I'll Tell What I Saw is Trey Gunn's retrospective of his solo and session work over the past 17 years. Probably best known for his stint with prog masters King Crimson, Mr. Gunn is proficient in the electric bass, electric and acoustic guitar, keyboards, and the touch guitar (for which he is considered a modern pioneer). He also uses the Warr Guitar and Chapman Stick in his performances.
In total, and for those unfamiliar with his solo or session work, I'll Tell What I Saw is an excellent representation of Trey Gunn's skills over broad spectrum of musical styles. Generally, you might call this progressive music, rock essentially, with excursions into jazz, jazz-rock fusion, and international music, musicians and collaborations. The latter includes work with Alonso Arreola (Mexico), Inna Zhelennaya (Russia), N.Y.X (Italy), Sergey Klevensky (Russia), KTU (Finland, Texas), and Saro Cosentino (Italy), to name only a few on this two-disc set.
While both the breadth and depth of musicians and musical styles is remarkable, the music within I'll Tell What I Saw is not inaccessible or strange. Certainly their are moments of near avant garde eclecticism throughout, but mostly the music is challenging and friendly. Songs with an international flavor, like Va el Diablo (Alonso Arreola) and Maslenitsa (The Farlanders, Russia) are thick with inspiration, yet not pretentious. Other songs, like the live version of Dziban, where a near avant garde free form style appears and reign in their simple, but masterful, genius. Then, Misery, Misery, Die, Die, finds Gunn's collaboration with rock drummer Pat Mastelotto (Mr. Mister, King Crimson) exploring territory familiar to those who like their prog a bit heavier, modern, and eclectic. Other notable pieces on this massive collection include Cheeky (Matt Chamberlain), Spectra (Trey Gunn, Modulator, Jacaranda (KTU), and Drunk (Inna Zhelennaya).
Perhaps the only weakness here is that, even with a huge catalogue from which to chose, nearly 20 percent of I'll Tell What I Saw is songs from his most recent project Modulator (with drummer Marco Minnemann); that, and the fact there's a lot of music to wade through. You may want to listen to one disc at a time.
Nevertheless, primarily, any difficulty with I'll Tell What I Saw will be with the prospective listener: especially the one that can't listen, think, or live outside their favorite genre. Representative of Trey Gunn's substantial skills and work, I'll Tell What I Saw is diverse, eclectic, challenging, and inspired, but mostly adventurous and entertaining. Recommended.
Representative of Trey Gunn's substantial skills and work I'll Tell What I Saw is diverse, eclectic, challenging, and inspired, but mostly adventurous and entertaining.
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