Dr. Dan

Dan on the Moon

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Who knows exactly what was going through "Dr." Dan Matrazzo's head when he called his debut solo release Dan on the Moon, but it's definitely a bit "out there," and so the title works. Produced by the legendary David Z. (Prince, Jonny Lang, Big Head Todd, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, and more), Dan on the Moon is a lot of fusion, a great deal of funk, a lot of experimentation, some jazz, and even a bit of electronica. It's all centered around the keyboards of Dr. Dan, with very minimal vocals. "Prowler" and "Karma Limbo" are all about funk and serious grooves. "Shock Treatment" has a high-tech vibe to it, with shifting rhythms, nasty guitar, and keyboard layers that vary from beautiful, flourishing piano runs to dark synthesizer passages. Several of the songs ("Uncle Hank" and the 21st century-ready, space-age energizer "Snap") tend to get repetitive, but they fit in with the overall theme. Others do not. "Timeless" and "Move On" feature full-fledged vocals by Sam Sims and Mica Roberts, respectively. The former would sound right at home on a Prince record and the latter is quite radio-friendly. Matrazzo goes solo on "Mia's Tears," blending elements of classical music and jazz to create a sometimes melancholy, sometimes haunting melody. He closes the album alone as well, going back to the aeronautic theme with synth and space travel sound effects galore on "Goodbye 20." Guitarist Warren Haynes appears as a special guest on two tracks.

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