with the trademark single note angular precision and edgy quality that adds texture and depth to another tune with some crossover potential.
Frank Gambale has found that musical happy place that so many musicians strive for but never seem to find. Gambale's six string pyrotechnics run from the cool vibe and funk fortification to the foot to the floor ability to touch your soul and set your hair on fire all at the same time Soulmine has more hooks than a fisherman's hat. A cool groove, shifting meter and a deceptively subtle harmonic development all designed to enhance the vocal/guitar musical exchanges that are predominant on this eloquent release.
A recording of note and absolutely a 5 Star gem!
Tracks: Love Set Me Free; Live Your Dream; All In The Game Of Life; Be The Change; Sun Will Shine; Forbidden Kiss; Keep Leadin' Me On; Save Me From Myself; Enchanted Love; Open Your Mind.
Personnel: Boca: lead and background vocals; Frank Gambale: guitar, electric keyboards, synthesizer solos and background vocals; Victor Wooten: bass; Joel Taylor: drums; Otmaro Ruiz: piano; Brian Auger: hammond organ solo; Gary Coppola: background vocals; Rick Lazar: percussion.