"A Whisper in the Thunder" CD - Tom Griesgraber

With his latest solo release, "A Whisper in the Thunder," Tom Griesgraber brings us a beautiful recording of the absolute best from his work of the last five years. The fruit of his labor is a masterfully crafted set of nine original pieces featuring his distinctive Stick work as well as contributions by the California Guitar Trio, drummer Jerry Marotta (Peter Gabriel and Tony Levin Band), King Crimson drummer Pat Mastelotto, NS/Stickist Don Schiff, and several other musicians. 

Tom has always been a bit of a stickler for the quality of his live sound and is no different in the studio. His attention to detail pays off big dividends as the recording of this CD is superb. The sounds of the Stick, clean, processed and driving MIDI sounds, as well as the drums percussion, guitars and bass (the last also played by Tom) are lush and clean without being overpowering at all. 

"A Whisper in the Thunder" reflects Tom's ethic of Stick performing and arranging, where his choices are made in service to his music and not to his instrument. His strong sense of melody is all over this record. The first track, "Ahab," jumps right in with signature Mastelotto percussion along with Tom's airy accompaniment on bass and Stick. From there, the record moves through a series of solo Stick and ensemble tunes, from the solo "El Prado" through the catchy "77 Times" and into the "Jungle" composition parts I and II that lead the listener through a buffet of moods culminating in the loop laden finale in part II. The record ends with a dynamic and powerful rendition of a quintessential Griesgraber tune, "Waking the Day." 

Besides its great appeal to any fan of contemporary instrumental music "Whisper" should be considered a "must have" Stick CD of 2004. Tom makes good use of not only the clean and full sound of the Stick itself but also shows off tasteful use of audio processing on the instrument as well as MIDI. This and the inspired sonic interplay between The Stick and the drums and percussion make this record a joy to hear from start to finish.