Ryan Drolet: Spy Song
Ryan Drolet (guitar)
Trippin' Wet (Ryan Drolet RD 18362)
Ryan Drolet (guitar),
Dan Graham (keyboards), Brad Ferguson (bass), Tim Proznick (drums).
Composed by Ryan Drolet.
Recorded: Burnaby, British Columbia, February 2004
Rating: 90/100 (learn more)
There is plenty of fine jazz music being played in Canada. Canadian jazz-fusion guitarist Ryan Drolet's Trippin' Wet is excellent testimony to that fact. Drolet has an inventive mind and a dexterous set of hands that can produce Joe-Pass-meets-Larry-Coryell runs one moment and conjure up weird sound effects the next. Drolet's chord playing is also quite original and, together with the rolling bass of Brad Ferguson, augments the quasi-funk superstructure of this fine band.
"Spy Song," which opens the CD, sounds as if Drolet has temporarily morphed into The Edge of U2 fame. His guitar plays a simple yet intoxicating riff. For a time, the rest of the band takes on the U2 persona as well. It seems vocalist Bono will make his grand entrance at any time. But it never happens. Instead, a gutbucket drum 'n' bass excursion takes over. The midsection then becomes an unabashed groove fest. Drolet uses every special effect technique in his bag. He picks below the guitar nut. He slides the pick up and down the length of the strings, paying special attention to the higher registers. His string tricks are ambient and melodic simultaneously. After an extended and fascinating middle section full of antics from all the players, the opening riffs return with full gusto. It is all great fun. Merci.
Reviewer: Walter Kolosky