DAVID T. CHASTAIN
(Originally released in 1991)Acknowledged the world over as a virtuoso musician, guitar wizard David T.
Chastain has received reams of accolades from the media for his exceptional
work on both his instrumental and group efforts. His third
solo album, appropriately titled Elegant Seduction (Leviathan Records),
presents the artist in a light which will win you over with power and grace.
Each track on the 11-tune LP explores new musical horizons with the kind of
sublime sophistication which Chastain has come to be known for. At the same
time, it is a record for the serious music student as well as the fan of
heavy metal and jazz fusion.
Referred to as "the most prolific musician in
rock" by Hit Parader Magazine, Chastain composed all the tracks on Elegant
Seduction himself. Not surprising when you learn that he has always placed
composition at the top of his list of priorities. "For me, composing is a
very natural process. Nothing makes me happier. I always leave a tape
recorder on, even when I practice. Then I go back over it to search for
ideas and sounds I like, unifying and incorporating them into the material I
record and perform."
Chastain lists "Fortunate Happenstance" and title track "Elegant Seduction"
as two of his favorite cuts. "I prefer a very up tempo style with a strong
fusion feel, which I was able to express on these tracks. It's a nice change
of pace for me to get away from the very heavy, dark, Gothic sounds on my
Naming his favorite fusion guitarists who have been influences
on him, Chastain points to Allan Holdsworth, Al Di Meola, and John
Opening cut "Schizophrenic" spotlights the versatility of this guitarist
extraordinaire. Chastain negotiates the transitions with taste and
proficiency by incorporating numerous musical influences and styles--from
blues to classical, metal to fusion. The result ties together many styles
into a seamless whole. The classically influenced "Pompous Rompous" features
Baroque counterpoint and arpeggios reminiscent of Bach's Prelude in C.
"Images" is a piece which features Chastain's acoustic style and non-strand
Produced by Chastain himself, Elegant Seduction was recorded at
Kajem/Victory studios in Philadelphia, PA, and engineered by Joe Alexander
(who has also worked with Vinnie Moore and Metal Church). "This album is a
growth from the last one. The guitar comes through much cleaner, and is
absolutely the best guitar sound that I've had yet."
For the LP, current Chastain band member David Harbour plays bass; drummer
Rick Porter, who toured with the Chastain band in 1990 rounds out the group.
In the summer of 1990, Chastain released an instructional video,
"Progressive Metal Guitar-Instruction and Performance," released by
Backstage Pass. Designed to teach aspiring guitarists, the one hour tape
features the maestro demonstrating many of the rare and exotic scales which
characterize his style. Included is the classical feel of the Gypsy Minor,
and bluesy pentatonics. Among the myriad of good advice Chastain has for the
fledgling musician is the importance of learning as much about music theory
as possible, right from the start. "Theory provides the foundation to learn
more quickly, and understand your music more deeply, I feel that it's best
not to copy other guitarist. Everyone has their influences, and we all have
to learn from others, but it is too easy to rely on someone else for ideas
which we should find on our own. Improvisation is the best way to meet this
challenge. It allows you to shift the focus of attention to your own riffs
and melodies, inspires creativity, and provides an outlet for incorporating
music theory into everyday playing."
Obviously Chastain follows his own
advice, displaying the merits of these theories on Elegant Seduction.
Chastain believes that his approach to a solo album is quite different from
his efforts with the Chastain band. "On solo albums, there are no deep
meanings in the songs- my statements are solely musical. There also is less
of a tendency to overplay musically because there's no need to cram
everything I want to express into a short solo break. I have much more space
to develop my ideas, and experiment with new sounds."
Elegant Seduction is Chastain's most expressive effort to date, combining
numerous musical influences together. the listener experiences new musical
horizons without ever losing touch with the heavy metal feel that has made
this heralded musician a favorite among guitar fans. With the release of
Elegant Seduction, Chastain's innovative mix of guitar styles is sure to
please his long time followers, as well as win him new audiences.