Neil Zaza


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On Neil Zaza's instrumental debut, Sing, the eloquent guitarist brings a smooth combination of Jeff Beck-meets-Jimi Hendrix to a banquet table which already has Ronnie Montrose, Frank Marino, April Lawton, Joe Satriani, Robin Trower, Jeff Healy, and so many other guitar slingers putting their sounds out to the world. But Zaza adds a delicacy to his roster of colors which really does allow the listener to hear his instrument "sing." Van Morrison's "Crazy Love" comes in sounding like Curtis Mayfield's "I'm So Proud"; it is elegant and breathy, with dexterity that the artist gets high marks on. For a band that only sports Michael Papatonis drumming and producer Eric Fritsch on bass, keyboards, percussion, mandolin, and guitar, with Zaza on guitar and synths, the sound is incredibly big. And it grooves, beautifully. Though hearing this crew go through familiar tunes would be superb, there is so much depth to the originals, and the playing is so fine, that Sing really doesn't need any gimmicks or hype. The phrasing on "I'm Alright" is tough and compact. It is truly a remarkable record by a man who has the chops to make some tremendous waves. Vocals would impede what is just a marvelous ride, the rendition of "Amazing Grace" proof of that statement.

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