Reviews
Home
News
Discography
Books & Videos
Equipment
Schedule
Lessons
Reviews
Links
Contact
Store

MusicWeb Express 3000 Reviews “Live at the Cat's Eye”/Interview with Carl — Spring 2014

Vintage Guitar Magazine Reviews “Live at the Cat's Eye”— March 2014

"B" Magazine Reviews “I Got Your Mantra”—May 5, 2008

Vintage Guitar Magazine Reviews “I Got Your Mantra” and interviews Carl —April 2008

Jazz Times Reviews “I Got Your Mantra”—April 2008

The Baltimore Sun interviews Carl about “I Got Your Mantra”—March 2008

Vintage Guitar Magazine Reviews “I Got Your Mantra” —March 2008

Better Living Through MP3 Reviews “I Got Your Mantra”—November 29, 2007

DiskUnion.net Reviews “I Got Your Mantra” for Japanes audiences —November 2007

Better Living Through MP3 Reviews Randy Runyon’s new disc—September 2007

Just Jazz Guitar Reviews Randy Runyon’s new disc (pdf)—August 2007

The Examiner —July 2006

International Musician —June 2006

Baltimore Sun—January 29, 2006

Jazz Education Guide, ’04/05 Rock/Fusion Improvising Review

Jazz Improv, Summer 2004 Sketches: Interview with Carl Filipiak

Jazziz, March 2003 20 Guitarists Speak Their Minds

fusemag.com Looking Forward Looking Back (Geometric Records) By Bill Meredith

allaboutjazz.com Looking Forward Looking Back (Geometric Records) By Mark Turner

Washington Post, December 25, 2000 A Day in the Life of Carl Filipiak

Voodoo Child, Winter, 2000/2001 Carl Filipiak — Right on Time, Peripheral Vision “Little Wing”

Fuse One, Fuse All January 2001— Live Performance Review By Larry Nai

allaboutjazz.com Peripheral Vision Carl Filipiak (Geometric Records) By Ed Kopp

Vintage Guitar Review

Vintage Guitar, March 2014

View a pdf containing the review »

 

The Dundalk Eagle, December 16, 2010
by Steve Matrazzo

View a pdf containing excerpts from“Talk of the Town” »

View a pdf containing excerpts from “Continental Riff: Catching Up with Jazz Master Carl Filipiak” »

B Magazine

“B” Magazine, May 5, 2008

by John Mathews

View a pdf of this article to read the complete interview.

Vintage Guitar, April 2008

Vintage Guitar, April 2008

by John Heidt

View a pdf of this article to read the complete interview.

JazzTimes Cover, April 2008

Jazz Times, April 2008

by Bill Meredith

View a pdf of this article to read the complete interview.

itunes

“…His explosive playing on the closing “Too Much TV” is humorous and throughout I Got Your Mantra, Filipiak shows that he is one of the leaders of 21st century fusion.”
—iTunes CD review

“Carl Filipiak is a guitar player’s guitar player, and a consummate musician. He is a national-level talent working in a small Baltimore market, producing a body of work that will leave him in the company of the greats. The music is fun, intelligent, and engaging. Don't miss it.”
—Mr. Jon Cz. (itunes)

Carl's interview in The Baltimore Sun Live Section

The Baltimore Sun, LIVE, March 13, 2008

by Brad Schleicher

View a pdf of this article to read the complete interview.

Vintage Guitar, March 2008

Vintage Guitar, March 2008

by John Heidt

View a pdf of this article to read the complete interview.

The Examiner

The Examiner, July 2006

by Emily Campbell

Download a pdf of this article to read the complete interview.

International Musician June 2006

International Musician, June 2006

by Dennis Wilson

Download a pdf of this article to read the complete interview.

Jazz Improv, Summer 2004

Jazz Education Guide, ’04/’05

Rock/Fusion Improvising Review

“Mel Bay's Private Lessons series highlights the teachings of noted clinicians and instructors other than giants like Wolf Marshall and Jamey Aebersold. The books focus on concepts that are areas of expertise for the instructor, so that each short book and accompanying CD is like taking a private lesson with a great regional teacher. Highlights include ...Baltimore jazzer Carl Filipiak's approach to teaching rock and jazz-fusion improvisation. Filipiak's teachings are particularly useful to rock and blues players who wish to make the leap into the more cerebral improvisations of jazz and fusion, and his stressing that jazz sophistication is often deceptively overwhelming will relieve those who wish to turn their wailing into phrasing. Well done.”

