Released: 2001, Lion Music
Many of you, and all guitar heads, know the Jason Becker story. For those who are not aware of Jason’s story, I will give you a very brief introduction. At age 16 he got together with Marty Friedman to record with Cacophony. The playing was unreal - talk about major acrobatic guitar playing!! There was SPEED METAL SYMPHONY (1987) and GO OFF (1988). After recording GO OFF Jason recorded what is to me one of the best instrumental guitar albums ever!!! That album is PERPETUAL BURN (1988). In 1989 Jason was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease). Doctors told him he could expect to live for 3-5 years. Despite the diagnosis Jason auditioned for and got the gig with David Lee Roth and he can be heard on the DLR album A LITTLE AIN’T ENOUGH (1991). During the recordings he felt his hands becoming weaker and then during the DLR tour his leg was getting weak until he didn’t have the strength to be on stage. He managed to records a second solo album called PERSPECTIVE before he lost the strength to play the guitar. This is just the beginning of the story because here we are in 2001 and he is still alive and fighting this horrible disease. Even though Jason is today confined to a wheelchair, cannot hardly move or even speak, he is alive and believe it or not is in a great state of mind. You can read his articles and learn a lot from his website at http://www.jasonbecker.com
The 2 CD WARMTH IN THE WILDERNESS was released on July 22nd (2001) on Jason’s birthday. The album features interpretations of his material from David Lee Roth, Cacophony and godly solo CD PERPETUAL BURN. The awesome thing about this album is that all profits from it’s sale are being donated to the family of Jason Becker!!!! To top that off, all musicians on this tribute contributed their time and work for free. The same goes for the killer artwork, donated for free by artist. Eric Philippe. There are over 30 songs on here so I obviously can’t mention them all!! Some of the ones that stood out include:
- Rob Johnson’s “Forcefield” (Written by Rob Johnson, dedicated to Jason Becker)
- “Altitudes” by Lorben Enevoldsen
- “Eleven Blue Egyptians” by Ron Keel’s Iron Horse featuring Robert Marcello is done VERY good and it’s also one of my favorite JB songs! They even nail the crazy tremelo part near the middle, killer!
- The “band” Cosmosquad featuring Jeff Kollman, Vinnie Moore, Chris Poland, Jeff Watson, Steve Morse put together a piece they call “Jam for Jason” which has some excellent lead playing of course!!
- “ Go Off” by Evolution. How anyone can copy the insane intro exactly is amazing. This song defines SHRED. Without doubt, a jaw-dropping tune.
- “Baby's on Fire” by Josephine of Phantom Blue which features a total dead ringer for David Lee Roth - Ralph Saentz from the band Atomic Punks!!!!
- “ESP” by French guitarist Cyril Achard is one of the better vocal tracks on here with (of course) amazing lead playing.
- “Air” – not played with quite the same finesse as Jason (well who else could do so eh?) but a great rendition of this baroque classical piece by Phi Ansari Yaan-Zek & Lale Larson.
The only criticism I can make of this tribute is that there should have been even higher caliber involvement in this album. I think it’s cool that there are lesser-known players on here because it’s good to know people haven’t forgotten Jason Becker’s contribution even those who may not have heard his greatness when it first came out. More high caliber involvement would however mean that more people would know about this album and thus would buy it to support Jason. For example I strongly think David Lee Roth should have been on here as should of Steve Vai, Joe Satraini, Eddy Van Halen and even Yngwie Malmsteen!! The line up of players is impressive, but these additions in my opinion should have been added!!!!
Support Jason Becker and his family by picking up a copy of this tribute today. This is what a tribute album should be about in it’s truest sense. More information on Jason Becker can be found at http://www.jasonbecker.com
and also on the label’s webpage at http://www.lionmusic.com
Here’s a list of several of the players that contributed to this CD:
Marty Friedman, Paul Gilbert, Vinnie Moore, Steve Morse, Chris Poland, Jeff Watson, James Kottak, Ron Keel featuring from Robert Marchello, Phantom Blue, Patrick Rondat, Stuart Smith, Alex Masi, Phi Ansari Yaan Zek, Lars Eric Mattsson, Jeff Kollman, Eric Sands, Anders Johansson, Stormwind, Stephen Ross, Mike Chlasciak, Carina Alfie, Torben Enevoldsen, Lance King, Rolf Munkes, Kelly Keeling, Mark Boals, Sultan Of String, Kee Marcello, Tommy Denander, Chris Sterberl, Terry Syrek, David Martone, Jeff Scheetz, Slav Simanic, Mike Campese, Neal Nagaoka, Eric Zimmermann, Matt Bissonette, Joseph Anasatcio Glean, May Lian, Neil Zaza, Mistheria, Gerhard Pichler, Joe Lynn Turner, Ted Poley, Terry Brock, Jonathan Mover, Paul Morris, Mark Mangold, Cyril Archard, Mattias IA Ekland, Rob Johnson, Stevie Salas, Byron Nemeth, Jeff Pilson, Tony Gamble, Ron Thal, Tony Baena, Joy Basu, Jesse Bradman, James Byrd, and more!!!
WARMTH IN THE WILDERNESS Track listing:
1.Stormwind – A little Ain’t Enough
2.Torben Enevoldsen – Altitudes
3.Ron Keel’s Iron Horse featuring Robert Marcello – Eleven Blue Egyptians
4.Cosmosquad feat. Jeff Kollman, Vinnie Moore, Chris Poland, Jeff Watson, Steve Morse - Jam for Jason
5.David Martone – Higher
6.PUA feat. Carina Alfie & Linda McDonald of Phantom Blue – Becker Ola
7.Rolf Munkes’ Empire – Dogtown Shuffle
8.Evolution – Go Off
9.Mark Boals & Lars Eric Mattsson – Hammerhead Shark
10.Hit The Ground Runnin’ – Jasin Street
11.Tony Baena – If You Have to Shoot…
12.Josephine of Phantom Blue – Baby’s on Fire
13.Jeff Scheetz – Sensible Shoes
14.Cyril Achard – ESP
15.Phi Ansari Yaan-Zek & Lale Larson – Air
1.Project Alcazar – Opus Pocus
2.Eric Sands with David Ragsdale – Mandy’s Litttle Throbbing Heart
3.Paul Nelson – Blue
4.May Lian – It’s Showtime
5.Jeff Pilson – Becker’s Bolero
6.Mattias IA Eklund – Lydia’s House
7.All the Usual Suspects – Drop in the Bucket
8.Rob Johnson – Forcefield
9.Mistheria with Rick Renstrom – Urmila
10.Marty Friedman – Black Stallion Jam
11.Paul Gilbert – Hawking
12.Anders Johansson – Primal
13.Eric Zimmermann – Rain
14.Mike Campese – Concerto
15.Lars Eric Mattsson, Alex Masi, Pamme, Robin McAuley- Tell the Truth
16.Torben Enevoldsen, James Byrd, Patrick Rondat, Roh Thal, Mike Chlasciak, Sami Asp, Lars Eric Mattsson – Outro Jam