Interviews with the current masters of virtuoso guitar. He was kind enough to provide us with a short interview on gear, technique, and his personal musical evolution First off, thanks for your time Derryl! Thank you for the interview! Can you pinpoint when you first began your transition from neo-classical shredder to fusion player?

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Get this crazy baby off my head! Very few people begin playing the drums, for instance, with the intent of going it alone. The same holds true for most other instruments in contemporary music. Only with the guitar do you find a large number of musicians determined to make a name as a solo artist devoted primarily to instrumentals. Thus, the sub-genre of "guitar virtuoso" was born.

There is no mistaking that the intent of Derryl and his label is to place him squarely in this group. Comparisons are also drawn to artists such as Allan Holdsworth, Frank Gambale and Greg Howe, all occupying this corner of the music business either in the fusion vein or the more metallic queue. These may not be household names, but fans of the style know them well.

To his credit, Derryl Gabel is indeed a very accomplished musician. It is clear that he can play scales at lightning speed and improvises better than most of the millions of guitar-slingers in the world. In addition, he recorded this album almost exclusively on his own - bass, synth, most of the drum programming and naturally all guitars.

This shows a musical adeptness sorely lacking in rock music, but also in genres as far-flung as jazz and new age. However, compliments as to ability and work ethic aside, there are problems. Although ambitious, the effect when all elements are combined is rather tepid.

It sounds like the rhythm tracks from an album by a contemporary jazz artist such as David Sanborn with guitar meekly inserted rather than sax. The painful analogy must be made - light jazz. It is easy at times to imagine the music playing behind a scene in a television drama while lovers stroll down the beach. Some attempts are made to vary the tempo and feel of the tracks, and some nice rock-ish solos emerge, but it keeps returning to this overall feel and fails to really provide a standout track or tracks.

Guitar instrumental music appeals foremost to other guitarists, including the thousands every year who pick up a guitar and strum a few notes before relegating the instrument to a closet for a few more years.

Occasionally a crossover will appear in the form of artists like Joe Satriani or Steve Vai. However, it is difficult to imagine fans of these soloists enjoying the more laid-back jazzy style here. It is equally hard to think that jazz fans will pick up on the recording. This is unfortunate because of the skill displayed, but what surrounds the guitar work on this disc is simply not strong enough to push it to the next level.

Derryl has a keen sense of when to burn and when to breathe.


Fretboard Intensive Training

Get this crazy baby off my head! Derryl has a keen sense of when to burn and when to breathe. Overture - D. East 2. Over The Edge - D. East 3. Vai 4.


Derryl Gabel


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