Larry Carlton/Steve Lukather

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Favored nations records

Wow: House of taste! (fast frets for two, hot licks for all, as you wished, didn’t you?) If you’re so sure you’d never buy such a record you better check your discothèque first, and sure enough you’ll find loads of LPs with them, since they have been recording quite some time. (Just add Nile Rogers, Ernest Ranglin or Phil Upchurch and you’ll probably cover two thirds of the productions from the 60s to the 80s.) Well, if you find that the Strudelteig is going a bit too far, let’s sit down and talk. Have you never played (put aside pleasure for the moment) a Michael Franks, a Pat Metheny, a Passport, or »even« a Spyro Gyra record? Is it such a weird feeling and memory that you have to hide them now? Everybody did, I think, so how come (here’s my reason for reviewing it actually) this music (some say muzak, fine, their problem), which is still flaming fiercely, has always been rejected by people who discovered more definite, noble, accessible »aesthetics« later, if not too late? It is a certainty that bloody good old fusion or jazz rock did survive loads of hypes, styles and tiny little fashions (timing is everything, see?) What happened to TripHop, cold wave, hard rock or drum’n’Bass (just to name a few), after people had followed or bought them in massive quantities? Why did those fine musical (are they?) definitions collapse after one marketing season, whereas guitar rabbits are still around? I think it is a good question to ask, and a touchy subject to deal with. Let’s go back to this record. There’s a sticker on the CD that really says it all: »Raw, live and exactly like it went down«. What more do you want? Let’s read Lukather’s text from the booklet to perfectly understand: »We showed up in Japan with a kick-ass band with no rehearsals and said, ‚what do you want to play?‘ We jammed and I got master class every night.« Sometimes people talk like this even at electronic or free music festivals, don’t they? Yes, I confess, I don’t mind some of it, whether it’s tasteless or not shouldn’t be such a problem as long as you can choose your food. Purism has its pathological sicknesses too, why not? Aesthetics can often be used for various reasons that music doesn’t quite need. Why review it here? Because someone has to! (And nobody wanted.) PS: Does anyone remember the fantastic David Spinozza »Ballet dancer«-LP? I know, for you this is terribly long ago, but since this is not a review but a text, why not use an unfindable record…

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