TALES – 2014
In the past few years fusion music has slowly witnessed a new genre gradually work its way into the melting pot. Many young guitarists are obviously raised along side the classic roots of fusion music, while also exposed to and influenced by heavier metal and the shred guitar of late 80’s. While icons of this new era like Tosin Abasi or Ben Weinman have embraced the heavier of these influences, groups like The Aristocrats or Canadian guitarist Jason Sadites continue to push fusion music, incorporating these heavier inspirations into their compositions and playing.
Sadite’s latest release Tales marks his fifth studio album with the support of Marco Minnemann on drums and Ric Fierabracci on bass. Sadites leaves no question of his influences as a musician; wearing the inspiration of Mahavishnu Orchestra, King Crimson, and metal heavily on his sleeve. Opening with Red Herring, Sadites makes it clear from the beginning that he has strong control over the tension and release of his compositions, with a clear destination. The use of tension and dissonance keeps the listener on edge and interested. He holds great mastery in mixed meter, and his command of space and atmosphere unify the entire album.
The first half of the record can be viewed as a single piece of music, fading from one song into the next. Sadites uses rest to allow his compositions and arrangements to develop, demonstrating a true understanding of melody and harmony. Once he has established layers and loops, which build upon each other, he keeps the shredding tasteful. He successfully avoids the stereotypical bumblebee guitar many of his counterparts fall guilty. There is something to be said about the interplay between the trio as a whole. Locking into tight grooves, all members are very invested and conscious to what is occurring musically around them. This is exactly the project you’d expect an Aristocrat member to work on.
While the album is heavy, the record blends blues, funk, and metal, among many other styles (the true definition of fusion) to show an eclectic range of skill and tastes. The album is not full of heavy riffs, and ends with Repercussion, a beautiful acoustic tune. The track serves as a great, relaxing contrast in tone and style, while still retaining the musicianship and intricate, complexity in form Sadites has established throughout the rest of the album. Sadie’s Tales is a great example for where a new wave of fusion musicians may possibly steer the genre, incorporating new genres, while maintaining remarkable skill and prowess on their instruments.
The ultimate goal of musicianship, as I understand it, is to reach a point where personal expression is not limited by external factors like technical ability or straightforward commercialism. Once you’ve reached a point where you can play anything that comes to mind, then the great infinite plateau of musical ideas stretches out before you like an ocean of time. On his latest release, guitarist and composer Jason Sadites has further shed the trappings of the concept of “genre”, and entered into a rich world of diffused pure instrumental expression. By tapping a couple of world-class musicians to accompany him, he has exponentially multiplied the sonic possibilities of the guitar as a composition tool. Unbound by mechanics, he is free to roam his own particular universe as a guitar-wielding free radical.The whole album plays seamlessly, more like one long piece than a set of separate tracks.
The album opens with a groove-based track called “Red Herring” which manages to be both laid back and vaguely sinister, thanks to the creeping minor vibe. Layered, swirling guitars skitter over a syncopated drum/bass pattern, before the sun rises with more major-sounding middle section, before the danger returns with synth-like tones and a gauzy haze of white noise segues into the next track.
“Mi-Nee Mi-Nee” represents a continuation of the squeezing, skwonking synth-type tones, with a subtle increase in the melodic tension. There’s a stellar drum breakdown and then some horn-like guitar leads back into a more resolved melodic structure. It gently returns the listener back to earth upon a thousand bejeweled guitar sounds.
“Puffery” lurches to life with a glam-metal riff and wonderfully damaged bent intervals. But it’s a bait and switch, because it’s married to a classic jazz progression which quickly morphs into a slippery, ambient prog groove, punctuated with periodic reiterations of the initial metal themes. At times this track becomes almost purely rhythmic, which bridges the jazzier sections with the more aggressive movements.
“Pathos”, as the name implies, is a more gentle jazz-rock vibe, complete with harmonized guitars and some round, delicate tones. On an album this tightly paced, it’s a welcome moment of tranquility, which slowly fades out on the tumbling harmonic notes of the bass.
“Weasel Words” brings the volume and intensity back up with a series of hard-edged poly-rhythms with scorching guitar phrases. The backing musicians (legendary musos Marco Minneman and Ric Fierabacci) lock into these oblong beats with Sadites in a way that seems beyond the world of most musicians. The stop-start foundation and the tension in the note intervals is a great showcase for the masterful skill of these world-class musicians.
