Al Garcia

February 16, 2007

Al Garcia plays acoustic and electric guitars, guitar synthesizer, bass, hand percussion, and even some trap drums on this self-recorded and produced album. The music falls squarely into the jazz-rock-fusion category, with obvious Allan Holdsworth and Jeff Berlin influences throughout. But, while Garcia clearly displays the requisite chops for the genre, the compositions are what elevate this disc above the all-too-common fusion wankfest. Most of the pieces have a joyous and buoyant feel despite their harmonic complexity, and the upbeat melodies and Latin rhythmic touches offer accessibility beyond the usual fusion fare. I could have done without the overly cutesy electronic bombast of “The Pleasures of Progress,” but otherwise, this is a great record, featuring beautiful guitar tones and often-breathtaking playing from beginning to end. (Wandlar.)
—Barry Cleveland

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