Neil Schon

I on U
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Neil Schon rose to prominence under the wing of Carlos Santana, but Schon’s latest CD sounds more like another San Francisco super-shredder—Joe Satriani. Santana’s influence still informs Schon’s sense of melody, but “Blue Passion,” “I on U,” or “Burning Bridges” would sound right at home on Surfing with the Alien in terms of tone, arrangement, and technical execution. In each song, Schon restrains himself long enough to deliver and repeat a concise melody, while the rest of the affair is spent wailing away over a bed of programmed backing tracks that further lend to the ’80s feel. Schon displays his faster-than-ever chops in short bursts on later-era Journey material, but for I on U they take center stage. Favored Nations. —Jimmy Leslie