Talented fuze sideman Tony Grey (Hiromi, John McLaughlin) really connects on his third solo outing, weaving bass loops and wordless vocals into an ethereal soundscape that develops thematically over nine cohesive tracks. “Awake and Dreaming” and “Why Do People Hurt Each Other” set the stage, each contrasting melodic, Metheny-esque introspection with more angular, intense B sections. “Say What You Mean” and “Out of Something” add an Indian fusion element (courtesy of Shakti members U. Shrinivas and V. Selvaganesh), the latter showcasing Grey’s surprising piano skills. A pair of dark, stark ballads, “No More Struggle” and “Some Are Saved,” thrive on Grey’s close-voiced chords and deep throb, while “Living Underground” rides a sinister overdriven bass ostinato and features glowing solo turns by Grey and harmonica heavy Gregoire Maret. “Song From Above” ends matters on an uplifting note, dabbling in the pop fringes of U2.
CD Review: Tony Grey "Elevation"
For his fourth solo outing, Tony Grey—whose mastery of the 6-string ranges from effortless neck-scaling solo flights to panoramic collages of chordal melodies, loops, and effects—shares the spotlight with seven 6-stringers of another kind: guitarists John McLaughlin, Mike Stern, David Fiuzynski, Reb Beach, Nir Felder, Fabrizio Sotti, and Tomayasu Hotei (aided by the supple stickwork of David Throckmorton on all but one track).