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Jill YAN: "Guitar Garbage 1-2" 7

Indie 2001

Review by 23 August 2001

Garbage?! Well, no way! Actually this is an independent release but good enough to be included among the "big boys" here. Jill Yan came up with an instrumental album pretty much in the vein of Steve Vai taking the "commercial side" away. Don't let the jazzy intro fool you; this is a heavy instrumental rock album with touches of other genres (jazz, fusion, whatever) of course. The guitar and the overall sound are very fresh and up-to- date; the production is outstanding, especially taking into account that this is "just" an indie release.

Jill is a well-prepared guitarist (L.A. Musician Institute graduate) and his playing includes all the techniques a rock guitarist has to be able to handle in the 21st century, yet the Steve Vai comparison is probably the most obvious, though some of the uptempo grooving tracks remind me of some of Satriani's rocking tunes from the 90s. The only downside of Jill's playing / songwriting is that while Vai and Satch are able to rise above technicalities and become not only inventors but entertainers too; Jill fails to write memorable enough melodies / hooks in most of the tracks. The biography states that his goal is "to share his passion for music with the largest audience possible". Well, the audience of this album will definitely be instrumental guitar fans only; the songs aren't catchy enough for a "non-professional" audience.

Highlights would be the laidback "The Detune", "New Plasma" with its tempo and mood changes, the ultra-melodic "Spanish Dolphin" (probably this one could catch the attention of the wider public too), but fans of innovative instrumental guitar rock would enjoy "Techexperience" for sure as well as all the other tracks. Try to keep your eyes on this guy as he is definitely worth your attention. Recommended indeed but to instrumental fans only! He is offering downloads on his site, check some of the tunes out at