Guitarist extraordinaire John Ziegler has been laying down the law every Monday night at California’s San Fernando Valley Baked Potato jazz club for what seems like forever. Hosting a weekly jam playing everything from Mahavishnu to ZZ Top, Volto! emerged from the smoldering carcasses of lesser musicians to embrace their terrifying skillset. With bassist Lance Morrison (Don Henley), Jeff Babko (Jimmy Kimmel Live) on keys, and drummer Danny Carey (Tool), Incitare is a thermonuclear tour de force with equal parts prog, fusion, and rock.
“Grip It” sets the tone with it’s perfectly distorted guitar lines integrated within energetically limber drumming and rich keyboard textures. “Gillz” brings back memories of Jan Hammer Group keyboard soloing with super wicked shredding from Ziegler. “I’m Calm Now” is a beautifully serene ballad while “Quirk” straddles jazz and prog.
Incitare is an inspired recording with heavy-duty guitar. It’s not a jam album. These guys know how to make a statement and move on. Ziegler creates gutsy virtuosity throughout, while the talents of Morrison, Babko, and Carey, offer superlative melodic gifts. This is an enjoyable record blending hypnotic passages, dynamics, and superb musicianship that never forgets to rock.
This article originally appeared in VG‘s November. ’13 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.