Mark Doyle – Guitar Noir

Guitar Noir

I love this. Doyle has been in the music biz for some time. His first band, Jukin’ Bone, made a couple of obscure albums for RCA in the early ’70s and in the ’80s he did tons of session dates for the likes of Hall and Oates, Judy Collins, Leo Sayer, and others. He’s toured and recorded with Meatloaf, Bryan Adams, and was a string arranger for Maurice Starr.

That said, here’s a really cool instrumental album that features lots of nice guitar work, a nice original tune, and odd covers that work really well. Case in point, the opener, “The Perry Mason Theme,” sounds like you remember it from TV. But after the intro, it breaks into a modern funk groove where Doyle lays down some nasty notes and tones. A gorgeous cover of “When I Fall In Love” shows him to be master of volume swells and sweet, stinging sustain. This one might bring Larry Carlton or Robben Ford to the mind of some listeners. His version of Brian Wilson’s “Warmth of the Sun” brings everything you’d want to a classic tune.

As I said, his original stuff is pretty cool, too. The title cut’s biting Strat tone will leave you smiling. Doyle takes time to show off his chordal chops on “Spring Is Here,” and gets fairly adventurous toward the end of the CD, doing a nice job with Thelonius Monk’s “Pannonica” and Ornette Coleman’s “Lonely Woman.” And one you’d think would never work – a beautiful instrumental of the Streisand tune “The Way We Were.” You get the idea. This is a killer album from a monster guitarist (who also plays tons of keyboard). If you like instrumental guitar music that leans heavily on pop and jazz, check this out. If you are interested, contact Mark at

This review originally appeared in VG‘s Nov. ’99 issue.

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