Cream of the Crop: Tribute

Various Artists

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Cream of the Crop: Tribute Review

by Roch Parisien

Cream of the Crop strikes a cynical chord. The producer is Mike Varney and the flexible studio cabal, operating under the name "L.A. Blues Authority," includes Tim Bogert on bass, rhythm guitarist Mike Onesko, and Jeff Martin on drums. Among the veteran guns-for-hire on vocals and guitars are Pat Travers, Neal Schon, Leslie West, Rick Derringer, Kip Winger, Don Dokken, Yngwie Malmsteen, and Joe Lynn Turner. This disc does contain strong technical performances. Derringer, in particular, offers some notably biting playing. But it's all so ultimately pointless: no new insights are offered, no real passion conveyed. All the obvious standards are shuffled out by old hands in precise hard rock formula. Nothing in the way of notes but the sparsest of track and guest artist listings. The K-Tel wrapper warns you exactly of what you'll find inside.