It seems that an age old cliché is a perfect way to start this blog. That cliché is: “If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.” That appears to be the method that guitar virtuoso Jaz Hunter is living by. Although successful in band form, it seems that Jaz Hunter was destined to walk his own path in music and share his talent his own way.
Having gained early inspiration from Queen, Kirk Hammett, and the legendary Dave Murray of Iron Maiden it wasn’t until Hunter heard Steve Vai and Dream Theatre that he started to develop his space age progressive metal out of his home base in the UK.
It appears to me from my limited exposure to Hunter that he takes his music very seriously and doesn’t appear to get wrapped up in the politics that often goes hand in hand with a music career. The reason I say that is because of the following quote on http://www.myspace.com/jzhunter: “For those who strive to do good in our lifetime, hope will unite us and make us stronger. Peace and love to you all” – Jaz Hunter. Doesn’t sound like your pretentious musician; does he?
More after the warp:
As part of the band “Aconite” Hunter was part of a high profile band, but I wonder if when they broke up 2.5 years later if it was more an opportunity than a negative. Also his project “Ithaca” has received rave reviews, but to be honest I feel the soul of Hunter in his solo work and genuinely believe his ultimate success will come from believing in his individual talent and going against the norm as a strictly guitar driven instrumentalist.
While listening to his available tracks I was taken especially with three of them:
“Wisdom of Harmony” has some amazing solo work and is very forward moving which is unusual for instrumentals that can often get dragged down with the lack of vocals. The progressive metal feel is there and shifting drum work helps Hunter bounce around on the guitar. The guitars are of course the stars and sound very full. The most amazing detail for me was the solo work fills in the gaps where the vocals would be. After a while you stop anticipating the vocals and enjoy the music for what it is.
Funky! Damn Funky! That describes the catchy rhythm of “Planet Funky Town.” This is a very fun song that shifts all over the place and displays some amazing blues guitar work by our resident guitar god. Since I don’t play the guitar, all I can say is the song features some very incredible techniques that blend well together.
“Sky Racers” has a very dark open and changes to an almost enlightening piece of work out of the darkness. I’m sure the song is telling a story, but this might be the one time that vocals would be appropriate to help tell it. Instrumental artists are a very technical lot and I ask them to always remember that not all of us can play and you might have to hold our hands to walk us through the more technical elements.
Jaz Hunter is currently working on his solo album “Humanity and Beyond” and I for one am anticipating a great piece of work that will set this gentleman on par with his peers in progressive instrumental music. If Hunter’s live shows can spark the emotion his recorded music has than we will be hearing much, much more from this young man.
Now that we have introduced you; when the album comes out for review we will focus on the music; just the way Hunter likes it.
Show me your horns,
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