GUITAR PLAYER MAGAZINE REVIEWS “RAINBOW’S REVENGE”
When not shadowboxing the legacies of Metheny, Holdsworth, and Stern, Alexander reveals himself to be a sophisticated composer and impassioned guitarist. But on cuts like “Christmas Day” (“Phase Dance” redux?) and “The Black Line” (“Fat Time” II?) he’s more of a mimic than a stylist. Fortunately, he finds his own voice on cuts like “Old Man Saguache” and “Miles Between Us,” which sound freer and less reverent, if not as refined, as the Pat-offs. Alexander also displays a cool spirit throughout, and when that alone guides his hands, we’ll have a lot to look forward to. Shanachie. — JR
THE WASHINGTON POST REVIEWS “RAINBOW’S REVENGE”
Jazz has been made by urban musicians and has inevitably reflected the density, tension, and quickness of America’s big cities. There have been some important exceptions to this rule of thumb, however, and rural jazz musicians have tended to create a more pastoral music with an emphasis on hillbilly melodies and atmospheric harmonies. Perhaps the best examples have been the guitarists Pat Metheny of Missouri and Ralph Towner of Washington State. Following firmly in their footsteps is Kansas’ Glenn Alexander, a young guitarist whose new album, “Rainbow’s Revenge,” closely resembles on of Metheny’s more conservative, pop-oriented efforts.
PULSE MAGAZINE REVIEWS “RAINBOW’S REVENGE”
Glenn Alexander sounds heavily indebted to Pat Metheny on Rainbow’s Revenge (Shanachie). Lyrical warm-toned offerings like “Christmas Day” and “Letting Go” bear the unmistakeable stamp of Metheny. But Alexander does reveal himself on more aggressive numbers like “The Black Line” and “Sneaky,” where his bluesy roots and bebop facility come into play. Genuinely pleasing fare with poetic touches along the way.
Alexander not only uses Metheny’s original bassist, Mark Egan, on two of the 10 cuts but has also found a Lyle Mays sound-alike in producer/keyboardist Scott Healy, who wrote two peices and plays on nine. Like his model, Alexander is a deft player whose legato phrasing allows melodic phrases to emerge and slide off on a tangent with fluid ease. A ballad like “Miles Between Us” not only pays tribute to the whispery wistfulness of Miles Davis but also to the open spaces of the Midwest where patience is a necessary virtue. Alexander can also play fast and hard, as when he plays Steve Morse-like rock licks aganst T. Lavitz’s B-3 organ on “Old Man Saguache,” but he’s at his best on slower, more bucolic numbers like the joyful “Christmas Day” or the regretful “Letting Go” where his gift for melody comes to the fore. — Geoffrey Hines