Danny Gatton "Unfinished Business"

Danny Gatton
"Unfinished Business"
Powerhouse Records

CD review by Roger-Z (2/15/05)

Only the greats can overplay and sound tasteful at the same time. Jaco Pastorious (on bass) comes to mind. And even fewer can do it ripping through a multiple of idioms: rock, country, blues, swing, and jazz. This explains why the cult of Danny Gatton lives on despite Mr. Gatton's untimely suicide in 1994.

The re-released, all instrumental, "Unfinished Business" CD features a new track order, remastered sound, and a bonus track. The multitude of musical styles reflects Mr. Gatton's desire to master all avenues of popular music -- from down-home country ("Nit Pickin'"), to jazz swing ("Homage To Charlie Christian,"), to shuffle ("Sky King"), to country ballad ("Sleep Walk"), to raucous blues ("Notcho Blues"), to novelty piece ("Fingers On Fire"). On all tracks, Mr. Gatton displays an overwhelming physical dexterity coupled with a tremendous feel and sense of dynamics. Highlights include the self-penned "Lappin It Up" where he trades Telecaster and pedal steel licks with himself. Evidently, he drove audiences wild performing it live. On, "Nit Pickin'," he rapidly picks fingered and open notes to create a lush, dense wall of sound. On "Lapping It Up", his inventive chord solos astound.

Recently, Bruce Lundvall, CEO of the noted jazz label, Blue Note Records, declared his dismay at the difficulty of selling instrumental albums in the current musical climate. Because this CD crosses so many musical genres, garnering airplay may prove nearly impossible. But Telecaster lovers owe it to themselves to check out this album. Be advised, you probably won't be able to steal all these licks!

2005 Roger-Z