Download a pdf of this article to read the complete interview.


Jazz Improv, Summer 2004

Jazz Improv, Summer 2004

Sketches: Interview with Carl Filipiak (March 2004)

JI: Discuss your association with Bob Berg who played on your recent CD. How specifically did his style and music complement yours?

Download a pdf of this article to read the complete interview.


Jazziz, March 2003

Jazziz, March 2003

20 Guitarists Speak Their Mind

Many modern guitarists mix traditional jazz and fusion within their playing styles. But Filipiak's latest CD, Looking Forward Looking Back, does it literally between originals and covers of Charlie Parker and John Coltrane, plus the work of fusion thunder-drummer Dennis Chambers…

Download a pdf of this article to read the complete story.

Originally published on Better Living Through MP3 by Ken Micallef—November 2007

Drum And Guitar

Posted Thu. Nov 29, 6:04 PM ET by Ken Micallef in Better Living Through MP3

Packing Heat: Whatever happened to drum and bass? The heady UK based electronic style drew on music as disparate as Miles Davis's Bitches Brew, James Brown's "Funky Drummer" and the Winstons' "Amen, Brother" as well as Neu! and Kraftwerk—it was all the rage for a minute. But before the style could mature and grow (as it eventually did in the hands of mighty punters like drummer Jojo Mayer) it was gobbled up and spewed back at us in slick car commercials and sports broadcasting jingles, drum and bass's rapidfire rhythms and otherworldly tones perfectly suited to mindless action programming. In years to come drum and bass will be reevaluated for its true worth: groundbreaking music that challenged the status quo (house, disco) while spreading its invigorating possibilities to unlikely genres (jazz, funk, ambient) but which ultimately couldn't handle its delirious energy overload. For now we've got experimentation in the shape of multiple drummers and guitarists pushing the edge, down on the corner, up from the skies.

Guitarists like Wayne Krantz, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Rez Abassi and of course, Pat Metheny, continue to go where no guitarist has gone before. Drummers--as always--are matching the guitarists, going toe-to-toe for speed, power, finesse and rhythmic invention. Metal heads will cite Dream Theater's John Petrucci as perhaps the ultimate plectrum animal, but with no jazz or blues influence to speak of, metal guitarists (Petrucci included) can only offer dead end, sterile solutions. Jazz is the ultimate art form for creative musicians, be it big band for drummers (Keith Moon and John Bonham worshipped Gene Krupa) or space jazz (and blues) for guitarists (Allan Holdsworth = Eddie Van Halen, Robert Johnson = Eric Clapton, Pete Cosey = Wayne Krantz). This metal/classical confusion has also influenced drummers. Thomas Lang, Mike Mangini, and Derek Roddy all possess tremendous speed and technique, but like the sound of one hand clapping, their efforts eventually fall flat. Jojo Mayer, Vinnie Colaiuta, Antonio Sanchez and Dafnis Prieto (to name a few) use jazz, Latin and electronic music as their jumping off point, and man, do they jump. Guitarist Carl Filipiak and drummer Tyshawn Sorey are two more musicians pushing the edge of possibility.

"Dedicated to Jimi Hendrix, the Beatles and the spirit of the 60's," Filipiak's I Got Your Mantra is a psychedelic tribute to 1960s style. Playing like a cross between Jeff Beck and Hendrix, Filipak leads his band through clever covers of The Beatles' "A Day In The Life" and Hendrix's "Bold As Love" while altering other well known '60s artifacts for contemporary musical consumption. Sure, this guy is total old school, but his grasp on turning 40 year old music into something akin to modern blues is revelatory. "Waken Tanka" recalls Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Filipak captures the late master's genius--cold. The dreamlike "Into the Sea" was inspired by two Hendrix tunes, to my ear, "Little Wing" for one. Filipak claims "14-15-16" was inspired by The Beatles' "Norwegian Wood" and too much Persian food.

Originally published on the Japanese site DiskUnion.net —November 2007

The first song is the cover of Beatles' "A Day in the Life". He add his taste to this song by his electric guitar, which is cool! Different from the atmosphere that he created when playing with Bob Berg, Dennis Chambers or Gary Thomas, he made this album completely rockn' roll!! He must be real guitar guy, I like it!! Also, I love his Stratocaster!

