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Joel Hoekstra


To warn the "Hardcore Proggies" upfront: this review about the guitar player Joel Hoekstra is touching the border of the normal genres of this mag, but whoever got an open mind for melodic fusion rock, wanting to listen to outstanding musicians at work, you're at the right place. One more thing, I'm not a big fan of self-loving selfish solos. A solo, no matter how good it is, always has to be in the context of the song and has to be played group orientated. OK, enough of my taste and pref: read on!

The American string virtuoso Joel luckily doesn't function as a one man show, so he got some big names for a rhythm section on board. Virgil Donati (PlanetX, Steve Vai) is the drummer, Ric Fierabracci (Andy Summers, Frank Gambale) the bassist and Howard Levy (Bela Fleck) joins the party on harp for a track. The real nice thing about this almost instrumental album is, next to Joel not playing the hot shot, is the way of dealing humorously with different elements like Jazz, Country, Funk and Blues in this fusion rock orientated music.

The guitarmeister doesn't put himself in the spotlight and leaves enough space for the other musicians to contribute their thing. The compositions deal more with sounds and ambience. The disc has 2 essential things: the unbelievable groove, giving the listener no chance of not tipping their toe, and a lot of feeling. From front to end the cd "Undefined" spreads fun and sunshine, undefined and moving around stylistically: Good music can sometimes be soooo easy.
- Translated from the January 2002 Progressive-Newsletter

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