Jeff Kollman – 2023 A.D.

Review Jeff Kollman – 2023 A.D.

When guitarists release solo albums, they like to pull out all the stops of their skills, preferably completely and in every track. This leads directly to information overkill at the expense of what is nominally on offer: Music. Jeff Kollman's latest album 2023 A.D., which he released a few days ago, shows that there is another way.

A fine example of beautiful playing is Cosmic Dust, which, like most of the tracks on the album, has a classic song structure. It includes a dash of jazz elements and leaves room for each of the other musicians involved, creating a balanced overall sound. Another example would be Lullaby for my Love, a blues that solos amiably through the chords without becoming obtrusive even for a moment, because jubilating in the descant would be so temptingly self-referential. Or Two Years Ago Today, which is carried by an acoustic guitar over percussion rhythms instead of keeping the listener constantly energised.

This is not to say that Kollman skimps on virtuosity. On the contrary. It is fixed, multi-layered, melodic, dissonant, percussive, in short, musical. The range of his skills is extensive and he shows it. The only difference is that his approach is sensitive and circumspect, creating a successful balance between guitar solo and rock album.

Perhaps this restraint is also a reason for the illustrious supporting cast that Kollman has recruited for 2023 A.D.. They include drummers Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers) and Shane Gaalaas (Yngwie Malmsteen) as well as bassist Jimmy Johnson (Allan Holdsworth).

On the formal-acoustic side, the album is also a success. It is very transparent and well-balanced. The instruments find their place on the well-structured stage and the frequencies provide pressure from below, light from above and a stable basic structure in the mid-range.

Jeff Kollman's 2023 A.D. is a varied and finely balanced rock album that also offers a bit of jazz, blues and prog. It is diverse, multi-layered and certainly one of the most recommendable guitar albums the market has to offer. (Thomas Semmler, HighResMac)

Jeff Kollman, guitars
Guy Erez, bass
Shane Gaalaas, drums
Ed Roth, organ
Ric Fierabracci, bass
Chad Smith, drums

Jeff Kollman – 2023 A.D.

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