Originally published on Better Living Through MP3 by Ken Micallef—September 2007

Randy Runyon Is God: Geezers old enough to remember the '60s well know the graffiti that announced a new star to the world: Clapton is God. Back then, before he grew a paunch and laid it down with Sally, Eric Clapton was the world's undisputed greatest rock guitarist. Pre Jimi Hendrix there was no touching the mad kid with the white boy ‘fro. Seventeen-year-old Randy Runyon is not god yet, but he is surely an archangel.

Currently attending Berklee College of Music in Boston, Runyon plays like an old soul on his self-titled debut as a leader. His song selections are far beyond the usual standards fare including classic and challenging material such as Thad Jones' "A Child Is Born," Joe Henderson's "Recorda Me," Wayne Shorter's "Witch Hunt" and the eternally difficult composition, "All The Things You Are."

Runyon approaches the songs like Kenny Burrell with a Pat Metheny fixation, his dark and stinging notes dancing over the bar lines with a studied logic. Runyon's playing is calm and assured, as if he has nothing to prove. And he focuses on the essence of each melody rather than how fast he can play or the usual guitar pyrotechnics.

Debut albums from supposed prodigies are generally sad affairs resulting in a brief bubble of excitement followed by a long walk in the wilderness. Prepare to welcome Ruynon with honey and rose petals.


"This jazz musician's doing what he loves"
Originally published in the Baltimore Sun—January 29, 2006


Carl Filipiak, 55, is considered by many to be Baltimore's premiere jazz/rock guitarist. Well known to jazz guitar aficionados around the mid-Atlantic region, Filipiak has just finished shooting an episode of Miles of Music, a syndicated television series that features a musician each week. He has also just finished producing a record for a protege, 17-year-old Randy Runyon Jr. In addition to regularly performing at places like the Cat's Eye Pub and the New Haven Lounge, Filipiak is working on his next record. With a release date set for early next year, this record will be "Jimi jazz," music inspired by Jimi Hendrix.

Jimi Hendrix?
He was one of the greatest players on the planet. And it's fun to play. He's just as important as Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, or the Beatles. I've always done a tune or two of Hendrix's when I'm doing a set of my own material. My band and I started doing full Jimi Hendrix shows. We have a big screen in the background with all this psychedelic stuff. ... So, people have asked over the years, "When are you going to do a whole record of Hendrix?" So, now I'm writing music that's not Hendrix covers. My music has always had a rock influence. I'm not doing Hendrix the rest of my life. This is just another thing that I want to do.

What do think of everything you've done, and continue to do?
I'm amazed that I'm able to make a living in this town doing everything I love. I love playing Hendrix. I love to play my material. I love making records. I love producing records. I like writing [guitar instruction] books ... and the fact that there's a lot of great talent in Baltimore, with not enough venues to show all that material, it makes me amazed. I shouldn't be doing this here, because my music is so un-mainstream.

What do mean by that?

It's not pop music. It's not following a pop culture.

But, you made it onto the Billboard list ...

Yeah, but that doesn't mean we're selling hundreds of thousands of records. Nor am I trying to. It also means I don't have to dance or put girls in my videos.

Your wife, Irene, has certainly hung in there with you.
Thirty-three years! I couldn't have done it without her. She's the one who keeps it all together. She books all the gigs. She does everything. Maybe that's why I'm so happy. Uh oh. Looks like I have to buy something for her now.

When younger musicians ask you for advice, what do you say?

Think about what it is you want to do. Do something about it every day. Detach from the outcome.

Because ...

Because any time you set any kind of conditions on what you're doing, you're setting yourself up for disappointment. In other words, you say "I'm going to sell a million records." You're already in trouble. I can guarantee you when you do something about what you're thinking about, some door will open. I don't know which door. It may not be the gateway to fame and fortune. The point is to just do it. Do it because you love it.

Carl Filipiak's drink: Nipozzano Riserva 2000 Chianti at the Orchard Market & Cafe in Towson


All About Jazz.com, October, 2002

Looking Forward Looking Back

Geometric Records Looking Forward or Looking Back is all good, with the right perspective.

Straight-ahead jazz styles such as Hard Bop may prove a little too deep for jazz neophytes who have not had a chance to appreciate the art form, while the commercialism of some smooth jazz efforts makes purists cringe with blatant disregard. But when you take a highly skilled artist who can create music that appreciates the past, has a modern outlook, and is capable of producing exceptional music; then you have a recording such as guitarist Carl Filipiak's Looking Forward Looking Back.

