FRANK GAMBALE; Soulmine (Wombat)


Australian-born, but LA-based guitarist Frank Gambale has been making music since 1986 when his LP ‘Brave New Guitar ‘ won him a whole posse of fans. Since then he’s worked with dozens of jazz greats (including Chick Corea) and recorded 18 more solo albums all featuring his innovative playing techniques – sweep picking and Gambale tuning. The former has Gambale using his plectrum in a sweeping motion to produce a more specific note series; his tuning method lets his guitar use the full chordal capabilities of the piano. Yes, sounds technical but it all offers different feel to his music which can only be fully explained by listening and on this new 10 tracker you can hear the difference. The album’s other attraction is that it’s Gambale’s first full on vocal album. He says it’s the long player he’s been waiting to make for 30 years. What’s held him back is his search for the right vocalist – someone who can meld with his unique guitar sound. Well, he’s found the singer he wanted in Boca and between them they’ve created a consummate smooth jazz set.

Standout is the sinuous ‘All In The Game Of Life’. The lady’s vocal is lazy, sultry and visceral allowing the summery groove to unfold sweetly. The slower ‘Lover Set Me Free’ and ‘Saved Me From Myself’ offer more of the same’. ‘Live Your Dream’ is funkier, ‘Be That Change’ is poppy, ‘Enchanted Love’ is a lovely ballad while for something a little more complex go to ‘Open Your Mind’. Largely instrumental (in the cool style of George Benson), Boca just coos little more than the title – proving the old adage that less is indeed more. It’s an infectious summer breeze. Find out more about it, the album and Frank Gambale’s unique style @

(BB) 3/5