Jazz’s the thing for SUPERTRAMP guitarist’s vibrant swing.
A secret American weapon of a famous British band, Carl Verheyen may play arenas but he still remains a musicians’ musician, although now, with a dozen albums under his belt, the guitarist has finally decided to cross over to a wider public. So while this record features such elite players as Stu Hamm, Simon Phillips, Gregg Bissonette, Chad Wackerman and Jimmy Johnston – the latter two were Allan Holdsworth’s rhythm section, which only goes to show Verheyen’s level – it’s very easy on the ear. The center of it, of course, would be the only vocal track on offer: first SUPERTRAMP platter with Carl on was “Some Things Never Change” yet his take on “Bloody Well Right” is significantly different, despite the presence of John Helliwell’s sax, because it rides the same freight train as opener “Taylor’s Blues” – with slower, less lively spring behind the piece’s Hammond-smoothed flow.
Still, most of the material here has a jazz vibe to it, with good rockin’ never far away, as stressed by the groovy “Fusioneers Disease” – these session pros don’t call themselves legionnaires! – and “Julietta And The St. George” adds a nice twang to a liquid tune, whereas the title track harnesses a similar muscular exercise of a jaunt to Jerry Goodman’s violin. Unlike those, the sitar-tinctured “Passage To Run” and “Last Days Of Autumn” sail the acoustically-stricken stream of melancholy before Bill Evans’ sax pours a moonshine jive into “Fourth Door On The Right” and “Spirit Of Julia” takes it back onto a bluesy lane. A fitting finish for this gracious race – the crossover’s accomplished just fine.