Album Three/ Penalty Phase
The most progressive/electric album by the Scott Lindenmuth Group features ten new original compositions, with tight ensemble work and inventive improvisation. Once described as the "Pat Metheny Group on steroids" this recording blurs the line between jazz, fusion and progressive rock. 'Penalty Phase is a must have for fans of progressive instrumental jazz/rock as well as those who appreciate hot guitar playing' -Silver Platters 'Sparkling, inventive, technically astute yet musically passionate...Lindenmuth is justifiably considered one of the finest guitarists in the greater Northwest.' -The Seattle Times 'Though classified as fusion, on Penalty Phase the music really leans towards instrumental prog-fusion. The music is melodic and has strong prog/rock sensibilities. In spite of this, refrerences to Lindenmuth's playing tilt towards John McLaughlin with some nods over in the direction of Pat Metheny and perhaps Alan Holdsworth though with much more drive. The band compositions and interplay forms a very cohesive unit - which is why it is not listed here as 'guitar virtuoso but Lindenmuth's playing takes a back see to no one. All of the members contribute fully - drummer Bill Dodge has a feel for this music like few contemporary dummers and when the music gives ample opportunity for keyboardist Andy Roben to strut his excellent talents. This group is totally balanced both techincally and in the compositions they deliver. In an album filled with highlights, the first track Penalty Phase and especially the 2nd track - the Methenyesque Minor Manor stand out. The album is actually a diverse slice of styles yet feels consistent and plays smoothly. Fun in the Dungeon part II is an instrumental prog-piece that could be at home on any number of symphonic prog band releases. Dodge really stands out in this track but he is not alone. Randy Jacobson bass - normally busy but supportive gets a chance to take off totally here to show he is no slouch. The song brings to mind UK but with less dark colors. Metheny styles reappear with Tales to Tell - a relaxing and easygoing tune bording on contempory smooth jazz. An album full of this style would sell well but would not appeal to me - but following as it does a straight progressive piece it feels good to hear it. While the Scott Lindenmuth Group are mostly a local Seattle secret this situation should have been remedied with this release. SLG have a 2004 release which perhaps might give them the wider attention they deserve. This is a uniformlly excellent recording and ensures that I will be further exploring this artist. Very - VERY highly recommended - there are song samples on the band's web site so give it a listen and see what you hear.' -ProGGnosis - Progressive Rock & Fusion.