RAVI RAJANI Mass Production
There is very little doubt that Ravi Rajani is a guitarist of rare ability but even so it took a few listens before I was able to get behind what he is doing. By and large this isn’t Blues, rather he is a guitarist who can take on many guises: one time you are listening to Al DiMeola and another you are in Satriani territory or even Mahavishnu. There are strong strands of Jazz fusion and even some light Jazz but for all this is still very listenable to. The title is a bit of a misnomer because this certainly doesn’t sound mass produced – you cannot imagine a computer programming the music here – but it does have a certain soulless quality. The band around Rajani are excellent musicians: Liam Waugh is a fine drummer with chops that most Blues and rock drummers would kill to learn and Frank Grime’s bass playing is rhythmic and fluid, often carrying the melody. Jo Phillpots adds bass to a few of the tracks here, most notably on Hey Jimi, Rajani’s paean to Hendrix and Sidran his take on Miles Davis Nardis. John Cervantes keyboards are understated but add texture to Afternoon In London – a track that has a Lee Ritenour touch to it – but the star of the show is clearly Rajani and the album stands or falls by his playing and writing. If I were reviewing for a Jazz magazine I would probably give this a 4/5 review but this is a Blues magazine and he just doesn’t do Blues.