Neil C. Young, the compelling UK jazz guitarist hailing from Manchester, has released a dazzling EP, “ReWorks Vol. 1,” showcasing the technical and musical prowess of the Neil C. Young Trio. This instrumental light-hearted gem delves into the realms of instrumental guitar, fusion jazz, and funk fusion, delivering a joyride.
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Neil C. Young’s expertly crafted arrangements, supported by Alan Whitham on bass and Ben Gonzalez on the drums, create a musical journey filled with joyful virtuosity and undeniable musicality. Young’s aim here is to repurpose existing hooks and patterns, breathing new life into his compositions.
The EP opens with “Issues,” a straight-up clean fusion jazz number. The song begins with a percussive riff followed by some tasty soft jazzy clean lead guitar playing. This is a clean, straight, no bs, fusion jazz number with clean guitars being the protagonist. There is some joyful virtuosic clean jazz shredding but with plenty of musicality. An enjoyable raw jazz-rock fusion song.
“Video Games” follows suit. We get to hear some great harmonic arrangements on this one. The song gives a joyous happy vibe much like playing your favorite video game or watching your preferred anime. The trio’s synergy is palpable, with each member contributing to the overall infectious energy of the track. “Tijuana Lady” takes a softer, mid-tempo approach, enveloping listeners in a pensive harmonic embrace. The drums build tension in the outro, creating a musical narrative that keeps the audience engaged until the resolution.
Closing the EP on a great note is “Sunday Morning”. The song begins with a sweet calm clean guitar riff. A great fusion track to close the recording with some great moments of instrumental technicality (especially with the drums) and musicality.
Neil C. Young’s main influences include the likes of Herbie Hancock, Miles Davis, and Wayne Krantz. The band has played throughout England, and also at festivals like the 2006 Zijhatanejo Guitar Festival and the 2010 Arts Festival in Holguin, Cuba, and Lancaster Jazz Festivals.
The “ReWorks Vol. 1” EP is a collection of tracks that shows Young’s open mind and genuine sense of adventure. The EP is part of a larger project, with Young reimagining and remastering original recordings, breathing new life into the compositions. ReWorks Vol. 1 is part of a five-part project which is being released after volumes 3 and 4. Vol. 3 was the first to be released as a solo YouTube project by Neil during the Covid lockdowns. Vol. 4 was then recorded and released by the trio. Vol 1 was originally recorded for a pre-covid Spotify playlist and is being released under this iteration of the project.
Neil C. Young Trio’s ability to convey emotion through guitar with technical flair is evident throughout the EP, and the trio’s chemistry creates a sonic landscape that is both familiar and refreshingly unique. Do not miss this out if you like some light-hearted but enjoyable jazz.
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You can obviously find it in the following Playlists: Less Than 1,000 Followers, Fresh Singles, Alterindie State Of Mind, 12 New Songs This Week, Chill – Folk -Acoustic, Unknown but Essentials!, and Contemporary Jazz.
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