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Ric Fierabracci and Virgil Donati have had quite a history as a bass/drum duo throughout their careers. The fully improvised jam sessions on Donati's second solo album Just Add Water, still gives me chills every time I listen to it. Add fusion guitar veteran Frank Gambale to the mix and you know it wouldn't disappoint.
Made In Australia is a concert that was captured live at the Evelyn Hotel in Melbourne, Australia on June 20th 2003. What we have here is a mostly jazz/rock fusion album which starts off with a couple of catchy tunes and then gradually goes off into some serious 'virtuoso' territory. The album boasts a nearly studio perfect performance by the trio and not to mention the amazing clarity of the recordings themselves.
The first track The User is a song that sounds like something Chris Poland's Ohm would have written. Signature Virgil Donati mid-tempo grooves over which Gambale starts shredding like the madman he is. Fierabracci is relatively quite and to the roots on this album but you can clearly hear his amazing impromptu skills on the tracks like Yang and A Little Something. At times even challenging the master timekeeper at following his rhythmic patterns. Little Charmer is a Gambale composition from his '94 album Passages. The new take on it is quite refreshing and the trio manage to not stray off from the original version as much. Mind Over and Alien Hip Hop are basically revolved around Virgil Donati's neurotic rhythms. The later being a re-re-re-take on the On the Virg song of the same name written by Donati himself. Alien Hip Hop boasts a stunning 6 min improvised drum solo at the very end of the song. Sphere of Influence is one of my favorite tracks on this album - A semi-contemporary jazz song with a melodic AOR undertone. A Little Something is very up-tempo bebop jazz song with a Latin touch to it.
Frank Gambale's performance on this album is nothing short of stunning, but being an amateur drummer and a long time fan of the man, I can't help but give him the man-of-the-match award for his unearthly performance on this album. All in all, this may not be a ground breaking fusion album but the trio have definitely stretched up the blueprint for contemporary jazz fusion music and the that virtuosos they are, make them extremely intimidating as pure instrumentalist.
Year of release - 2007
Label - Wombat Records
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Re:Gambale Donati Fierabracci - Made in Australia
Nov 10 2007 17:32:30
It's ripping stuff. Good job. I prefer the Alien Hip Hop version on the Planet X album, though.