As musicians, there are those people we cross paths with that leave a lasting impression, and mold us as a person and a musician. For me, Fred Chandler was one of those people. Fred and I go back more than 40 years, pretty much starting in the business together. Easily the most talented guitarist I ever played with, Fred Chandler has the amazing ability to take anything with strings and a fretboard and create beautiful music with it. Technical proficiency combined with emotion that reaches the root of any song he performs, Fred draws his audience in with a God-given ability that very few possess on this planet.
With all of that being said, I was eager to hear Fred’s new album, “Tekno Teq.” I sat down, waiting to be taken on a musical rock journey, with screaming guitars, riffing bass and a rock drum beat worthy of moving your body to. I was expecting him to show the world his technical proficiency as a player. I couldn’t have been more wrong and further from the truth. Don’t get me wrong, he absolutely kills it with every instrument he picks up. Instead, I got a look into the mind of a composer and orchestrator, hearing and feeling my way through the album song by song, seeing the world through his eyes. To make that kind of complete connection with recorded music is rare, and this album is the perfect vehicle for anybody willing to take a wild musical ride.
“Tekno Teq” defies categorization, as it literally covers the gamut of musical styles, often falling into an area of alternative orchestrated music normally reserved for artist like Frank Zappa. From “Satin Dreams’, a jazzy song with some great old school disco hooks and fun solo trade offs between Fred on violin and guitar and saxophonist Ric Santiago, to “Punkass Funkass”, which has a sound and feel reminiscent of classic Parliament, Fred and his crew take us all over the place musically. As I listen to him vocally, I am always drawn to the image of a young, defiant Neil Diamond, with that richness of sound and emotional presentation that connects the listener to the message.
The thing that keeps drawing me back to this album is Fred’s command of orchestrating the arrangements of each song. Instead of going with the tried and true instrumentations for the style he is trying to emulate, he takes things to an entirely different level harmonically, building in new layers of sound that perfectly complement the melody. Each song moves in so many directions underneath, yet it is all perfectly balanced and creates a very cool sound seldom heard in today’s commercial world.
Fred has a long and illustrious career as a performer, and a reputation for being one of the best string players on the planet. “Tekno Teq” now establishes Fred as a composer, and does so with power and conviction. For the lover of original and creative music, it gets no better than this. Don’t pass it up.
For more information about Fred Chandler Music, and to purchase his latest album, “Tekno Teq”, visit his website at www.fredchandlermusic.com.