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REQUIRED LISTENING: a musician's personal notes about favorite artists.

Alive In Ultraworld.
I believe that Steve Vai belongs to a very select group of musicians who verge on genius (and I don't like to throw that word around a lot). In some strange way, I compare him to Stevie Wonder for the many different ways he can blow away your preconceived notions of music.

As well as being one of the most technically gifted guitarists in the world, Steve Vai demonstrates a LOT of humility and comes across as a great guy. Alive In Ultraworld is unique in the concept that every song is a new composition recorded live in the country that inspired the musicality (of that particular song). What a challenge to capture these perfomances and what an great insight into Vai's brilliance!

Highlights of the CD include:"The Black Forest", "Incantation", "Blood And Glory", and the beautiful "Whispering A Prayer". While Steve Vai never stands pat on his technique, he's always adding a new wrinkle that you didn't think was humanly possible, something that's often overlooked about his playing is: how SOULful he is. Take, for example, "Whispering A Prayer" and "Brando's Costumes (Gentle Ways)". But Steve Vai's not just into perfection, he also pokes fun at himself by leaving humorous, real moments in the recording -- check out "Devils Fool" and "Babuska". Alive In Ultraworld is a testament to one of the greatest talents we have in music.

posted: June 2006.


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