33rd St Records #3303
Produced by: Gregg Rolie w/Ron Wikso

Released: OUT / Website
Closest Relative: Santana, Abraxas Pool
GENRE: Latin rock

  1. Give It To Me
  2. Down To Rio
  3. Love Is Everything
  4. In My Skin
  5. Ordinary Man
  6. Going Home
  7. Domingo
  8. That's The Way It Goes
  9. Con Todo Mi Corazon
  10. Breakin' My Heart
  11. Let It Slide
  12. Orient Express

Let's get this straight right from the top - this is not an AOR release. But at any given stage, it's not far from it! This could still easily be considered melodic rock. Just not your average rock tunes.
This is a great album, an extremely well written, well produced, well executed, played and sung recording. It's also a hell of a lot of fun to listen to.
Gregg Rolie has obviously paid a huge part in AOR history, with his pivotal parts in Journey and The Storm.
But his career is far more substantial than that, as he is also a founding member of Santana and more recently the also excellent Abraxas Pool with fellow Journey/Santana partner Neal Schon.
This album is exactly as it is titled - a return to Gregg Rolie's roots, with an album of fine Latin jazz, calypso rhythms and ultimately a huge Santana/Latin influence.
The songs feature jazzy arrangements, trumpets, brass, congo's, Timbales and more.
The band features Ron Wikso on drums and percussion, Dave Amato on guitars, Alphonso Johnson on bass, Michael Carabello on congas and percussion (also from Santana/Abraxas Pool) and Brett Tuggle (Rick Springfield) on backing vocals.
Neal Schon guests with a solo on the track Breaking My Heart.
Featuring throughout the record is Gregg's uncanny knack of creating melodies and hooks wherever possible and whenever possible.
It makes the record even more enjoyable. From the soft sulty ballad tones of Ordinary man to the hard partying Give It To Me, this record has it all.
In the wake of Carlos Santana's won breakthrough success with Rob Thomas last year or so, this record should get some airplay and if there is any justice, some high praise and sales to match.
Fans of Gregg's own solo AOR records will still find plenty to like here - lots of melodic twists and hooks - just surrounded by conga's and trumpets!
This is a mega party record - it's just great fun to listen to and instantly gets you moving when played.
BOTTOM LINE: A sensational album with not one filler track on display. Lots of hooks and lots of rich musical textures gives listeners a break from the usual fare normally on offer in this world (and on this site!).
But to fully enjoy the album and appreciate it, a small appreciation of where Gregg has come from and where his roots lie is required.
If you like the sound of AOR meets Santana/Latin rock, this is one of the best I have heard of it's kind. Also a perfect place to start if you are looking for something new and fresh.
ESSENTIAL FOR: All fans of Gregg Rolie solo, Santana fans and fans.
DISCOGRAPHY:Santana; Journey; The Strom; Abraxas Pool; Solo - Gregg Rolie . Gringo . Hands Of Time . Rough Tracks . Roots

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