When Jamie Kime isn’t intimidating guitarists at his Monday-night gig co-hosting the jam at the Baked Potato in Studio City, California, he’s a sideman for Jewel, Michelle Branch, Zappa Plays Zappa, and Banned from Utopia. Kime is a consummate guitarist with a grounded sense of integrity who continues to explore the harmonic possibilities of the fretboard.
His first solo project here is a chill instrumental fusion record full of lush guitar landscapes, poignant melodies, evocative panoramas, and sophisticated burn. With multi-instrumentalist Mike Keneally (Frank Zappa, Beer For Dolphins, Dethklok) co-producing, Alleys features 10 elaborate compositions. The album includes Cliff Almond on drums, Arlan Oscar, Ty Bailie, and Keneally on keys, with Keneally also sharing bass duties with Pete Griffin, Rico Belled, and Kime.
The title track features seamless harmonized slide guitar and complimentary heavy riffing, while “Esque” and “Britton West” display inspired compositional concepts and glimmers of Kime’s tenure with Zappa Plays Zappa.
“Bottlerocket” kicks up the tempo with muted funk figures, rich legato, and blazing solo lines. The somber ballad “Philadelphia” merges acoustic guitar with superb orchestration, while “Shinebox” traverses intensity and serenity.
Alleys is an auditory detour to all the best places.
This article originally appeared in VG‘s May ’15 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.