Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Blues, Pop, Rock
1996 self-produced album. 11 tracks: 'The Meet-ing', 'The Potion', 'Outer Circle', 'I Known Your Face','Misere', 'Time After Time', 'Spanner', 'Running Free','Tom's', 'Dreamer' and 'The Audition'. Solo recording fromthe ve... more »
1996 self-produced album. 11 tracks: 'The Meet-ing', 'The Potion', 'Outer Circle', 'I Known Your Face','Misere', 'Time After Time', 'Spanner', 'Running Free','Tom's', 'Dreamer' and 'The Audition'. Solo recording fromthe verteran Jethro Tull guitarist who replaced MickAbrahams. Many studio musicians guest, including Mel Collinsand Dave Mattacks.
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Fab Technique + Idiosyncratic Melodic Appeal = Martin Barre
Joseph Kimsey | Pac NW | 06/26/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"When I was growing up, the three guitarists that everyone was gaga for were Kirk Hammett, Dave Mustaine, and Eddie Van Halen. Whenever I would bring Martin's name up, however, people's faces turned blank. "Who?" they'd ask. "Y'know, Jethro Tull's guitarist," I would say. Immediately then I would have to endure the inevitable "Metallica rocks! Tull [stinks]!" mantra from the Metallica junkies who felt cheated over that stupid Grammy thing. Although listening as to how Metallica were so wonderful was bad enough, people not knowing Martin Barre was more distressing. Although Ian Anderson is the resident genius of Jethro Tull, Martin Barre's presence within the band has also been essential. If one listens to Ian's solo albums as well as to This Was, these albums sound (on the whole) very, very good. Yet, they really don't sound like Jethro Tull. Conversely, take some of Tull's weaker albums like Rock Island & Broadsword, and it is just as true that the prime redeeming quality that elevates these works is Martin's playing. Similarly with the more offbeat (but good) Tull projects like "A" and Catfish Rising; Martin's guitar sound is what holds these wild, distant cousins firmly in the Tull musical family. So, while Ian is THE GUY behind Jethro Tull, if you take Martin out of the equation it isn't Jethro Tull anymore. The Meeting, Martin's second solo offering, is an assured recording that doesn't take the easy way out by resorting to flashy overkill. Although there are some great instrumentals on here, Martin concentrates more on song structure and melodic invention than on bombarding us with notes. The title track has a wonderful, twisted riff mixed with some melancholy. The Potion has a hard progressive-blues feel to it. Those guitar lines are razor sharp. Outer Circle, my favorite, has been played at Tull concerts. Once again, the guitar parts sound like twisted metal (I know that's a cliché, but its true). I Know Your Face has a slight resemblance to Tull with its flute part; I find more of a similarity with John Mayall's more recent music, though. Misere is a favorite at Tull concerts, with good reason. The main melody is incredibly appealing, though hardly obvious. Martin's improvisations on that melodic figure are breathtaking! Time After Time is the least satisfying piece (for me) on the album. It is unfortunately somewhat monochromatic. But the dissatisfaction doesn't last long, as Spanner veers from lilting jazz to electric riffing in a most satisfying manner. Kind of like if the Rippingtons knew how to rock.....Running Free has a Spanish-Progressive-rock (huh?) sound. Despite a somewhat sluggish chorus, Martin plays some delectable acoustic guitar passages. Tom's is yet another wonderful instrumental with, ho-hum, more excellent guitar playing. As to the title, apparently Ian Anderson isn't the only cat lover in Tull. The Dreamer has some world music influence, and (of course) great guitar playing. The lyrics are also very nice. The Audition seems to be a very personal song, although I can't say for sure what its about. The kids with the English accents make it sound kind of like a Pink Floyd song, without the cynicism. While he's not exactly Lord Byron, Martin's lyrics are intelligent and personal. Maggie Reeday's vocals work better on some tracks than on others. Martin's sidemen are excellent. I really envy those who saw Martin's solo tour a few years back; I would have loved to have seen it!"
Great instrumentals! Martin Barre at his best!
Joseph Kimsey | 02/03/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Martin Barre is truly one of the finest rock guitarists in the business. The guitar work on this album fully supports this. Instrumentals like Outer Circle, Spanner, and Tom's are melodic and display a virtuosity that is matched by only a few. For me, the instrumental, Misère, could be one of Martin's finest works. Maggie Reeday's vocals don't fit in well. While she soared on the limited release recording, A Summer Band, she is out of place in this recording. However, this recording is worth buying for Martin's instrumentals."
The MOST UNDER-RATED rock guitarist in history!
Joseph Kimsey | 03/23/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"OK, so I'm biased. I've enjoyed Martin Barre's music ever since he joined up with Ian Anderson, but I never listened to any of his solo work until now. His flute playing is really good. I heard Barre perform "Misere" at a Jethro Tull concert in 1998, and that's why I finally purchased this CD. "Misere" and "I Know Your Face" high-light Barre's enormous talents...it's clearer to me now how thoroughly influential he's has been throughout the Tull years (however much that old skin-flint Anderson paid him over the years, it's not enough by half!). The Tull sidemen (Noyce, Pegg, Perry, etc.) fill in very nicely on this CD. I disgree completely with previous reviewers on Maggie Reeday...I think she's a perfect complement for Barre...she has a very pleasant voice. I'll be purchasing Barre's other solo CD's ASAP."