Nothing Left To Say

Walter Kolosky only writes reviews of music that he highly recommends :-)
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Nothing Left To Say          Joe Guido Welsh          GrownUp Records 62992
        
Joe Guido Welsh: guitar and synths                  
Kevin Ellman: drums                                      
Jim Riley: drums                                                 
Steve King: keyboards
Roger Powell: Minimoog
Frank Swart: Bass
John Siegler: Bass
Chris Rodriguez: Guitar
Steve Bowman: drums
Reeves Gabrels: guitar
Jim Hoke: sax and flute
Doug Kahan: bass
Dann Sherril: percussion
Kevin Ellman: drums


       

Anyone with the nerve to say that fusion is dead should be shot twice and then while bleeding out, forced to listen to Joe Guido Welsh’s excellent Nothing Left To Say. Some people don’t get it, but even they should be left with one last opportunity to recant.

Even though guitarist Welsh claims this new music is “circa ’74 fusion,” it does what all good fusion music does; it holds up. To me it is as new as today. Sure, recognizable influences and sounds abound from the day such as the unmistakable Return To Forever vibe on the album’s opener “The Busybody” and later on again in “Cross I,” but the approach is still fresh.

Have you ever imagined what Emerson, Lake and Palmer would have sounded like if they were jazz-rockers? Go no farther than “Sons of 1974.” “Who Knew You Knew?,” was inspired by the Mahavishnu Orchestra’s “You Know You Know.” The funky “Hickory Dickory” indicates that Welsh listened to Stanley Clarke’s Journey To Love and Jeff Beck’s fusion albums a lot. Saxophonist Jim Hoke channels John Klemmer on “Buddy Love.” “That Crazy Shit (Almost Caught On)” could be Larry Coryell and the Eleventh House on bennies. You get the idea. Nothing Left To Say is a fusion nostalgia trip that you didn’t have to be there the first time to enjoy. (Some of you not from the seventies may have to google bennies, however.)

Welsh, an outstanding guitarist, is joined by a first class line-up of musicians including several former members of Todd Rundgren’s Utopia, a band very much influenced by The Mahavishnu Orchestra, an ex-member of Tin Machine and tested Nashville studio sharks. Welsh’s inventive compositions require the players to bring it on every tune. From groove to groove, riff to riff, beat to beat, they do not let him down.

A word or two should be mentioned about production value of the album. It is great! (That was three words, sorry.) You can crank this baby loud with no problem.

Both evocative and in the here and now, Nothing Left To Say will appeal to fusion fans, progressive rockers and any listener with a clue.

Ironically, Nothing Left To Say proves there is a lot more to say. I will be listening. How about you?
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