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Shaun Baxter: Jazz Metal

Track List

>Strike up the Band
>Throw Down
>Chicken Soup
>G-Spot Blues
>Baxters Brew
>Make It Reel
>I'm Not Sure Yet
>12 Bars from Mars
>Gregory's Girl
>Open Invitation

Album Notes

The debut recording from British guitarist Shaun Baxter is somewhat of an underground guitar classic. The title along with a limited availability contributed to the recording's lore, but in reality this is a pretty typical Fusion/Shred session. There is more Metal than Jazz here and by the latter's traditional definition, not one note is swung. Baxter is a fine and versatile technician and offers up some impressive pyrotechnics throughout the session, but despite his own claims, there is no real innovation here. His style and sound borrow from the legato approach of both Allan Holdsworth and Scott Henderson with a heavier edge, but it would have been more interesting to hear a strict application of his formal Jazz guitar training. This would have been possible too as bassist Terry Gregory has played alongside Jazz guitar great Martin Taylor. Labeling the music as 'Jazz Metal' creates a set of expectations in both Jazz and Metal camps, but the results here won't satisfy either one of them. This is not imply that this is not a worthwhile session, to the contrary, as there is plenty to enjoy for guitar fans, just leave the labels off. ~ Robert Taylor


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