MacAlpine, Tony - 2002 Live Insanity

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ARTIST: MacAlpine, Tony
ALBUM: Live Insanity
LABEL: Lion Music
SERIAL: LMC 2210 2
YEAR: 2002

LINEUP: Tony MacAlpine - guitars, keyboards * Ricky Riccardo - bass * Mike Terrana - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 The Vision * 02 The Sage * 03 Sacred Wonder * 04 Box Office Poison/Piano Solo * 05 Rusalka * 06 Carolina Blue * 07 Scream Dream * 08 Kings Cup * 09 The Taker


Of all the guitarists out there in neo-classical land, Tony MacAlpine is my favourite. I've followed his career since 1986's debut album 'Edge Of Insanity', and in between all the widdly diddly fluff are some moments of supreme inspiration.

'Tears Of Sahara' off 'Maximum Security', and 'Champion' off 'Freedom To Fly' are but two. In a live context MacAlpine excels, so it's nice to finally see a live recording out in the public domain. Now I must point out, this is not a new venture, but one that goes back to 1997.

Lion have done the decent thing and given it a general re-release after being available as an indie-only effort five years ago.

The Songs

There's a good cross section of his work here: three tracks off 'Maximum Security' - 'Kings Cup', 'The Vision' and 'Sacred Wonder'.

The track off 'Premonition' - 'Rusalka' provides a nice contrast to events. Quite breezy and sultry, sort of like Eric Johnson, while the next one 'Carolina Blue' (off 'Violent Machine') sees Larry Carlton like elements among the predominant keyboard parts.

The shred attack makes a dramatic comeback with the last two tracks 'Kings Cup' and 'The Taker'. The latter track is the only one from the debut here, which is a shame, while no tracks are taken from his jazz infused effort 'Madness'. A pity as that was a diverse album.

In Summary

Perhaps not a collection of his best works, but it is a variable set of his material. I would have liked to have heard pieces like 'Wheel Of Fortune', 'The Raven' or 'Empire In The Sky' off the debut, however I'll take what's offering.

To my ears, the mix is not quite there for a live recording, but considering we've been spoilt with ten high quality studio recordings in the past, I'll let that one go. MacAlpine fans rejoice.

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