_http://www.guitar9.com/fortyreasons.html, review of "Forty Reasons" by M.J. Brady
Chad Wackerman spent more time in Frank Zappa's band as his drummer than any other of the great talents that held that position in Frank's band. This speaks volumes of what an incredible talent Chad Wackerman is. Zappa has had some very noteworthy players in his camp such as Terry Bozzio, Ed Greene, Vince Colaiuta, Aynsley Dunbar, David Logeman, Chester Thompson, Ralph Humphrey, John Guerin, Jim Gordon - an impressive bunch to say the least, and the fact that Wackermans' tenure was as long as it was is a compliment to Chad's abilities and versatility. Forty Reasons was to be his first solo album, he had been doing some recording with Allan Holdsworth, and the two built a repoire that would be heard on quite a few recordings. Allan performs guitar on this album along with keyboardist Jim Cox, and bassist Jimmy Johnson, both of whom had worked with Holdsworth on some of his solo albums, and so it would seem looking at the line-up of this CD, that it would resemble what Holdsworth was doing with his music when featuring these musicians. Well, the truth of the matter is in fact that this is very reminescent of AH's solo material of this era. The songs are built around Chad's mesmeric style of percussive drumming, he is poetry in motion, seldom repeating rhythmic sequences, and building of complex themes, he feeds off the energy of the music, and leads the band into frenetic improvisational crescendos. Jimmy Johnson's bass playing is of special note, he remains somewhat of an obscure talent on the bass, except in certain circles, he has a effortless fluidity, playing in notations that seem to coexist on a disharmonic plane with the other musical phrasings by Holdsworth and Cox. Jim Cox, seems to be the perfect compliment to Allan's playing, he understands the perplexing chord structures that Holdsworth is so well known for, and his use of strange synth voicings fit perfectly with the bands eclectic sound, He is given ample space to show his wares, and gives the color to the music. What can one say about Allan Holdsworth, that hasn't been said, his effect on a generation of guitarist's is still coming into fruition, what he does either from a soloist standpoint, or in an accompaniment role is the stuff legends are made of. His use of ambiance, strange chordal progressions, and scales unheard will leave even the most accomplished players bewildered, his contribution to the shattering of traditional theoretical guitarist concepts as applied too jazz and fusion, are immeasurable,one simply has to hear him,or better yet see him to understand why. By now you may be getting the notion that I am reviewing a AH CD, and it's just as well, as this CD would be easily mistaken by even the most adroit AH fans as one of his own, as all the elements are here, in fact all the musicians are also, so this combination of talents will always have a undeniable likeness no matter who's name is on the CD cover.
Forty Reasons was drummer Chad Wackerman's debut solo project from 1991 and featured luminaries such as Allan Holdsworth on guitar, Jimmy Johnson on bass and Jim Cox on keyboards. Considered by many fans to almost out-Holdsworth a Holdsworth solo release, Allan is at his silkly legato best over these eleven instrumentals, melodically and harmonically driving the quartet into fusion nirvana. Forty Reasons was written up in Down Beat, who stated, "This one's a burner from the get go", while Jazziz Magazine enthused, "A recording that offers a formidable showcase for one of the most powerful and expressive young drummers in rock or jazz." A simply powerful fusion summit.