In a very recent video, (http://youtu.be/Yhsm0jfhk1Q) Steve Lukather showcases a bit of his dexterity on the guitar. Talking quietly about thirds, fourths and fifth (sporting an impressive theoretical knowledge) he shows numerous examples, licks and ornaments referring to the language, the “vocabulary“, a key-word to interpet a work like his “Transition”.
It’s almost like Luke knew all about “Devoto-Oli”, ( a famous Italian Dictionary http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Il_Devoto-Oli._Vocabolario_della_lingua_italiana) , skillfully choosing each term, each synonym and turn words into perfectly articulated sentences, always original, edgy and rich. A single semitone sounds incredibly sophisticated with Steve’s touch, staying heartfelt and spontaneous. The good ol’ Luke has been enjoying a new-found musical youth for some years now: after “All’s well that ends well”, exploring even more extensively on what was previously started on “Every Changing Times”, new album “Transition” sounds really bright and upbeat as ever within Lukather’s songbook.
A sign of a new-found serenity in his life and work: 2012 alone saw a TOTO reunion, a slot at the G3 concert with Steve Vai and Joe Satriani, as well as a position in the Ringo Starr Band ( a real treat for such a Beatles fan as Lukather, who also played with George Harrison).
The quality of his compositions and arrangements, the superb vocals and soulful guitar playing make this record worth to be listened to. album was produced, arranged and performed by Luke himself, and it explores many genres, striving to create an original mix that truly boost his personality as a solo artist.
Maturity is an goal that artists do not always reach, often falling back into the same old cliches, but this is definitely not Luke’s case. He has obviously a lot to say, even after almost 40 years of an impressive career. The thing that strikes me is Luke’s guitar playing. This record features something new and fresh: A sound that cannot be compared to that of 10 years ago, let alone that of the 80s in the style, nerve obsessive or invasive, but always on the forefront of the mix. Steve’s guitar is central, eden now, with the instrument covering a minor role in music for a few years now.
The music of Transition is really enjoyable, the record flows interesting and captivating from beginning to end, driven by a guitar playing worthy of a true guitar icon.
This is Luke, the guitarist.