NATIVE SON (Michael Thompson) – Son Talk (2011)
NATIVE SON is the new vehicle for eminent guitarist Michael Thompson to spread his incredible talent on the six strings.
This All-Star band features ‘SON’ as a common denominator including Michael ThompSON, John “JR” RobinSON, Bobby WatSON and Mo Pleasure.
Their debut CD “Son Talk” released only in Japan slipped under my radar, but never is too late to discover this wonderful piece of music.
These monster L.A. session musicians play here a sophisticated blend of styles that could be defined as AOR rock-funk fusion. This is not a jam-like improvisation material, all songs are true compositions with marvelous melodies and fascinating arrangements.
Although Native Son is a John “JR” Robinson idea, most of the tracks were penned by Michael Thompson, a man that does not stop to surprise us in every note played with an infinite taste.
Thompson goes here from cracking rock riffs to sublime delicate phrasing, all wrapped with his unmistakable sound setup.
If you don’t know the other ‘Son’ guys by name, I assure you that you have heard them before: John JR RobisSON has become the most recorded drummer in history, from David Lee Roth to Madonna or Eric Clapton to name some.
Bobby WatSON has earned a reputation as one of the finest bass players in today’s music landscape, as member of Rufus and recorded for Quincy Jones and Michael Jackson. Mo Pleasure is a renowned multi-instrumentalist with credits from Natalie Cole to Michael McDonald.
The band adds a couple of guest vocalists to “Son Talk”, but the protagonist here is the MUSIC. And what music!
To name a few, title track “Son Talk” is just out-of-this-world; amazing rockin’ guitar tone & playing, terrific keyboard parts and a super rhythm section.
The divine “Dark Passenger” blends a midtempo pace with uptempo breaks, where you can’t believe that guitar sustain – this can’t be real. There’s one of the best keyboard / guitar duel heard in ages.
The main melody in “Glory Days” is wondrous. Things goes perfect for any top class movie soundtrack ’til the middle part where… Michael Thompson decides to play an in-cre-di-ble set of scales to teach you a lesson or two. Never in the pretentious sense, just from the good taste side, to please your ears and crumble some so-called top guitarists.
These are just few examples of the glorious moments in “Son Talk”.
Do yourself a favor, grab this masterpiece before it’s too late. Japan only.
01 – Son Talk
02 – Betty Boop
03 – Blacklight
04 – Dark Passenger
05 – Nobody Wants You
06 – Crawfish Salad
07 – Glory Days
08 – Sweet Summer Soul
09 – While She Sleeps
10 – Jambalaya
11 – My Wows
12 – Bobby’s Bounce
13 – Radiance
Michael Thompson : Guitars
Bobby Watson : Bass
John “JR” Robinson : Drums
Mo Pleasure : Keyboards
Bobby Womack: Vocals on “Nobody Wants You”
Sahara Thompson: Vocals on “Sweet Summer Soul”
Fredric Yannet: Harmonica on “Blacklight” & “Sweet Summer Soul”
BUY IT !