Bad Dog U is a jazz-fusion/progressive rock band fronted by guitarist Ernie Denov, who have been toiling around the Chicago music scene for nearly two decades, finally releasing their self-titled debut in 2004. the CD is a very classy and professional sounding recording that will easily appeal to fans of fusion groups such as Chick Corea's Return to Forever & The Elektric Band, Dixie Dregs, Tribal Tech, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Jeff Beck, Helmet of Gnats, and even some of the Japenese fusion bands such as Kenso and Side Steps. Featuring Denov's tasty guitar work and the nimble keyboard playing of Rick Snyder, the band is cemented by the rock solid grooves of drummer Rick Vitek and bassist Dave Farley. Together, Bad Dog U have created a formidable debut that has much to recommend.
Most of the songs here are fairly long and very melodic, with lots of room for improvisation yet always remaining within the framework of the song. Take "Prodigal" for instance, a sophisticated jazz piece highlighted by extensive solo forays by Snyder's synth and Denov's Larry Carlton-inspired guitar. There's majestic pieces like "Olderwisersadder" (Denov gets some searing Jeff Beck sounding leads in on this one), funky burners as on "Recess", flat out aggressive fusion romps like "Skyscrapers", and proggier styles as heard on "It Wasn't Easy" or "Fancy Mixed Nuts". Regardless of the tune, there is always an undercurrent of jazz going on here, and never is a song reliant on chops. Melody, melody, and more melody is the key here folks.
So, if you dig stylish modern-day fusion with a proggy edge, then you can't go wrong with this debut from Bad Dog U. Follow the link below for purchasing information. You'll be glad you did!
1. It (Wasn't Easy)
4. A Cure For Schizophrenia
8. Fancy Mixed Nuts
9. The Wandering Truth