Joe Satriani‘s latest album, Shapeshifting, arrives today. The 13-track instrumental collection features the rock-guitar virtuoso exploring a wide variety of styles.
Satriani tells ABC Audio that the album’s title reflects its concept.
“I started writing all over the place, not trying to force myself into one stylistic road,” he explains. “And I was thinking, let’s just keep all my options open and see if I can force myself to play,…write…and produce in different ways. And it really started to snowball into this really enjoyable process of just being very free as a composer and not thinking about myself as a player.”
To record Shapeshifting, Satriani assembled a group of musicians that included veteran session and touring drummer Kenny Aronoff and Jane’s Addiction bassist Chris Chaney.
Satriani first played with Aronoff in 2011 when Kenny filled in for Chad Smith on a Chickenfoot tour. The two teamed up again last year as part of a power trio with Dug Pinnick of King’s X that played the Experience Hendrix Tour.
“[T]he deep stylistic history that is in [Kenny’s] hands is really amazing,” Joe says. “[H]e’s just such a consummate musician.”
Of Chaney, Satriani says, “He’s got that unusual blend of being a full-on rock bass player, as well as a really well-studied musician…And he’s just a great human being.”
Shapeshifting features two interesting special guests — keyboardist Lisa Coleman of Prince‘s old band The Revolution and actor/musician Christopher Guest of This Is Spinal Tap fame.
Coleman played piano and Guest mandolin on the album’s upbeat closing tune, “Yesterday’s Yesterday.”
Lisa also lent her talents to a song called “Waiting.” Satriani notes that Coleman was recommended to him when he was looking for a pianist “who had a beautiful touch and sensitivity.”
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