The Mark Varney Project – Centrifugal Funk (1991)

The Mark Varney Project - Centrifugal Funk (1991)
Artist: The Mark Varney Project
Album: Centrifugal Funk
Genre: Jazz Fusion
Origin: USA
Released: 1991
Quality: mp3, 320 kbps

Tracklist:
1. Actual Proof
2. So What
3. Hey Tee Bone
4. Tokyo Blue
5. Splatch
6. Elegant People
7. Lane’s Blitz
8. Lovestruck

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This is the second MVP session featuring Frank Gambale. This time, he is set alongside underground legend Shawn Lane and ex-Nelson hired gun Brett Garsed. The songs here are fairly weak and can be a bit grating due to the backbeats supplied by Joe Heredia. It would be interesting to know what Miles Davis would have thought of this version of “So What.” Garsed has a clean, ’80s metal sound and plays with pristine technique. He manages to make his solos interesting and is rarely self-serving. Lane, on the other hand, has a very distinctive and unique sound. His technique is difficult to analyze because his sounds are so bizarre that it’s often difficult to know what he’s doing. Gambale’s sweep-picking technique has been well documented, and his jazz and fusion experiences establish him as the superior player here. Garsed and Lane serve as better dueling partners and do so on “Hey Tee Bone,” one of the session highlights. “Splatch” contains some incredible pyrotechnics by both Gambale and Lane, while “Lane’s Blitz” (only included on the Legato label version of the album) is a good example of Lane’s demonic sound and speed. “Love Struck” is the session’s most exciting tune, featuring one of the most inspired solos Gambale has ever recorded. The three trade blistering solos as the song builds to a crescendo. Aspiring guitarists are encouraged to approach this with caution at the risk of getting discouraged. Simply put, this is an exhausting listen.
Review by Robert Taylor

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