My mood today was to hear some expert guitar playing.  When I get this feeling I tend to search for some progressive rock albums to really get my mind flowing.  This morning I found a genre mix that you don’t see very often – progressive rock mixed with Jazz fusion.  This definitely calls for a listen.  Let’s get introduced to Dennis Haklar and his new album Lizard’s Tail.

Dennis grew up not too far from me in Perth Amboy, NJ where he studied jazz guitar as a child.  When he got to Rutgers, he moved on to electronic music studies and discovered the computer tools to take his music to the next level.  Through this he also mastered recording techniques and became the head engineer at Pyramid Rec Studios.  Now with all these pieces in place he started combining them in strange ways to create extremely interesting music.  He recently started collaborating with Jon Anderson, the voice from prog-rock legend YES.

Dennis Haklar’s Lizards Tail is the culmination of all this into his own unique style of music.  This is smooth jazz music you can try to relax to until the progressive sounds come in and fully immerse you in a new world.  Songs like ‘Dawn Of An Era’ give you moments of both of these musical elements while keeping your ears in tune to the changes within.  My favorite is the wild ‘Low-Lee-Tah’ a modern adaptation of the 11th House classic penned by Larry Coryell.  The guitar work is phenomenal on this track and fills your brain with so many sounds going on that it almost paralyzes you.

Bottom line: Lizard’s Tail is a great find for the jazz fusion lover that is looking for something a little more exciting.  If Dennis can also reach the classic prog-rock fans of YES with this album, he may have a success on his hands.

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