“Big Lie”, one of the centerpieces of the album, opens with a slab of old-school funk, punctuated by spacey noise and long, languid melodic phrases which cycle back on themselves, as if trapped by their own gravity. There’s brief shimmering middle section, where frozen chords drift through the periphery like snowflakes. And then a slightly whimsical, vaguely psychedelic staccato phrase announces the new theme, a stately fusion groove built up by the drums and bass. And then another left turn: the roaring, aggressive metal licks return and the delicate woodwork house they’ve just built is now in flames. Another pause, and the listener is returned to the sophisticated space-funk of the earlier movements, bringing the song to a majestic close.
“Demagogue” plunges the listener downward like a trap door, powered by ambient noise over staggering drum fills, punctuated by noisy blasts of guitar. Over a down-tempo beat, Sadites sends flurries of notes out into the darkness. Sinister and over-driven, the song builds momentum steadily until reaching its apex with a full-on rock song. Then, like the eye of a hurricane, it all disappears into a lovely, understated jazz bridge, only to roar back with a series of heavy, slashing riffs.
The album’s final track is a beautiful coda to all this electric wizardry. On “Repercussion”, Sadites lays down his electric guitars and settles into a wicked, groovy acoustic funk jam. The clarity and precision of his playing really shine on this track. His guitar goes dancing in long runs and quick rhythmic fills, with ambiguous open-voiced chords punching through every so often like mirages.
When Genesis made their transition from heavy symphonic prog to shorter more commercially acceptable tunes during the decade of the 80s’ it was the neo/prog band Marillion who came to the forefront with the epic 17+ minute track “Grendel” to fill the void vacated by magnum opus Genesis tracks like “Supper’s Ready”, “Firth Of Fifth” and “Cinema Show”. The spirit of Gabriel era Genesis still existed within early Fish-era Marillion as well as bands like IQ and Pendragon. And when Pink Floyd ultimately tossed in the towel as the deepening rift between Roger Waters and David Gilmore widened, coupled with the untimely passing of Rick Wright, it was the album “God Has Failed” from the German group RPWL that gave Floyd fans reason to rejoice. Pink Floyd may have been gone – but RPWL resurrected the spirit and refined upon it while retaining the once familiar refrains of Floyd’s spacy appeal. And when Porcupine Tree moved away from the quirky psychedelic albums like “On The Sunday Of Life” and “Up The Downstair” to the more polished and refined “The Sky Moves Sideways” Floyd aficionados were doubly delighted. So with the emergence of bands like RPWL, Porcupine and Airbag’s latest album “The Greatest Show On Earth”, the cosmic music of Pink Floyd continues to live on and evolve into the New Millennium.
And now for the intrepid fans of King Crimson, who wait patiently with baited breath as to the fate of Crimson’s ultimate future – which hinges on the temperamental whims of Robert Fripp – we have something to tide you over til then … Jason Sadites latest release “Tales”.
“Tales” is the fifth solo project from Canadian born guitarist Jason Sadites, who has been playing guitar since the age of ten. He also became quite studio savvy in the ensuing years, by recording, engineering and producing projects for other local artists.
From his first album “Orbit” up to an including “Tales”, Sadites recording have become more and more sophisticated, garnering him critical acclaim and access to world class musicians. On his second album “Weve” Sadites brings in talented drummers like Kenny Aronoff, Marco Minnemann, Jerry Marotta, Gregg Bissonette and Chad Wackerman, as well as bassists Matt Bissonette, Martin Motnik and Crimson alumni Tony Levin to augment the recording. And on subsequent albums “Behind The Laughter” and “Broken” Sadites continued to amass an extensive collection of guest musicians which would include additional Crimson alumni Trey Gunn and artists like Mike Keneally, Alex Machecek, Phi Yaan-Zek, Brett Garsed, Bryan Beller, and Adam Nitti.
But for his fifth album, the 2014 release “Tales” guitarist Jason Sadites scales back to a powerhouse instrumental trio with solid performances from Ric Fierabracci (Billy Cobham) on bass and Marco Minnemann on drums.
The music is highly reminiscent of later period King Crimson (“Power To Believe”, “The ConstruKction Of Light” and “Thrak”) as well as the Crimson ProjeKts recordings.
Other bands which spring to mind include Philharmonie, Djam Karet, Spoke Of Shadows, Bi Kyo Ran, Liquid Tension Experiment, Gordion Knot, and Mahavishnu Orchestra.
