As a three-piece instrumental band ARJUN, now simply known as Eddie Arjun, released a trilogy of critically acclaimed albums, Gravity (2016), Core (2014) and Space (2013), featuring special guests Corey Henry (Snarky Puppy, Kenny Garrett, Bruce Springsteen, The Roots), John Medeski (Medeski, Martin & Wood), Jeff Coffin (Dave Matthews Band, Bela Fleck), Scotty Hard (MMW, Sex Mob, Bjork, De La Soul) reaching the top 5 on the Jamband/Relix Radio charts. Eddie Arjun is now back in 2019 with a brand new album entitled “Transition”. Project leader, Eddie Arjun Peters is incredibly talented. He has quietly and politely climbed to the apex of guitar playing, kicked everyone off the top of the hill and now sits there waiting to wear the crown. Few that I’ve heard has his kind of feel or technique to where it just flows out of him. He doesn’t sound like he has practiced what he is playing a thousand times a day. It sounds like it all just flows out of him.
Right from the album’s opening track, “There It Is”, the music is fluid and reflects an amazing musical vocabulary between Arjun and his two cohorts on bass and drums. Together they from an electrifying trio delivering spades of groove and spunk. By the time they hit the bluesy second track “Core”, this album is absolutely smoking.
The track forges a stop start rhythm and a fiery slow burning guitar. Throughout the recording Eddie Arjun manages to capture what many would usually consider to be two of the most essential ingredients for making a successful Guitar instrumental album.
Firstly, a wide range of musical dynamics especially style and technique changes, and secondly, keeping the listener captivated in his musical narrative instead of them switching to the next song; the latter being the harder part to pull off. The first part requires practice, the second is an almost innate skill which cannot be taught.
In some instances this album reminds me of some killer guitar work from the likes of Eric Johnson, Ronnie Montrose, Steven Hackett, Steve Vai, Paul Gilbert or Satriani. This is incredible stuff, except that Eddie Arjun is perhaps less showy technically than some of his peers, going more for texture and feel than sheer speed or bombast.
This is well put into practice on both the title track “Transition” and “Longass”, in which Eddie uses beautiful ingenious guitar phrasing which in turn ends up later as meaty chorus-like motifs and then linked to various hook laden lead patterns that add massively to the overall flavor of the songs.
At the beginning, “Ascent” sounds like something which a highly stung out Jeff Beck would play, but in all sense and purpose, this is pure Eddie Arjun Peters stepping into his own blues swaying shoes, all laced up in groovy fusion.
Overall this album is a marvelous example of guitar instrumental music. It’s a tour de force of technique, style and groove, with the emphasis on the latter two elements. Though on a track like “Lavalust”, Eddie Arjun adds a healthy dose of eclectic creativity in the sonics department.
It’s also a cut where the drums are allowed to shine brightly. The closing track, “Gone” is considerably more melancholic and slower, showing off Eddie’s atmospheric and melodic range add its imperious best. Eddie’s ability to flawlessly combine his love for music, with his desire to use it to express himself, shines throughout this album.
Luckily, his playing partners, Andre Lyles (Bass) and Michael Vetter (Drums) share the same aptitude. Together they make the “Transition” to instrumental magic, where searing guitar leads combine with tightly spun rhythm grooves.