Phil Cavalieri grew up in the rock and roll era, with much of his early learning on guitar coming from copying the greats of 1970’s rock. Santana, Jerry Garcia and Jimi Hendrix all had heavy influence on the developing guitarist, but it was the improvisational forms of jazz that really caught Cavalieri’s attention and started him down the path to musical revolution.

Cavalieri is documenting his unique method of outside playing for fusion jazz guitar. You’ll get an idea of what that means when you listen to the wonderfully anarchic The First Third, which mixes jazz improvisation with the bravado of progressive rock and a bit of the psychedelia of The Grateful Dead. Cavalieri shows off some solid improvisational skill on “Galanga”. The Hammond work here is quite excellent, although the guitar intrudes over the top in ham-handed fashion. This isn’t to say that Cavalieri’s guitar work is bad on the piece; quite to the contrary. Cavalieri is adept with a guitar in his hand. …. “Pearl” is aptly named, and the highlight of the album. Starting with a somewhat reserved guitar opening steeped in reverb, “Pearl” opens up into a wonderful little jazz improve piece. Cavalieri finally finds the musical cohesion…….

Spend some time with The First Third and it will become quickly apparent that Phil Cavalieri is a very talented musician……. Wildy Haskell