Daryl Stuermer

Another Side of Genesis

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The sound that radio has called "smooth jazz" is often simply great pop music performed as instrumentals, ensuring that the genre is ripe for cover tunes of familiar pop songs; indeed, some labels even demand that their artists do them. Sometimes, it's done simply to reach a wider audience, but guitarist Daryl Stuermer comes more naturally to Another Side of Genesis, a lively and immensely likeable collection of guitar-driven takes on well-known Genesis hits. Stuermer played with the group -- Phil Collins, Tony Banks, and Mike Rutherford -- from 1978 through 1992, and undoubtedly knows backwards and forwards the dreamy ballads like "Since I Lost You" (played as a duet between Stuermer's acoustic and Kostia's piano, with soft orchestral touches) as well as raging rockers a la "Land of Confusion" (naturally performed as a blistering electric jam). Because he really doesn't add much in the way of improvisation or invention, the most interesting aspect of the disc is following which guitar Stuermer leads with. The sing-songy "Follow You Follow Me" is given a lively percussive treatment with a plucky acoustic lead voice, but he chooses to convey the beautiful mushiness of "In Too Deep" with the snappier strains of the electric. "Throwing It All Away" is performed for several minutes as an elegant acoustic ballad enhanced by Kostia's lush piano harmonies, when suddenly Stuermer picks up the electric and starts jamming with some lightning-quick distorted notes. More truly inspired moments like that would have made this fine tribute to his former bosses even more interesting.

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