Hint of Passion

from by Ty Showers

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Here, we find Ty Showers channeling Roberta Flack and Chick Corea, with featured guitarist Shopen Patel giving vent to his inner Al Di Meola. It’s like Return to Forever (or 1976, whichever comes first)—but with a gently-updated groove that kicks along on Ty’s signature drum samples (which somehow manage to sound both realistically acoustic and highly electronically stylized).

Sensuality is front and center, down and a little to the left. There’s more than just a hint of passion in the playing. But the patient development of the song is remarkable, unfolding from a simple intro of electric piano (that’s where I caught a whiff of Roberta’s perfume) and a tentative tambourine. Ty’s synth offers a uniquely Asian flavor, with unexpected bends into half-tones and the timbre of a koto or other Japanese (“Corean”?) instrument. His two solos feel exploratory as if he’s hunting for something hidden.

He finds it in Shopen Patel, who hits the distortion pedal hard for a barrage of a first solo that blasts us past the midway point of the tune. Di Meola is present, both in the dexterity and the tonal onslaught. An aggressive recap of the solo at the end, with some surprising chords early and some nimbly-fingered passages where Patel really lets it rip, propels us toward the fade. It’s like being carried out of the studio on the back of a wild beast.

This is a nice pairing of musical sensibilities: the restrained gravitas and grounded spontaneity of Ty Showers, and the “let’s light this thing up and see how far into clip we can go” exuberance of Shopen Patel. They’ve collaborated before on “Crack Bag,” another tune worth your while. You can feel both musicians’ joy in playing. One will kill you softly. The other will bury you in a sheet of sound. What a way to go.


Jim Howard


from 0​.​4, track released September 6, 2014
Guitar - Shopen Patel


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