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Mark O'Leary Signs FMR reviewed

On "Signs", which was released exactly a year ago, he plays with Steuart Leibig on 6-string electric contrabass and Alex Cline on drums and percussion. The music also bears the O'Leary trademark, but is more jazzy, a little more fusion, especially on "Tilt", the appropriately titled long opening track, on which he unleashes all the speed he can muster, but always in a free-flowing manner, deep-toned, subtle and emotional.
But on "Falling", the second track, the mood changes to minimalistic chord progressions of slow single notes, emphasizing each one as if it was something unique and precious, requiring full attention by itself, as if you see a feather or a leaf slowly descending through space, contrasting again with the short chaotic skronk of the next piece. The title song is a long nervous low-toned improvization, with the three musicians at their best, reacting fast, propulsing each other forward, great to hear. The other tracks alternate between more abstract meditative pieces and high-speed fusion, but then of the clever kind, going beyond the usual guitar hero acrobatics.

There are many excellent guitar-players around, but there are very few with the talent to perfectly master the instrument, to have a distinct voice and a clear musical vision at the same time. O'Leary is a musician with a story to tell. That makes listening to him captivating, and well ... he can keep on releasing albums at this pace as far as I'm concerned, because with new sparring partners for each CD he manages to tell a new exciting story, generating through the other players innovative elements each time.



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