Phil Sheeran

Standing on Fishes

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Saxophonist Eric Marienthal plays a prominent role on another of 1991's great releases, acoustic guitarist Phil Sheeran's oddly titled yet delightful Standing on Fishes. Sheeran's high spirited, dynamic and fluid lines find many different contexts to work within-- a thoughtful new age ballad, perky Brazilian rhythms and even an improvisational jam. The slower material can get a tad mundane, but when Sheeran, Marienthal and producer/keyboardist Gregg Karukas mix up the light funk and more uptempo flavors, something magical happens. The typical Sheeran emerges in the flute driven sound (courtesy of Steve Kujala) of "Inside Life," but even better is the Latin energy of "Eu Vou Pra As Estrelas," which features his stringpicking, a steamy Karukas key solo and even a moody electric bass interlude by Keith Jones. Karukas, Marienthal and drummer Tommy Brechtlein get their improvisational chops in quick order on "The Hurt," Sheeran's most ambitious choice of all.

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