Album Review

Frank Gambale- Salve

If you’ve been with us for a while or see our description you’d see we do more than prog, tech metal and instrumental music…..I’ll admit I’ve bitten off a lot and generally get a lot of that submitted, let alone through e-mail mailing lists and I apologize….but this job isn’t easy.  I’ve done a few jazz and fusion articles, but haven’t tried hard ENOUGH.  So today, I’m going to try to change that…….and hopefully stick with it.  I love the genres, it’s originality and insane talents that come with it.  One big talent is the mighty jazz guitarist Frank Gambale  who released this stellar album last year that went off my radar.  So many releases, so much music…..only so much time.  I heard it in full a couple months ago, and put it back on today.

There’s lots of great jazz guitarists and some that also cross into the wild world of fusion. Older players like Gamble influenced lots of the progressive subgeneres (there’s a billion).  You have a lot of classic players like Holdsworth, McLaughlin and Al Di Meola  that broke all sorts of genre barriers catapulting these insane compositions.  Gamble though, is a more straightforward player who’s very melodic.  Fusion brings the whackiest ideas and compositions out of many artists, but that’s one reason I’ve dug his music….Frank is a straight up jazz player with lots of melody and feel.  He’s such a clean player he’s envied a lot of his fellow guitarists to the point they may want to chop his fingers off.  That’s a joke, nobody sure as heck would want that to happen.


“Salve” is a wonderful album with a lot of distinct guitar playing.  Gambale puts a lot of soul, heart and effort into his music.  He is a master of emotion when it comes to music, for sure.  2018’s release sure shows (in my humble opinion at least) Gambale still has it musically, and sure as heck isn’t declining by any means.  He had a female vocalist on some of these songs which adds a great texture in my opinion.  This genre innovator keeps putting out great music influencing a countless number of guitarists with every breathtaking performance and album.

His straightforward songwriting is a lot more accessible and easier to digest than some of the wild fusion guitar players.  There’s a lot of wild compositions out there that are totally whacky and out of the ordinary, but Gambale takes a simpler jazzy approach.  His style is a much needed change in the jazz and it’s multiple subgenres when you want something different.  “Salve” offers lots of cool synthesizer layers too, and some vocal harmonies here and there.  Soulmine is a newer adventure of his with these vocalists singing over his music.  I was initially interested in his tunes, and glad I stumbled across this new venture.  It’s just one more great piece of art to the legacy he began building in the 1980’s.


Categories: Album Review, Fusion, Jazz

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