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"Come Alive"
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Spotlights [Issue # 5 ]

By Pat Mavromatis

What do you get when you mix Rock with Jazz and five monster virtuoso musicians? CAB - an eclectic robust blend that you simply can't ignore. Guitar wizard Tony MacAlpine, bass phenomenon Bunny Brunnel, drum legend Dennis Chambers, Hammond B-3 master Brian Auger, and keyboard innovator Patrice Rushen come together in CAB 4, the third release for the group (Rushen joined on this last one while Auger became a part of the ensemble with CAB2). Oh, by the way, since you will be wondering already, CAB 3 is reserved for the band's upcoming live album, hence the 4 title for this studio release.

OW: Tony, thanks for taking the time. How are the rehearsals coming along for the G3 tour? [a popular tour featuring other guitar greats Steve Vai and Yngwie Malmsteen]
TM: Very well. I have just been so busy lately with the G3 tour and now the CAB release and tour as well. But I'm having fun.

OW: Well, tell me a bit about how CAB4 differs from the other CAB projects musically.
TM: We had more musicians working on this project than any other. We worked the songs quote a bit on stage, performing them live, and they really evolved in what you hear on the record. We definitely spent more time on composition this time and I think everyone felt much more creative about themselves and the band. This is a 100% more musical record; more lyrical record. We definitely have more variety and more texture because we felt more creative and freer to experiment with different things.

OW: How did the recording process differ for this record? Did it make any difference?
TM: Well, this time we did things a bit more differently which, as I said, gave us some more time to work on the composition. Plus everyone is so busy with their solo stuff it made it easier to do things the way we did.

OW: How was that?
TM: We only did a couple of live ensemble recordings [playing together in the studio]. What we did was me and Bunny [Brunel] recorded a demo of the tune that was then passed on to Brian [Auger] and Patrice [Rushen]. They added their parts and sent the whole thing to Dennis [Chambers] who put the drums. It worked great.

OW: Patrice was added to the band. You needed another keyboard player?
TM: Brian [Auger] was really busy with his band, Oblivion Express, so we would be doing some gigs with Patrice filling in. And she was great. When it came time to work on this project we thought that she would greatly compliment the band and what Brian [Auger] is doing. We play with other great musicians live, you know. Steve Weingart who plays with Dave Weckl, Virgil Donati, and others. All the time! I think that's what makes you click as a musician. Playing and exchanging ideas with other musicians in live shows. You just learn so much and you grow as a musician.

OW: Any special favorites or challenges on this new record?
TM: I don't have any favorites. They are all my children and I love them equally, as they say [laughs]. But "One For The Road" is the most challenging. It is written on keyboard and you don't want to play with cold hands!

OW: Tell me about CAB 3. When should we expect it?
TM: It has not been recorded yet. Last year we played the Blue Note clubs in Japan and it went fantastic. We will be touring again over there with CAB in support of CAB 4 and we will most likely record CAB 3 there over the next year.

OW: Time for a philosophical, if you wish, question. What in your opinion is the future of fusion?
TM: I really don't know what's in the future. But you can't be and won't be successful if you try to guess the future. The 70's people - The Mahavishnu Orchestra, The Weather Report, and others - created a new wave. Nowadays there are so many genres and subgenres and sub-subgenres. Too many titles and too many media! I think that distorts the meaning and holds back the creative process.

OW: What about Tony and CAB?
TM: For myself, I try to do the best of what I'm feeling at the time. I try to go as far as I can and I'm not afraid to work with others and experiment. That's how you progress and evolve. By the time a record is released, which is four or five months from the composition and the recording, my direction will have probably changed already. As far as CAB is concerned we are definitely staying together as a band and have plans to release many more records in the future.

OW: Thank you Tony.
TM: My pleasure!

Favored Nations

Cab Cab4

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