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Can techno-bebop-metal-fired instrumentals co-exist with vocal tunes inspired by the madcap geniuses of ‘60s pop? What if you added ambient soundtracks a la Morricone/Fripp and clavinet-singed funky from the P-Funk playbook? Top it off with acoustic ballads where smiley melodies camouflage bitter lyricism about broken love, and you sorta begin to complete the recipe.
Welcome to Cataldi’s Spaghetti Eastern Music, the new solo project of NYC guitarist/keyboardist, Sal Cataldi. Cataldi’s work has received consistent critical raves – called “truly excellent” by The Village Voice, “a stimulating soloist” by The New York Press and “a jazz virtuoso without the need to prove it” by Aquarian Weekly. Legendary Rolling Stone writer John Swenson, who penned the liner notes to Frank Zappa’s “Shut Up and Play Yer Guitar,” may have put it best: “He’s the hippie guitarist playing to another dimension.”
Time Out New York wrote: "Cataldi's largely instrumental, Eastern-influenced jams are infused with some delicate guitar work and hauntingly moody atmosphere." Newsday added: “Mad scientist-guitarist-keyboardist Cataldi’s has unleashed another project on an unsuspecting world which brings the funk and throws it in a mixer with electronica, bebop and blues.”
Cataldi’s sound is the product of an insatiable musical soul and a record collection rivaling the Smithsonian. Funk, future blues, Blue Note jazz, Kraut Rock and ‘70s-era Miles collide in instrumentals like “She Walks The Burning Stairs.” The orch pop of later-day Zombies rears its hook-laden head in “Maria” while Fender Rhodes grooves drive pieces like “Time for Letting Go.” Cataldi’s “Unemployed” is a I-IV-V rocker ideal for these downsized-times, while “Mama Called” is a haunting acoustic ballad about a weekly call from mom … made from the great beyond. “Tom November” “and “Pharoah’s Tomb” are technicolor movie music, dreamy strings and effects punctuated by sinewy guitar adventures.