Carl Filipiak's is one serious cat. With great sound, a dynamic style, and killer chops, his guitar wizardry brings to mind a few influences that range from Wes Montgomey, to Larry Carlton. A highly acclaimed guitarist in the Baltimore-Washington area, Filipiak is musician that should be recognized even further. With the skill to play in various modes and styles, his playing speaks for itself on the new recording. Looking Forward Looking Back consists of five originals and four classics. They are all worthy of attention and combine the essence of a modern musician who has not forgotten the past. He respectfully and artfully handles selections by greats John Coltrane, Charlie Parker, Charles Mingus, and Milton Nascimento, with utter resolve. Trane's Giants Steps is nicely redone at a hipper and slower tempo, while Bird's Au Privave is just flat out funky, with nice horn and rhythm work from the band members. Mingus' ever soulful Goodbye Pork Pie Hat is a continuing thing of beauty with heartfelt sax- work. The band is extremely tight, but it's the solid rhythm section of Jay Dulaney and John Thomakos that bonds it together. Renowned drummer, Dennis Chambers appears as a guest on three selections. Filipiak's compositional skills are to be noted as well on selections One For Wes and the melodious I'm only Dreaming. From the cool to the ultra hip, and then to flat out swing, or blues. Take your pick. Filipiak's chord progressions are vibrant and his guitar solos pour out like liquid on Vera Cruz and the swinging original Chasin' The Checkbook. With a versatile band that's at the top of their game and a guitar virtuoso at the helm, this is a recording that can make jazz fans of any caliber enjoy the music. Web Site ~ Mark F. Turner

 

Fusemag.com, September, 2002

Looking Forward Looking Back

Baltimore-based Carl Filipiak consistently stays under the guitar-hero radar, despite a original style influenced by traditional jazz players (Wes Montgomery, Pat Martino) and their rock and fusion counterparts (Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Beck). Perhaps it's purposeful, since Filipiak also has a successful educational career through books, videos and the Mel Bay instructional website. And perhaps his new Looking Forward Looking Back CD, a jazzier departure from Filipiak's five previous fusion outings, will show the nation what the Baltimore/Washington, D.C. area already knows (the guitarist has alternately claimed best musician, instrumentalist and guitarist in that region's publications).

The opening Filipiak original, "One for Wes," pays immediate homage to Montgomery. With bassist Jay Dulaney and John Thomakos (drums) playing loping reggae rhythms, the guitarist modernizes the guitar legend's style through clean tones and clever chording. On "Brothers," the drum chair is occupied by Dennis Chambers, the thunderous freelance musician who's energized material from fusion giant John McLaughlin to timeless pop band Steely Dan. But the ballad feel only serves further notice that Chambers can play anything, including gentle rimshots in support of Filipiak's delicate chords.

Filipiak's other originals include "Blues-a-que," with the guitarist playing a relaxed, soulful solo over Chambers' serpentining shuffle pattern, and the closing "Chasin' the Checkbook" (perhaps the guitarist's tongue-in-cheek reference as to why he's not a star). With unison lines to mimic some of the great be-bop frontlines, the tune gets an energy boost from Thomakos—who's clearly not intimidated by being the "other" drummer on the CD even though he's a part of Filipiak's band.

Such is the shadow Chambers casts. On Charles Mingus' "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat," the versatile drummer dons the brushes under Filipiak's subtleties. But Thomakos gets the more energetic standards, as he and Dulaney drive Charlie Parker's "Au Privave" with a foundation-rattling snare drum, cowbells, and a percussive bass line. The rhythm section also propels Milton Nasciemto's "Vera Cruz," giving the CD a Latin element, but it can't elevate John Coltrane's "Giant Steps." One of the most challenging and oft-covered jazz standards, the tune gets no new life in this mid-tempo read-through. But for Filipiak, and his forward-looking career, it's only a baby step backward (available through www.carlfilipiak.com).
—Bill Meredith

 

Washington Post, December 25, 2000

A Day in the Life of Carl Filipiak

Guitarist Carl Filipiak introduced one of his compositions at Blues Alley on Friday night with: "They're getting easier to write and harder to name." Turns out, his repertoire is also getting harder to classify.

Fronting a quartet vigorously driven by drummer Dennis Chambers, Filipiak spent the opening set drawing inspiration from jazz, blues, funk, rock, soul, pop and country music. One tune juxtaposed chicken-scratching country licks with signature Jimi Hendrix chordal crunches, another paid homage to jazz titan Wes Montgomery's innovative use of thumb-stroked octaves, and yet another simultaneously reflected Filipiak's admiration for the music of Stevie Wonder and Jeff Beck.

