In Strange Fruits The Albert Mamsto Trio offer a 'tribute' to some of rock and progressive rock's finest guitarists. The album consists of tracks or medleys of tracks from the repertoire of five guitarists. Albert Ibrahimaj (not sure where the Mamsto comes from) tackles these giants with confidence and aided and abetted by only bass and drums does a fairly good representation of the tracks. This standard rock trio format wade their way through some tricky material, not only in the lead lines, but also from a rhythmic and arrangement stance. Albert, as you may have guessed, is a guitarist and this reflected in the artists he has selected and the tunes chosen for Strange Fruits. Not wanting to make life simple for himself Albert has selected from some of the finest exponents of the electric guitar - Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Steve Morse, Steve Lukather and John Petrucci. Then in a brave move the three musicians then undertake to play the tracks pretty much as I would expect them to be able to reproduce live. Therefore there seems little in the way of studio magic and what you hear is what these guys are capable of producing. I was most impressed with the 'rawer' section taken from Metropolis [part1]. Nice little outro to top it off. The trio work well together with bassist Frank Heim and drummer Holger Schmaltz proving more than capable of the task in front of them. Their playing is tight, grasping the original arrangements and embellishing the tracks whilst mindful of the written structure. There are numerous examples on the album Derailleur Gears, Party-Ski-Bone and Jiboooooooooom. The second and third of these tracks are in fact medleys Party-Ski-Bone is three Lukather/Toto tracks (Party In Simon's Pants, Dave's Gone Skiing and Jack To The Bone), whilst Jiboooooooooom links Via and Dream Theater (Jibboom, Ytse Jam and Metropolis [part1]). Of the tracks on the album I would only like to comment on one, and this is the bands own composition Sorry. Firstly it is completely different to the other tracks, Holger Schmaltz is given a rest, so the track is lightweight, with a jazzy feel from both guitar and bass. The track fits well within the album and acts as a resting point in-between the flurry of notes and beats that surround it. As it stands this CD displays well the collective talents of these three musicians, with the tracks played accurately and with just enough variation so as to stamp their own individuality on the proceedings. However with the exception of Sorry the album is a collection of tracks or medleys written and recorded by other artists. So somewhat difficult to evaluate as it stands. I'm not going to knock this effort by AMT, because it does not warrant this. So I will reserve any judgement on AMT until DPRP receives an album of original material from these talented guys. Review of dutch progressive rock page.
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