Old rock stars never die...If they are good enough they get a gig teaching at Berklee!
Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
Marty Walsh, former guitarist for the arena rock icons Supertramp has been teaching at Berklee the past few years. The Total Plan is a unique release that should excite six string aficianados. Not a jazz record under the strictest of definitions, The Total Plan finds a harmonic happy place between improvisational music and pop melodies. Jazz goes mainstream? Nothing new, Walsh simply does a little bit better than most of his contemporaries. A fixture on the L.A. studio scene as well, the Walsh resume includes Neil Diamond, Dolly Parton and Freddie Jackson.
Some stellar musicians drop by for cameos including John Robinson, Abe Laboriel, and the great Billy Sherwood. Each tune has a different ensemble and the styles run the sonic spectrum from rock to funk to what I like to call "nu-fusion." The playing is soulful, focused and each ensemble setting brings something new to the table so predictability goes out the window. Artistic comparisons are fraught with peril. This is not an instrumental Supertramp record, it does have a Steve Morse sound that six string aficionados should go ape over. Critics will be scratching their head on this one as we tend to only feel good about our self once we have things neatly categorized and in what we consider their proper place.
Accessible melodies, inspired playing and diversity that is through the roof, if you are not hip to Marty Walsh then do your ears a favor...get hip!
Don't believe me?