The biggest crowd-pleaser was an imaginative recasting of “A Day in the Life,” which found Filipiak and his band mates saluting John Lennon with a blend of tender lyricism and tumultuous rhythms. A ferocious jazz-funk drummer, Chambers nearly stole the show midway through the tribute with a solo powered by his double-clutching bass drum and slashing, sweeping sticks.

—Mike Joyce

 

 

 

 

Voodoo Child, Winter, 2000/2001

Carl Filipiak - Right on Time, Peripheral Vision "Little Wing"

Carl Filipiak considers himself lucky. The 50-year old Maryland native has been able to make a living all his life making music. Playing guitar, teaching guitar, recording. “I'm able to do the one thing that I love, and that's the important thing.” And that love, or “obsession” as he calls it, for music is reflected in the quality demonstrated on his recordings.

Jazz Times calls Carl Filipiak “a dazzlingly versatile guitarist.” His contemporary jazz stylings are masterfully smooth and rich in color. We’re shocked that Filipiak, who hails from the Baltimore area, isn't heard more on smooth jazz radio. Although we would hate to see him pigeonholed in the smooth jazz format, as his recordings reflect a variety of musical genres from funk to Latin to bop.

Although he'd been teaching guitar, playing in local pubs and honing his own skills, it wasn't until a chance meeting with renown propulsive drummer Dennis Chambers that his own talents took hold.

“I bumped into him at a local music store,” recalls Carl. “He had bought my first record (Electric Thoughts) and said, “Hey man, you should have got me to play on your record.” Of course, I didn't even think of asking him. I just assumed he was too busy touring.”

Chambers and Filipiak established an instant chemistry on Right on Time. With Chambers laying down a solid foundation, Filipiak demonstrates his talent for composition and improvisation with six original tracks. Sandwiched in the middle is his interpretation of Hendrix’s “Little Wing”. The playful eight-minute arrangement finds Filipiak trading off lead lines with saxophonist Dave Fairall, who splits his break between tenor, alto and soprano saxes. The arrangement flows and builds, aptly demonstrating Filipiak’s talent for composition, arrangement and style.

Although “Little Wing” is his only recorded track, Filipiak indicates he often includes “Red House” or Voodoo Chile” in his live sets.

The influence of Hendrix dates back to having heard Hendrix’s records. “Just the experience of hearing “Are You Experienced,” you never forget. That kind of magic lasted from that moment on,” Filipiak muses. “While The Beatles opened the door musically, sociologically, economically; Hendrix came along and defined what the guitar meant to me.” Filipiak was fortunate enough to see Hendrix play live twice-at Merriweather Pavilion and Baltimore Civic Center.

As for other recorded projects from the Filipiak catalog, in turn for Chambers work with Filipiak, Carl returned the favor adding guitar parts to Chamber’s album Big City. Other credentials under Carl’s belt include work on other projects including Indian Summer by Tom Alonso, Fresh Focus by Kenny Wright, Secret Rendezvous by Slim Man and Phase One by Grainger.

“Little Wing” has recently been re-issued on Peripheral Vision, a best of collection featuring material from his last three albums. - Ken Voss

 

Fuse One, Fuse All January 2001

Borders Books Newark, Delaware

By Larry Nai

Look at one of Carl Filipiak's hands, and the number of fingers will tell you how many albums he's released under his own name. All of them, from Right On Time, to the recent compilation Peripheral Vision, are full of uncommonly wonderful music. If you want labels, the Baltimore guitarist's muse has pointed him in the direction of Jazz Fusion; but if all you want is good music, follow Filipiak down the road that he's staked out for himself. You'll hear world-class writing, arranging, and—check all ten fingers now—guitar playing.

Filipiak adapts the lyricism of the great rock guitarists—Page, Hendrix, John Cippolina, Jorma Kaukonen—to the improvisational format of jazz fusion. The clincher in his immense talent is that he brings the structural and expressive approaches of a seasoned jazz musician to bear on everything he does, resulting in music that bristles with electricity, and satiates the senses. Borders Books in Newark, Delaware, has hosted Filipiak's band for three consecutive years now, giving away for free the same great music heard at Filipiak's recent sold-out engagement at Blues Alley, in Washington, DC.

