With an album cover like that, you’d expect some fiery, unorthodox music. With Jane Getter Premonition, you get exactly that. Jane Getter is one of the few well-known female super guitarists out there today. At first, it can be confusing, as her band is sometimes referred to as “Jane Getter”, and other times as “Jane Getter Premonition”. Suffice it to say that this band is basically called “Premonition”, just with Jane’s name stuck on the front of it for good measure. Confusion aside, this new album, called “ON”, is one that I think any prog fan would find enjoyable.
Joining Jane Getter (guitar, vocals) on this new album are some very strong musicians: Adam Holzman (keys), Bryan Beller (bass), Chad Wackerman (drums), Alex Skolnick (guitar), and some other special guests in Corey Glover and Theo Travis. More or less, this is a super group of sorts. Jane Getter Premonition, in concept, is a jazz fusion and prog rock band with some serious attention to instrumentals. I will say, though, that they have a distinctive sound mainly due to some of the crazier keyboard and guitar harmonies. This is no classic 70’s prog ripoff.
These musicians are all top notch, and all the performances are noteworthy. Bryan and Chad lay down one of the best rhythm sections of the year, with crazy time signatures and some serious meat to it. I’ve always liked Adam’s style of keys, and he blows me away this time, too, with keys that are as complicated as the guitar licks present. Whether it’s his overarching sound or his minute, driving lines, the keys are simply awesome. And, of course, Jane and Alex shine on guitar. This is the first time I’ve heard an actual album with Jane’s playing, and I’m seriously impressed. She can shred like no one’s business, or she can take second fiddle and lay down a solid foundation for everyone else. As much as I love Gilmour, I seriously think Jane surpassed him this year, when comparing their new albums.
The jazzy atmosphere and dedication to experimentation are both obvious here. And the jazz doesn’t just come through in the saxophone portions, but also in the continual push for speed, precision, and some of the time signatures. Additionally, this band seems to know how to have some fun. Corey and Jane share the singing duties, and this makes for some very fun choruses in the midst of the density of the instrumentals. With tracks like “Surprised” or “Train Man”, you hear keys and guitars crashing into each other, but then a great chorus rising above all the chaos.
Unfortunately, I do have a small issue with “ON”. I feel that this album falls prey to the same thing as so many other albums released by super guitarists, or any musician that focuses on a specific instrument. Despite some good choruses, amazing guests, and unbeatable instrumentals, “ON” just really isn’t that memorable for me personally. From the standpoint of heady music, it’s mind-blowing. From the perspective of emotion connection, there’s just not much here. Now, I can turn off that requirement in my head and just enjoy the show, but that just won’t bring me back again and again.
That said, “ON” is still an album of incredible musicianship where you can tell the band is loving what they are doing. They all work very well together and play off one another like they’ve been playing together for a decade. My favorite tracks are “Surprised”, “Train Man”, “Falling” (basically the only calm track), and, my favorite, “Transparent”. That last track exemplifies what I really want from this album. With great vocals, some heavier moments, and a good amount of space, it’s definitely the best song on the album.
So, if you want to hear some mind-bending instrumentals and a monolithic amount of skill, be sure to pick up Jane Getter Premonition’s new album “ON” from Snapper Music. The sheer talent here will not leave you unimpressed.