I’ll be the first to admit that this style of music (instrumental jazz fusion) is a bit outside my comfort zone. Truth be told, I knew of guitarist Tak Matsumoto when he was in the pop rock band B’z and his session work with other rock bands. But now, with his debut solo album, he has gone the way of an eclectic mixture of jazz, blues, and rock.
Strings of My Soul is a collection of guitar instrumentals filled with atmospheric echoes, soaring melodies and a few fret-burning solos which paint vivid imagery.
It opens with the serene “The Moment,” which features a mixture of classical guitar picking mixed with scho-drenched electric guitars and a simple steady beat from the bass and drums. “Trinity” and “Koi-Uta” are very Steve Vai-ish with the dual guitar bends, and “Blue” is everything you’d expect it to be with its down south bluesy inspired guitar soloing. Matsumoto throws in one cover of the classic “My Favorite Things,” where his tasteful guitar playing takes the song to a new level.
After listening to Strings of My Soul, it is very clear why Tak Matsumoto is an award winning and well respected guitarist. The diversity of his playing, not to mention the fact of bringing several genres together in one song, is flawlessly executed. Strings of My Soul has so many different aspects you will hear something different upon each listen.