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Joel Del Rosario – Past Present Future

Apr. 17, 2016

One of the smoothest guitarists on the West coast – and anywhere else, for that matter – is the affable Joel Del Rosario. I’ve been Joel Del Rosario CDexposed to enough of this extremely talented guitar master’s work that I’ve been looking forward to this latest release since his 2013 offering with his musical cohort Will “SureWill” Clark on a very tasteful project called Side By Side. Del Rosario’s latest solo effort Past Present Future shows once again that my faith and trust in this solidly talented artist’s creativity and silky style has been well placed.

This album has much to offer by way of moods, rhythms, and feels as Del Rosario opens with a handsome mid-tempo track, “Summer Song” featuring trumpeter Melvin Miller, a great horn arrangement, and a full-bodied, steady bass line that holds it all together. By the way, Del Rosario plays all instruments on the album except for the instruments played by Ragan Whiteside (flute), Miller, and Tony Rhodes (Hammond B3).

He follows “Summer Song” with the snappy and sassy “This is How We Roll,” a track with a very catchy melody and cool riffs. The title track, again with some solid bass support (nothing overly flashy; just good, phat, solid bottom), is another keeper.

Picking up the tempo a bit is the dance-friendly “Delicious Vinyl” featuring flutist Ragan Whiteside, a well-positioned strings and horn voicing, and Del Rosario’s nifty riffs and chords.

The track that caught me completely off-guard is a nasty, raunchy mid-tempo bluesy rocker called “The City.” Here is Del Rosario truly feeling like the “bad boy” and getting dirty with distortion and some extremely impressive and expressive power chords and riffs. Hold on to your seat as he does a decent job of blowing one away here.

This is truly a complete album – complete in every way. You simply can’t go wrong with skillful playing of any instrument and imagination. Del Rosario makes that plain here on Past Present Future. – Ronald Jackson