The guitarist immediately added subtly kicking colors to the mid-tempo opener, "Sunrise." Filipiak uses all manner of shading, from dynamics to tempo, to color and emotional hue. Jay Dulaney's work showed him to be a bassist possessed of both graceful agility, and rock-solid strength. After being asked to "turn down" by a Borders staffer (upon which an audience member remarked, "There's always Barnes & Noble!"), the band's "One For Wes" moved into jazzier territory. After the fashion of the great Montgomery brother who inspired it, the tune was driven by octave chords, moving into a slight reggae feel.

"Brothers" took the light island tone of the piece further, as Filipiak's punchy solo demonstrated what a master of dynamics he is. He used wah-wah settings to drive "4 PM" through an impressive display of rhythmic ingenuity, Filipiak telling the crowd that the tune was "based on some changes I heard Pat Metheny play." Here, Filipiak's bent tones and soulful playing heightened awareness of what a superb blues player he is, and the tune was a highlight of the first set. Stevie Wonder's "Cause We've Ended As Lovers" is a song that Filipiak has been playing for a number of years, and his finger-picked solo was full of flexing shapes, and cleanly executed runs that were chock-full of sonic information.

Drummer John Thomakos accentuated the snowy, post-Christmas Sunday afternoon with his bell tree on the opening section of "Purple Chickens." A gutbucket feel took over, until the tremendous punch of a Hendrixian ensemble passage, in 15/8, took the audience's collective breath away. Dulaney drew applause with his athletic, bluesy solo, and Filipiak's snaky execution of the melody was impeccable.

Two more tunes drew the set to a close. Filipiak's arrangement of the Beatles' "A Day In The Life," inspired by Wes Montgomery's treatment of the piece from an old A&M record, had the deep-fried economy of a Booker T. and The MG's, and the wild psychedelicizing of the Sgt. Pepper's-era Fab Four. Filipiak executed the tune's famous orchestral buildup via slide guitar, and a wicked loudness that raised a few eyebrows in the store. In the final buildup of the tune, Filipiak alluded to the orchestral possibilities of heavy metal, with smart use of dynamics and massed volume. Ornette Coleman's "Broadway Blues" was a perfect set closer, and a prime example of Filipiak's ability to fuse jazz with the power play of rock'n'roll.

After a break, Filipiak and crew returned for a short, but intense, second set."4 AM" 's cousin, "2 AM," had Filipiak floating a George Benson-esque suaveness over the tune's bluesy foundation. Perhaps in conciliation towards the burning ears of the Borders staff, the band played "Hotel Real," the title track from one of Filipiak's albums, at a lower dynamic level than usual, and the resulting creativity added even more depth to this sterling composition. The guitarist's chops were obviously on fire by this point in the gig, but he kept his playing at a slow burn, with no loss of sweat generated. Charlie Parker's "Au Privave" took Bird into space/funk mode, the funk at odd angles with the frequently wah-wah'd groove. Like Ornette's Prime Time, the dense rhythms being generated in this ingenious arrangement were like a forest of R&B trees.

 

allaboutjazz.com

Peripheral Vision Carl Filipiak (Geometric Records)

By Ed Kopp

Baltimore guitarist Carl Filipiak records for his own small label, Geometric Records, which is probably the reason he's not better known outside the Baltimore-D.C metroplex. Too bad, because the dude can really play.

Filipiak's music is probably too brawny for the smooth jazz crowd, but hardcore fusion fans should warm up to it instantly. The guitarist displays a Methenyesque sense of melody and improvisation while infusing his jazz with elements of rock, funk, Latin and blues. His latest release Peripheral Vision offers material from all four of his previous albums, plus one new track ("Forest Flower").

The presence of Bob Berg and Dennis Chambers helps lift the recording. Chambers pounds the skins on all 11 tracks, while Berg adds his slithering sax to three cuts. On some tunes, Filipiak shifts dexterously between electric guitar, acoustic guitar and guitar synth. Besides displaying a keen sense of melody and improvisation, he occasionally cranks up the distortion and rocks out in a jazzy style reminiscent of Jeff Beck. In fact, his cover of "Cause We Ended As Lovers" is nearly as uplifting as Beck's. Another highlight is the original composition "Nuji," a funky fusion-bop piece.

If you're a fan of lyrical fusion guitar, you should definitely check out Carl Filipiak.

Rating: **** (out of ****)

 

 

©2005 Carl Filipiak