The name of Fareed Haque, when uttered, commands instant respect in the same way Jorge Strunz, Ardeshir Farah, Gary Boyle, and other players lurking on the fringes of the public's attention do. I've followed his highly impressive work for quite some while and have to say that this one, Out of Nowhere, surprises even me, inviting close comparison to John McLaughlin's later catalogue, the one that started with Live at the Royal Albert Hall. It will come as no surprise, then, that what Fareed's doing is returning to his roots: the guy's a native Chicagoan and knows the scene well.
The choice of trio and quartet was an excellent one, as it demands much, delivers more, and leaves the listener with complete satisfaction. The very first cut, Waiting for Red, is clear proof of that, with Haque sounding highly Martino-esque in a jittery speed exposition before Rob Clearfield more than once goes nuts on the piano. I had to wipe the monkey-grin off my face several times as the song proceeded. Fareed has even said that his mission is to blend Martino and McLaughlin, but pay close attention and you'll note an unstated huge influence from a six-stringer who was once one of the giants but is presently in danger of eclipsing out of the critics' compendium of milestones and benchmarks: Grant Green.
I have a fellow King Crimsonite buddy in Chi-Town, an inventor-scientist who goes apeshit whenever Haque's name comes up, so I've had to install an electronic Quaalude transmission device whenever we write back and forth about Garaj Mahal, Flat Earth Ensemble, and other of Fareed's venues, earlier solo releases, etc. The enthusiasm, though, is well called for. This is music for deep listening, as the guitarist's sidekicks are just as engrossing, especially the wily bassist George Mraz and drummer Billy Hart. If you want to see what I mean, catch the closing Lollipops and Roses, a Perry Como number (?!?!) worked brilliantly, but, really, cut in anywhere in Out of Nowhere and expect to be hopelessly drawn into it. I say surrender to the impulse.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2013, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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