Staring At The Sun features the shredding sound of guitarist Neil Zaza, who is joined on this CD by the ex-Journey rhythm section of Steve Smith (drums) and Ross Valory (bass). Producer Timothy M. Bradford adds memorable keyboard work while guest musicians such as bassist Stu Hamm (Steve Fister, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai), guitarist Michael Lee Firkins and drummer Robin DiMaggio add additional power and variety to the musical proceedings. Staring At The Sun also features what you would expect — thirteen tracks of Neils trademark combo of singing guitar melodies and jaw-dropping chops. Blend in unexpected textures such as a live horn section and string quartet at key points on the recording, and you have Zazas finest CDs to date.
03:59 I Spy, 04:18 Lift, 05:06 Lost In Your Dream, 05:53 Zen Karma And Other Good Things, 04:46 The Wonder Of You, 02:47 New New Math, 04:27 Rain, 04:04 Every Thought Of You, 01:06 Baking At 350 F, 03:42 Fargo, 04:40 Angel , 04:21 Definition, 07:53 Purple Rain.
total running time: 57:09
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5.0 out of 5 stars PRETTY GOOD,
Fans of Andy Timmons and Joe Satriani will probably appreciate this album. Hardcore shred fans may be a little disappointed, as Zaza only shreds when he feels it is called for (although he sure CAN shred). However, his reservedness could be considered a positive thing by some, giving the songs on staring At The Sun’ a tuneful sentimentality, as opposed to the in-your-face, show-off antics of some of the less harmonious shredders. And, although I was occasionally longing for a rougher and more powerful experience, I found the songs Zaza displays on this album of a high quality, very catchy, and well worth the money.
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Great Album from the Master of Melodic Guitar
I first heard of Neil Zaza from the Truefire guitar education website. I’ve since got to experience a great deal of his catalog. Neil is a melody factory and a great arranger and producer. I’m also wowed by the variety. His songs range from soulful, flashy, rocky, metallic, bad-ass, exuberant and downright joyful. It’s rare to have an album filled with MUSIC and no filler. This is my first purchase of what will be many from Zaza’s collection.
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely worth it!
Zaza is not as appreciated as his talent deserves. This album features strong writing, inspired guitar playing and an amazing rhythm section.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great as Usual.
5.0 out of 5 stars Staring at the Sun: Excellent CD for anyone who enjoys guitar instrumentals. Outstanding chops. This guy deserves more recognition for his playing ability and songwriting.
5.0 out of 5 stars Neil Zaza Ranks Among the Best Guitarists Aliv.
This is simply a fantastic instrumental album. As soon as I heard “New, New Math”, I was hooked. With every album he’s released, he breaks new musical ground – adds something exciting and new to the clutter musical landscape. As a musician dedicated to his craft, developing his own identity and style, he’s found it this album. Neil has put his heart and soul into every track.
In his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio, Neil has achieved legendary status for good reason. If you’re a fan of Joe Satriani, Yngwie Malmsteen, or Eric Johnson, Neil comes highly recommended – he ranks among the best.
In a way, I feel jealous of fans of instrumental guitar work who haven’t yet heard of Neil… all of these great albums waiting to be discovered! “Staring at the Sun” is a great place to start.
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