I’ve received three 2007 releases for review from Inside Out Music that all stem from the same source: The era of classic electric instrumental rock fusion albums in the late 70’s and early 80’s where we saw great releases from people like Jeff Beck, Jean Luc Ponty, Allan Holdsworth, Al Di Meola, etc. How do these newer releases match up to these classics? Let’s take a look at Planet X’s new one, Quantum.
Opening with a symphonic keyboard from Derek Sherinian, it does not take long until co-member Virgil Donati breaks in for an all-out rock fusion workout. “Alien Hip Hop” is an excellent track to open with and one of my favorites on the album.
Legendary guitarist Allan Holdsworth plays on two songs “Desert Girl” and “The Thinking Stone.” Holdsworth has such a signature style, it’s very easy to pick him out when these songs come up. The unsung hero of the recording however is Brett Garsed, whose forceful playing and interesting solos on other songs make this keyboard/drum duet almost sound like a guitar album at times. His work easily stands proud next to Allan’s and occasionally surpasses them in terms of melody and tunefulness.
Two bassists were used on this CD and they get chances to shine on throughout. There is a poppin’ bass solo at the end of “Poland” that I am sure either Jimmy Johnson or Rufus Philpot would be pleased to call their own.
Quantum by Planet X is more Bruford than Beck, more Holdsworth than Ponty, more Satriani than Di Meola if you get the picture. Needless to say this is nine cuts of unbridled, high-energy jazz rock fusion… With the emphasis on rock.
Reviewed by Ron Fuchs on October 28th, 2007