Album Reviews

Orlando In Heaven

Brian Tarquin and Company

Artist:     Brian Tarquin and Company

Album:     Orlando In Heaven

Label:     Purple Pyramid Records

Release Date:     06/09/2017


Since the devastating attack on Orlando’s Pulse nightclub just over a year ago, artists have come together to show their support for a tragedy the world is still reeling from. Brian Tarquin, multi-Emmy award winning guitarist, recently released Orlando In Heaven, a benefit album with partial proceeds going to Catholic Charities, an organization which is providing case management and support service for the victims and family members of the Pulse shooting. The 11 track record features fellow guitar gods and musical virtuosos including Chris Poland (formerly of Megadeth), “Grandfather of Fusion” Larry Coryell (his final recordings before his death earlier this year), acclaimed composer Phil Naro, and more, all coming together for instrumental blends of jazz-pop fusion.

The title track and first song of the album, “Orlando In Heaven,” is one of just two non-instrumental pieces. Here, Phil Naro gives a soaring, emotional vocal performance above tropical percussion, singing poignant lines like “Our spirits will dance above the clouds and sky / The music will come from inside you and I.” Naro offers up his impressive vocal range once again for the fast-paced “Pulse 49,” an intense tribute with clear Latin influence. Later, Coryell joins Tarquin on guitar for “Metropolis,” a smooth jazz instrumental that evolves as layers upon layers of sparkling synth and clean guitar lines fight for the spotlight. “She Used To Be A Lady” opens with wailing saxophone tones courtesy of Don Black. The track moves through sleek blues-jazz arrangements aided by award-winning pianist Bobby Baldwin’s fresh solos. On “Jacob’s Ladder,” former Dire Straits guitarist Hal Lindes shares complex, seemingly unending rhythms for a mesmerizing vibe. Orlando In Heaven ends with the instrumental version of the record’s title track, once again featuring Lindes on acoustic guitar and Tarquin battling rhythm and electric guitar melodies, completing a vibrant jazz record with unmatched guitar expertise, a sweet tribute to the Pulse victims.

–Savannah Davanzo

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