Neal Schon & Jan Hammer Untold Passion (Columbia)
Some things are so simple it's amazing people don't think of them sooner. Over the years, some of the finest representatives of jazz/rock fusion have had a difficult time attracting universal album radio acceptance. Examples are Al DiMeola, Jean-luc Ponty, Larry Carlton, Jeff Beck, and The Dregs, etc. As outstanding as these musicians are with their instruments, the one missing ingredient was a commercial vocal quality. Neal Schon & Jan Hammer's Untold Passion has it, as well as all the stories, rock and roll rumors and hippie myths you've ever heard about Neal Schon's great guitar phrasing. Schon has been an exceptional player since he was around 15 years old; that's when Eric Clapton put the word out he was interested. Seconds later, Santana stole him away, and Neal provides all the second guitar licks on some of the finest albums from Santana's middle period. Developing with each passing day, Journey is Schon's most current association with album radio, and here he gets the chance to stretch out and uncork a high grade performance with Jan Hammer, one of the most revered musicians in all of jazz and rock. From side one The Album Network recommends "Wasting Time," and "I'm Down." On side two try "It's Allright" and "On The Beach." If you liked Jeff Beck's Wired and Blow By Blow, you'll certainly admire all of Untold Passion, a multi-colored display of outstanding musicianship.