Greg Howe’s incredible chops often override the musical aspect of songs. At least that’s the common wisdom. But that doesn’t happen on this collection of songs that show off his rock, jazz, and funk sides without the playing overpowering the songs.
Tracks like “Emergency Exit” combine loud, abrasive rock chops with Howe’s jazz leanings. The rhythm section (Jon Reshard, bass, Gianluca Palmieri, drums, and David Cook, keyboards) is fabulous and lends perfect complement to Howe’s writing. And that writing covers a lot of ground, with songs having a Latin jazz feel (“Reunion”), demonstrating old-fashioned fusion (“Child’s Play”), wild funk (“Sound Proof”), or a lovely acoustic ballad (“Sunset In El Paso”), Howe’s writing and playing shine. The one cover hints at the breadth and scope of Howe’s playing, as the band takes on Stevie Wonder’s “Tell Me Something Good.” The inherent funk gets a heavy workout, as Howe breaks out the wah to help out on a strong, fast, and funky solo. The song is the perfect vehicle to highlight what Howe does best.
This article originally appeared in VG‘s Oct. ’08 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.