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CD REVIEW: The David Joel Quartet - Spiral Sky
By Reid Murray - 11/01/2007 - 10:05 PM EDT

Artist: The David Joel Quartet
Album: Spiral Sky
Genre: Free Jazz, Improvisational Jazz, Ambient, Experimental
Technical Grade: 9
Production/Musicianship Grade: 10
Commercial Value: 10
Overall Talent Level: 10
CD Review: Fusion jazz has found a spot in my interests because its often unexpectedness keeps me guessing.      

The David Joel Quartet have done very well on “Spiral Sky.” This album is complete and well-rounded with songs like, “eastern truth,” “western lies,” “the star-spangled gospel,” and “spiral sky.” David Joel rips through songs with his heart-felt solos, displaying an attractive guitar tone as well.      

In “eastern truth,” a catchy bass line starts off and later Joel strikes the acoustic guitar as if to call for an awakening. In “spiral sky,” Joel shreds at the peak of a solo and his apparent skills are accompanied by John Stenger playing magnificently on keyboards. To top it, Paul Gehman plays a smooth bass solo, and as they all come back together, drummer Dan Monaghan displays his savvy chops, sounding much like a rumbling engine, bursting with rolls and power. This is all in one song. Traces of Stevie Ray Vaughan may be heard in the bluesy “the star-spangled gospel” as David Joel uses a technique in his solo that sends the guitar into a stretched howl.       

Besides being great musicians technically, this quartet allow each other to solo and be heard. Everyone takes the lead in “western lies,” showing what kind of skill and power they have as a quartet. Monaghan plays brilliantly on the drums as he erupts into a drum solo that quickly grabs attention.     

The David Joel Quartet play very impressively on “Spiral Sky” and I hope they continue to create music together.

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