Friday, November 16, 2018

Giant Steps (2002), by Derryl Gabel

Derryl Gabel’s sophomore CD is one giant step for the fusion ax man, and one giant step for fusion kind.

Actually, it’s really not much of a leap for Gabel, because the guitarist already showcases his virtuosic level of playing on his debut album, Visions and Dreams.

However, he does widen the palette with which he applies his six-string savvy, expanding his musical boundaries with tasteful excursions into dance, funk, traditional/standard jazz, and swing. As varied as some of the genres here are, Gabel weaves them all into one cohesive whole with his fancy fretwork.

And when I say fancy, I certainly don’t mean style over substance, because Gabel plays with plenty of both style and substance.

Giant Steps firmly takes its place alongside Gabel’s first CD as one of the best guitar recordings of all time.

Derryl Gabel is definitely one of an increasingly rare breed – a true guitar hero for today and future generations.

--Raj Manoharan

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