Corrado Rustici – Interfulgent
Few musicians have crafted such an inspiring guitar tone like Corrado Rustici did through his own records and the ones he produced through the 80s and 90s. And few musicians have so seamlessly travelled through the extremes of collaborations with artists so different as Miles Davis and Zucchero, whom he produced for some of the greatest albums the Italian popstar made. Surprisingly, however, Rustici has released fewer solo albums you could expect, yet they are all quite intriguing. In Interfulgent he delivers a serious work of art balancing jazz fusion and melodic elements through virtuoso chops and, no surprise here, masteful arrangements.
Corrado Rustici has been one of the founding members of the cult-like italian prog band Cervello and jazz group Nova along with his brother Danilo. Followingly he moved to UK and then to USA, joinining Narada Michael Walden and he grew inspired by two of the six string greatest heroes, namely John McLaughlin and Allan Holdsworth. It’s quite inevitable to create a link between one of his early influences, the Mahavishnu Orchestra being one the most important, and today’s record. Take the maximalist keyboard intro of Halo Drive, with a deep use of the electronic sonic register is perfectly punctuated by an intricated theme played unison by electric guitar and keyboards, kindly provided by Alex Argento. The dissection of this amazing intro bars reveal his wide array of influences. First, a fingers stretching movement from lowest to highest strings, then an inventive use of rhythmic creativity balances the jazzy phrasing. Then a flurry of ascending and descending bars clearly nod at the fluid groove of John McLaughlin.
Rustici‘s guitar often dialogues with an exaggerated array of electronic devices, creating landscapes of digital futurism perfectly counterpointed by an obsessively nunanced guitar playing, thanks to a masterful use of vibrato and tone. Night of the Jackal has this intriguely straight and easy going chorus, but then the ending solo is eventually an essay in legato and fusion phrasing that defies any blueprint. Starting from a modal phrase, he then piles up an impressive array of extensions and out-playing over a easy-going tonal progression. Similarly in the title track, a catchy pop hook is the ideal ground for another impressively emotional and intricated virtuoso solo. He explicitly loves to create pop hooks in his comping, but altogether produces bursting and hypercomplex guitar pharsing.
His Holdsworthian influenced phrasing is amazingly devoted to hunting down the slightest form of emotion, like in the synth-guitar duo Khetwadi Lane. His masterful use of volume pitch and legato playing perfectly bounces over the orchestral cadence repeated over and over, and it could be easy to compare this piece with the lyrical Holdsworth‘s Hard Hat Area initial track, Prelude (not only Rustici is a huge fan of the British maestro, but eventually owns a replica of the infamous synthaxe which he played on this track).
Interfulgent is a masterful record that shows that there’s still room for great guitar fusion recordings, that this instrument has yet an impressive potential to dialogue with different cultures and at different levels of emotional level, in a place where arguments that made a lot of fuss in the past, like the distinction between high and low culture, are hopefully irrelevant.
- Halo Drive
- Night of the Jackal
- The man from Yorkshire
- Black Swan
- Khetwadi Lane
- ZuZu Blues
- The waters of Enceladus
- G. on a sunny day
Corrado Rustici: Electric and Acoustic Guitars, ©Sophia-guitar, Keyboards, Inuk, Beats programming, Synthaxe-Voice in “Khetwadi Lane”.
Alex Argento: Additional Keyboards, Synth solo in “Halo Drive”.