Ron Sayer Jr – Leo’s Workshop

Independent (label)

30 December 2020 (released)

15 h

Many years ago a friend gave me a copy of ‘Jeff Beck’s Guitar Shop’, a series of instrumental tracks by the great Jeff Beck which became part of my standard listening for pleasure selection ever since.
Ron Sayer has now produced ‘Leo’s Workshop’, an album of 9 guitar instrumentals which, since I received my copy has been on almost constant rotation ever since – this album is the nuts, the dogs, the primo slice. Oh hell yeah!

All the tracks are written by Sayer and he plays all the instruments – guitars, bass, keys – except drums which are handled by the estimable Wayne Proctor.

The musical range is remarkable from the jazzy ‘Space Hog’ with it’s fat bass line and swirling keys under Brecker Brothers style fuzzed guitar workout to ‘Say Watcha Wanna’ which is pure grumbling funk with tons of wah wah just loaded with groove. ‘Fat Licks’ is a track described thus by Mr Sayer: “ The twin guitars aim for a vocal style melody inspired by my cats having an argument in my kitchen late one night.” and the argument really does take place before your very ears – again a great sense of groove and danceable as heck. The album closes on the sweetest number on the album ‘The Altruist’ which demonstrates that Sayer can do mellow as well as groove.

My favourite track is ‘Hitch & The Skellington Mystery’ which brings the atmosphere of a fifties noir detective thriller and the romance of the love story that should underpin it.

You get the picture – this is a stunning example of guitar playing at its sublime best , thoroughly indulgent but completely listenable to as well. So many of this type of project disappear up the proponents own ass but Ron Sayer keeps the scale within sensible limits and creates tracks that work as things you actually want to listen to.

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