Last year, guitarist extraordinaire, Bill Hart released his album “Touch of Blue”. This album is nothing short of genius and contains some of the best Jazz-Fusion pieces you will ever hear. Bill has an impressive resume, training under the likes of greats such as Mike Stern and has opened for the likes of Herbie Hancock. He is currently the head of the guitar department at the Atlanta Institute of Music & Media. It’s safe to say he is one busy bloke!
Without further adieu, here is our take on Bill’s masterpiece.
1. “Deep Skies”
Bill starts this great album with this groovy masterpiece, the piano playing and bass solo (later on in the track) are really complimentary of each other. Makes for some great listening and is definitely one of the defining pieces of this album. This is very well composed and definitely sets us up for the rest of the album
2. “That’s Purdy”
This track hits us like a groove train, during the track there are some nice chords and the main riff works very well with the jazzy licks Bill lays down here. Once that’s done it’s back to some good ol’ soloing which just makes this track an exquisite piece of music, honestly we can’t find any fault with this at all. There’s a nice breakdown with some great soloing again then back to the main riff. Bill’s tone is incredible throughout this track.
3. “Inside Job”
As soon as this track starts you can tell it’s a great bit of fusion. There’s a great keyboard solo that kicks in just after the two minute mark. Bill, once again, lays down an impressive guitar solo just after. We had to pick our mouths up off the floor, it’s just incredible. There’s some evidence of slide guitar, or perhaps he’s just using his whammy bar effectively – either way it sounds great!
4. “Lost Parts”
In keeping with what we’ve heard so far, this track continues the jazzy/fusion feel. We sense some legato licks towards the halfway mark that compliments the track very well. Afterwards it picks up and there’s some more jazzy riffage to be heard, honestly it’s just great. (Have we said this album is great yet?)
5. “A Fine Line”
Straight away there’s some great keyboard playing with a nice clean guitar backing, great tone on that. The guitar riffing Bill does here is really funky and very well pieced together with the rest of the track, the outro solo is just remarkable.
6. “Touch of Blue”
The title track itself! Bill’s tone is incredible, he’s got that filthy strat tone with some distortion which really goes well here. The whole track has a great flow with some nice bass parts. This track feels like it would make a great montage track, maybe even in some kind of A-list Spy Movie. The main riff is just sublime. Honestly, we don’t think we can tell you how great this is.
7. “Minor Details”
You probably won’t be surprised, but this track has a very dark feel to it. That’s probably why it’s “MINOR Details” not “major” – get it?! Seriously though, the bass has a great tone and there’s evidence here of some kind of volume swelling from Bill which makes this track all the more remarkable. We’re just running out of words to compliment this album – it’s just too good and “Minor Details” is testament to this fact.
8. “Funky Do Funky Don’t”
The intro to this track is very well done. The keyboard playing in this track really compliments everything else that makes this incredibly funky, don’t say you weren’t warned. This is Funky Do! The bass playing is also incredible. Bill’s solo towards the end is just the cherry that makes this a great fusion sundae.
9. “All I Know”
Just amazing! The harmony of the bass and the guitar will make your ears melt. The guitar riff overall is just incredible. How can ya write something like that? Wow! The whole track is groovy, yet emotional. There’s also a great synthesizer just chilling at the back of the mix which really goes well. You won’t be disappointed.
10. “Swamp People”
This is our favourite track. This is immediately a hit with some great guitar playing, well the whole album is – but this is just the best evidence for it. The breakdown in this track with the synth is, once again, very complimentary of one another. You just can’t go wrong with this track. “Swamp People” makes for possibly the best listening on this entire album, it was tough competition.
11. “Not Now Juangui”
The final track on Bill’s album – it follows the same great audible path that this album has taken. The main riff on this track is great. The organ compliments the composition well. Bill’s use of his tremolo to make some tasty licks are just incredible. To top this off, there’s a great key change at the ends.
We’d just like to give thanks to Bill and to all who worked on this album as well as Blue Canoe Records for releasing it. This was really fun to listen to and review.