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WAZ! "Fully Chromatic" WAZCD2

The second Waz! CD reveals a radical personnel change. Maartin Allcock and Pete Zorn remain on board, proving yet again that they are the most accomplished and distinctive acoustic accompanists in the business, but in place of squeeze-box maestro Dave Whetstone, in comes singer/songwriter Steve Tilston. Whilst this does mean a completely different musical texture and set-list, there is no compromise in the areas of good playing, good taste or good humour - each of the thirteen tracks here are object lessons in arrangement and execution.

It is to Steve's credit that so soon after his defiantly individual "Solorubato" album he not only contributes seven brand-new, well-up-to-scratch songs to "Fully Chromatic", but also produces such effective performances as a team-player. Mind you, Zorn and Allcock must share team honours - it is obvious from both album and live shows that they have high regard for Steve's literary and musical skills, and we need look no further than the insert notes to see that this regard is reciprocated; "... listen to Maart's acoustic bass solo ...", enthuses Steve at one point.I would urge you to listen to all Maart's solo whether 4-, 6-, 8- or 12-string - it is no surprise that his skills as accompanist and arranger are in such demand.

While you're at it, pay attention to Pete Zorn's playing - he can deliver scorching sax solos with the best, but it is his colourful touches of woodwind, percussion and vocals throughout that help to make "Fully Chromatic" so distinctive and satisfying.

Catch them live if you can, but in the meantime, enjoy the album!

Alan Rose

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This album was reviewed in Issue 32 of The Living Tradition magazine.