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Joel Hoekstra


From Prognosis.

I must admit my that intrigue in hearing Joel Hoekstra's Undefined cd, was more provoked by the fact that Australian musicians Virgil Donati - drums, and Ric Fierabracci - basses were guesting, of course both Donati and Fierabracci are players that are of the highest order when concerning modern fusion players. Surprisingly it was Hoekstra's guitar playing that makes this cd unique, and enjoyable. Of course it never hurts to get stellar performances from the backbone of the group, and both Donati and Fierabracci do more than admirable work on their respective instruments. Joel Hoekstra, clearly is the leader of the musical portraits that are conceived on Undefined, his penchant for using a wide array of tones and devices allows him to sound like a different guitarist on every song. The music is instrumental fusion, yet treads more on the funkier and rockier side of it, creating slick patterned grooves, which the Donati/Fierabracci team mutate to give the music a huge creativity plus. Hoekstra plays nimble notations of melodic themes, creating a 'voice' for the music, he has great chops, and doesn't mind taking advantage of using many sound enhancing devices to alter his guitar tone, at times he comes up with some very cosmic sound. The music seldom portrays Hoektra as a guitar hero, but offers more of a listening experience for fans of good fusion, played by some otherworldly musicians. This cd has a large FUN factor attached to it, though the musicians are very serious players, the music contained shows occasions towards having a humorous feel. Each passing song shows that Joel Hoekstra has more than dabbled into the many varieties of modes, and genres, and all are played with great proficiency, you will hear him touch not only on fusion, but also, rock, jazz, country, ambiant, pop, blues, and possibly repeated listens will reveal still more. Clearly Joel has had a wide range of influences to mix with his great ears, training, and keen sense of writing. This is a cd that gets better with every listen, and will be getting a lot of plays here at my humble abode. Some of the players that came to ind while ingesting this cd were: Steve Morse, Shawn Lane, Tim Pierce, David Gilmour, Eric Johnson, Lowell George, Robben Ford, Brett Garsed, Scott Henderson, etc. As you can see, this is a full spectrum of musical styles, which lends to the beauty of this recording, and one that is well worth seeking out.

-MJ Brady

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