Artist: Tony Senatore
Label: Jive Momentum Records
I have enjoyed listening to this album so much that I would rather continue the listening process than to write about it. I know it does not sound like something a journalist would say but there you have it, listening is much more enjoyable than writing, especially when it is this absorbing. Holyland is a jazz rock fusion instrumental masterpiece (with the exception of “It Was Love”), and Tony Senatore proves to be one of the more adept and innovative bass players on the planet during the course of the 12 tracks offered up on this fusion delicatessen. He walks on musical Holyland and considers this the ultimate tribute to his heroes.
What I found most compelling was how brilliant the production elements were. While the focus is the bass playing of Senatore, he arranges and plays each composition in way that every contributor has their moment in the sun, and frequently. Senatore conveyed to me that during this process of the recording, he was experiencing a lot of emotional pain in his personal life and everyone involved knew it and tapped into it, using it to translate the power of the emotions into sheer musical beauty and brilliance.
This album comes from a place in the heart for Senatore, he walks in the spirit of great players such as Pastorious, Coltrane, Ray Brown, John Entwistle, and Hendrix, the list is a literal cavalcade of legends. He believes as I do, that much of the music pumped out today is comparable to the junk food consumed by the ton in grocery stores; it is faceless, empty, and with no spirit or depth. This music is the polar opposite of those unappealing qualities. It has everything the true lover of music would appreciate-complexities, some familiar riffs here and there, strong rhythm, incredible percussion, and of course, some of the most fantastic bass playing you will ever hear.
Every track is a new and different journey than the last. The ultimate masterpiece of the album is “Shapla” which is an all-instrumental Beatles medley. To use a phrase popularized by people that took acid in the summer of love, it will blow your mind. I have only touched the tip of the iceberg in this review; you have to listen for yourself to understand the importance and meaning of this album. I absolutely love anything progressive and jazz rock fusion is some of the most interesting music available today. Do not miss this album, it will be one of your top ten spins for 2005, you can count on it.
January 28, 2005
01. Money Dulls The Pain (3:30)
02. A Black Place (3:52)
03. Life And Times (4:08)
04. Holyland, USA (4:16)
05. Scorpio (4:25)
06. It Was Love (4:00)
07. Lord of The Subtones (3:15)
08. Too Shy To Say (3:32)
09. Vocalise (3:38)
10. Because (2:49)
11. Shapla (8:38)
12. A Final Song (2:58)
Manolo Badrena- Percussion
Tom Brislin-Hammond B-3,Mellotron
Al Marz-Fender Rhodes
Steve Jankowski-Trumpet,Valve Trombone,Piccolo Trumpet
Tom Timko-Alto, Tenor and Baritone Saxophone, Flute
Frank D Fagnano-Additional Percussion(on Life and Times and Shapla)
John Widgren-Pedal Steel Guitar’
Luther Rix-Drums and Percussion
Matt King-Acoustic Piano
Lewis La Medica-Vocal
Tom Hammer-Acoustic Piano-Keyboard Programming