February 4th, 2007

Greg Rapaport - Homunculus [Instrumental Jazz Metal]

There are those who insist that guitar heroes are born, not made.  New York guitarist Greg Rapaport makes an interesting exhibit in this “nature versus nurture” argument.  He writes and records his own music in his own home studio.

Greg mixes dark themes with metallic jazz modes and comes up with a distinctive and original sound. Things start jazzy on the opening tune The Sojourner.  The Brawler is a more subdued, haunting listening experience. The synths have a wet hollow, breathy sound, blowing like a gentle breeze over Greg's aggressive accompaniment.

Not all multi-instrumentalists or improvisers make good composers or bandleaders. On this self-produced recording, Greg leads himself through ten original compositions, demonstrating his growth into the maturity needed for those roles.  Nearly all the cuts are relatively compact numbers in the five to six-minute range.


Greg is patient with his playing, letting his ideas bloom while steadily gaining urgency and momentum over a simmering groove. With a subtlety of approach only a seasoned veteran could maintain, the guitarist’s lines build in a graceful arc to a culmination rife with glistening runs, as can be heard in The Scapegoat.  Hearing this album may be essential in understanding how instrumental guitar music can evolve as a music form: the contemporary definition of rock and roll.

Website:  www.gregrapaport.com