Perhaps the player who virtually single handedly resurrected and reinvented the instrumental rock genre, Joe Satriani’s 14th Studio album, entitled “Black Swans and Wormhole Wizards”, both continues to cement the guitar-slinger’s rep as a serious shredder and opens up new compositional territory which in itself provides the basis for some of Satriani’s most melodic playing captured to date.Satriani brings back Jeff Campitelli on drums, and teams him with Allen Whitman (of Mermen) on bass and multi-instrumentalist Mike Keneally on keyboards. Keneally has massive street creds as a guitar shred-meister himself, and it is perhaps this sensibility and awareness of the guitar idiom that allows him to so aptly accompany Satriani’s soaring flights into both outer and inner space. Campitelli and Whitman provide copious amounts of groove underneath the varied feels and styles presented across the CD.There is no shortage of heavy, riff-based rock tunes among the 11 tracks on Black Swans and Wormhole Wizards. However, tunes such as “Solitude”, “Littlewoth Lane”, and “Dream Song” come from a different place, momentarily taking the listener in a different direction, only to inevitably bring him or her back to more familiar Satriani territory.I find it interesting that each time I listen to this album, different tracks seem to jump out or stand out. Each time I think I have settled on a favourite track, the next listening invariably leaves me with a new tune that I almost need to hear again immediately. I love that this CD sounds great both through my listening room system and on my Klipsch iPhone docking station. This offering has quickly become one of my most listened to discs of the past year. Impressive musicianship, great composition across a variety of styles, good feel throughout, breath taking at times, awe inspiring, woodshed motivating, and all while being very accessible and listenable.To hear Satriani talk about this CD, visit his site at www.satriani.com
and view the podcasts covering each tune.