NEAL SCHON — El Matador

Neal Schon is best known for his work with the bands Journey and Bad English. He was also a member of Santana before forming Journey.

Now he has announced the release of new album Vortex on June 23rd.

The 2-CD all-instrumental album utilizes rock as its foundation, while also embracing elements of jazz, classical and world music in an 18-track collection of original compositions.

The lead track from the album “El Matador” features guitarist Schon with keyboardist Jan Hammer and Journey’s Steve Smith.

Image: Kaley Nelson
Image: Kaley Nelson

We had a listen:

Not surprisingly, this starts fast and rhythmically — like a flamenco dancer’s fan cutting-through-the-air.

Although  speedy, this is also pin-point accurate.

Then the percussion becomes more and more pressing, while reflective silver threads of guitar start to ripple through the tense atmosphere.

After the first adrenalin rush — we are incited by a different sound — this time in the form of squeezed squelches

These are well-placed, besides the magnificent structural embroidery of those accompanying theatricals. Then the principle guitar arrogantly promenades itself once more, showing-off those skilful highs.

Superb tension and release instrumental-work, with super-sharp bull-lance electricity present amongst all the other high-coloured banderillas of sound.

Words: @neilmach 2015 ©
Main Image: Neal’s PRS Private Stock Custom NS-15


Vortex is released on June 23rd 2015 on Mascot Label Group

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