Reviewer: Scott Hubbell
Review Date: July 2002
Impeccable bass, soaring guitar, lush synth tones, ethnic percussion, and tasty drumming can all be found on Al Garcia's solo release Make It So. The title track starts things off with some finger funk worthy of the Jaco/Berlin/Willis heritage. The guitar melody, solo, and synth comping are superb, and the bass solo is fantastic. Al breaks out a Ken Smith 5-string for the drifting tune "On Cloud Ten." The Smith is played for the melody and solo on the "Unexpected Answer" while an Ibanez 6-string and percussion provides back up. The roles of the latter two basses are reversed on "The Heart of the Matter." The Smith appears again on J.S. Bach's "Menuet." "Communique" opens with an India-style raga played on a Rob Allen MB-2 fretless 4-string, then segues into a Latin number with another stunning bass solo that is almost upright in it's resonance but with electric attack and clarity. The acoustic guitar solo is rippin'. "Harmonic Sketch #1" features Chris Garcia on tabla and kanjira while Al mans the 6-string harmonic solo. "Driving Through Krystal Town" reminds me of something Tribal Tech would have played on one of their earlier albums. The Rob Allen is featured again for the melody and solo on "Natural Knowledge." "Journey to the Center of the Earth" has three bass tracks and is what you would expect to hear if you were making that descent. "A Bird in Hand/Mosaic" is a bebop head played on the Smith that morphs into a prog-rock style romp complete with distorted bass solo. The CD closes with the ethereal "Once Upon a Dream" with a beautiful melody and solo played on the Rob Allen, with the Ibanez providing the accompaniment. Dean Rohan skillfully plays the drums on tracks 1, 2, 4, 8, and 11. Al Garcia is a master bassist, and this is the best CD I have heard in quite awhile, but, this review wouldn't be complete if I didn't mention that Al also plays all of the guitars and synth parts (courtesy of a Roland GR-33). Al has obviously spent many hours in the woodshed with each instrument because it sounds like there is more than one musician (personality) playing all of the parts. Ladies and gentlemen, I am stunned. I cannot say enough good things about this CD. Buy it. Now! You can find more information on Al Garcia at: Al's Web Site.