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Frank Gambale/Stuart Hamm/Steve Smith: GHS3

Fans of thunderous, notes-intense fusion will love GHS3 (Tone Center), the latest release by guitarist Frank Gambale, bassist Stuart Hamm and drummer Steve Smith. These three outstanding musicians combine furious energy and chops galore with complex compositions to create a series of muscular, gleefully pyrotechnical performances. With Gambale on electric guitar, the trio blazes through “All in Your Head” and “The Great Roberto,” a tip of the hat to King Crimson founder Robert Fripp. Gambale switches to steel-string acoustic for several numbers, and his fingers zip up and down the fretboard with breathtaking speed on “Confuse-a-Blues,” “Saving Grace” and “The Challenger.” The trio keeps the aural onslaught from getting too wearing by including a couple of solo performances. “Culture Clash” is a solo drum piece wherein Smith plays Indian rhythms on his drums and then overdubs those rhythms on the djembe drum, while Hamm turns in a hauntingly lovely performance on the bass showcase “November.”

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