With a title like Fretworx you might assume this CD is all about guitar playing - and you'd be right. Brian is one of those "guitar technique" guys, and while he can play with speed like Steve Vai (who appears here on a bonus track) he can play with the kind of grace and melody someone like Jeff Beck is known for. Brian's Jungle Room Studios was home base for this production, all recorded to Ampex MM1200 24-track and mixed on a Trident Trimix console to a Sony APR 5003 1/2" deck. Guests on this album, a benefit for Friends of Firefighters (NYC), include many heavy hitters of the guitar (and bass) world, like Steve Morse, Frank Gambale, Billy Sheehan, Hal Lindes and Will Ray, with some vintage bonus tracks from the classic '69 Santana lineup and the underrated, late Tommy Bolin. I have to admit that the eighties kinda burned me out on guitar pyrotechnics, but Brian's well-crafted recordings and the kind of talent amassed here betrays someone who lives full time in this world, and not only knows how to record this style in the appropriate fashion but how to meet and work with many of his peers and heroes. Brian and Chris Ingram's Bohemian Productions also works out of the studio, providing Emmy-winning music for many TV shows as well as releasing this CD and other guitar-based instrumental collections. (www.briantarquin.com, www.bohemianproductions.net, www.jungleroomstudios.com) -LC

Tape Op is a bi-monthly magazine devoted to the art of record making.

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