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Title - 'Guitar Masters Collection'
Artist - Various

For those not in the know, Grammy award-winning producer Brian Tarquin is an American multi-Emmy Award-winning guitarist/composer and producer of the Guitar Masters Series featuring Jeff Beck, Steve Vai, Jimmy Page, Santana, BB King and Joe Satriani.

He is also known for his work as a smooth jazz artist and a music composer receiving 3 Emmy Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Music Direction and Composition for a Drama Series and also received Emmy nominations in 2001, 2002 and 2004.

Indeed, Tarquin has sold more than 150,000 albums through his career in the USA. He wrote the theme music for MTV's Road Rules, as well as producing music for many other TV shows such as "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation", "TMZ on TV", America's Next Top Model, ABC's Making The Band, Extra, Alias and the Keanu Reeves film The Watcher.

In 2014, Tarquin produced, engineered and composed Guitars for Wounded Warriors, which showcases Tarquin’s guitar prowess alongside other guitarists such as, Steve Morse, Billy Sheehan, Gary Hoey, Bumblefoot (Guns N' Roses), Reb Beach (Whitesnake), Hal Lindes (Dire Straits), Chris Poland (Megadeth) and Chuck Loeb (Fourplay). [The album features exclusively released tracks inspired by military soldiers who fought for the USA.]

Now Tarquin does it again with the just released Guitar Masters Collection, out now via Purple Pyramid Records. A wondrous collection that, once again, features some cream of the crop guitarists - such as Allan Holdsworth, Larry Coryell, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Stonley Clarke, Zakk Wylde, and more - the 10 track CD is as good as it gets in this genre, of that have no doubt.

1. 'Skippy'
2. 'Tocar Modera'
3. 'Funk Me Tender'
4. 'I Wish'
5. 'Hair'
6. 'Tarquinius Maximus'
7. 'Mother Load'
8. 'Ricarda'
9. 'Antilla'
10. 'Blue Wind'

We kick off in a jazz funk style with 'Skippy' (Allan Holdsworth & David Hines) and that's backed by the heavier 'Tocar Modera' (Larry Coryell & Brian Tarquin, and then the brilliantly funky, and my own personal favorite track here, 'Funk Me Tender' from Steve Vai & Randy Coven.

The gentle funk of Stevie Wonder's 'I Wish' now has some growl and edge to it from Zakk Wylde & Randy Coven, and that's followed by Graham Central Station's '70s throwback vibe of 'Hair' (here by Stanley Clarke & Joe Satriani), and then the soaring guitar work of ''Tarquinius Maximus' by both Chris Poland & Brian Tarquin.

The stirring "ballad," if you wish to call it such, 'Mother Load' is yet another stand out cut here from both Leslie West & Randy Coven, and then the quite stunning 'Ricarda' by Hal Lindes comes to the fore. The American-English guitarist and film score composer, who in 1979 played guitar with the rock group Darling, really turns this collection on its head with his flamenco styling.

The album is then rounded out with the gentle 'Antilla' (Allan Holdsworth & David Hines), and then ends on a high flying note (no pun intended) with 'Blue Wind' by Billy Sheehan, Doug Doppler & Brian Tarquin.

With liner notes from editor in chief of Guitar Player magazine, the players here, both known and unknown, are staggeringly skilled, and the tunes are new or reworked with additional vibrancy.

CD Purchase Link