The music is awash with loud crunchy dissonant guitar distortion, poly-rhythmic interplay between guitar, bass, and some amazing drumming from Marco Minnemann.
Jason Sadites guitar playing is a bit more jazzy or bluesy than Fripp but the tones and textures are in keeping with Fripp’s sonic pallet, with a focus on complexity and technique rather than the flashy light-speed arpeggios associated with most speed metal guitarist. There is a Fripp/Holdsworth flair to his guitar style.
So to anyone in dire need of a Crimson fix grab a hold of Jason Sadites “Tales” and satisfy that inner craving. You won’t be disappointed.
Reviewed by Joseph Shingler on April 30th, 2014
MUSIC IN BELGIUM
Sadites Jason was born in Canada and practice the guitar since the age of ten years. After years of studying music and production techniques, it is ready to pursue solo careers. With this experience as a guitarist, producer, composer and sound engineer, Jason Sadites made his first album “Orbit” , released in late 2005. well received by media specialists and jazz rock fusion, this album introduced Jason Sadites in the world gifted guitarists. On the album “Weve”following in 2009, Jason Sadites surrounds himself with sizes of the profession, drummers Kenny Aronoff as galore, Marco Minnemann, Jerry Marotta, Gregg Bissonette and Chad Wackerman. And bassists in quantities as Tony Levin, Matt Bissonette and Martin Motnik. Among these musicians Figure Marco Minnemann , a German drummer Therefore pedigree. This boy has to his credit twenty solo albums that showcase his exceptional technical qualities. Professional association between Marco Minnemann and Jason Sadites continues on a project called Minnemann Normalizer 2, released in 2011 “Behind the laughter” . So logically found the pair Sadites-Minnemann Album “Broken” , the fourth album from Jason Sadites released in 2012. guests beginnings Tony Levin, Kenny Aronoff, Martin Motnik allied Bryan Beller, Adam Nitti and Alex Machacek is found. This new album continues to build the style of Jason Sadites, a jazz-rock fusion with sleek solid instrumental compositions and captivating melodic constructions. This is the same recipe that presides over the eight titles “Tales” , the fifth album by the guitarist. On this one, Jason Sadites reduced its accompanying minimum, always faithful Marco Minnemann behind drums and Ric Fierabracci (formerly of Billy Cobham) on bass.Guitarist composed of solid, heavy, while dexterity and finesse. We start with appetizers “Red herring” , “Mi mi-nee-nee” , “Puffery” or “Pathos” before attacking the dish, the “Weasel words” , “big lie” or “Demagogue ” which are spread over six to eight minutes. “Weasel words” particularly tough on guitars, sees the drums and bass to engage in a chase with Jason Sadites instrument that discharges of rivers arpeggios riveted its handle. We sail on finer and more jazzy waves on “Big lie” , which sounds more progressive. “Demagogue” would pass Joe Satriani for a banjo player with two strings and leaves arise from time to time Herculean bass solos or battery, cut by small buttons insidious guitar prelude to an even stronger recovery fights titans. “Repercussion” ends on a sweet note with a flowing acoustic guitar over a stripped rhythmic structure. “Tales” therefore continuing the rise of a promising guitarist in tact insured and writing both complex and efficient.
BABYBLAUE PROG REVIEWS
With his fourth (or fifth, depending on whether you ” behind the laughter “, Sadites contribution to the “Normalizer 2” one club to or not) solo album “Tales” guitarist Jason Sadites tells us stories from the power trio. His two companions are none other than Ric Fierabracci on bass, and Marco Minnemann on drums.
Sadites making the guitar sound in all colors reefs, yell, yelp and plays short, toxic solos while Minnemann burns down his drum show with intricate, stumbling rhythms and creative breaks and fills in the underground. These mumbles and grumbles the bass sometimes warm, sometimes scratchy gripping.
Sadites, Fierabracci and Minnemann present our powerful instrumental rock full of playfulness presented. The short tracks cum almost sparks. Towards the end of the album there is then longer pieces, which offer all sorts of psychedelic-quirky twists. The highlight of the album is clearly the 8-minute roller coaster ride “Demagogue”.
The album is unfortunately much too short (but well, it was the repeat button invented). With “Tales” Jason Sadites captured the pinnacle of instrumental rock and making itself with a fat, contented grin wide.Instrumental Rock fans should not be without this album.