This outstanding self-titled CD showcases the core of what makes up the pianist Caleb Hutslar. The music is raw, heavy, intense and technically difficult. Yet there are some lighter and more pensive moments. Caleb Hutslar's creativity and virtuosity shine throughout this concert of memorable solo piano performances. Hutslar has formidable technique and a most remarkable imagination. In this CD, he gives us a wild ride that is both exciting and breathtaking.
Though Caleb's album has many influences from classical music to hard rock, Caleb feels that it is really a jazz album. Two of the tunes were completely made up on the spot while recording (which is jazz in it's purest sense), yet others were completely written out, containing almost no improvisation, and still some were done with the standard "head" and "solo section" common to most jazz tunes. Overall, the album is a combination of various elements from various sources, artfully slammed together. This CD possesses the qualities of longing, defiance, rage and determination on the one hand, with the balancing aspects of playfulness, gentleness, and level-headedness on the other. The album possibly brings certain things to jazz that even could be considered "new" and "different".
The eternal question that haunts the recording musician is, "Should I make an album the way I want it to be, or the way I think the audience/producer/whoever wants it to be?" Caleb has saved the trouble of figuring this out by not asking the question in the first place. Instead he has created a very personal and emotional portrait that journeys to strange and beautiful places..
Significant musical influences from "the early years": AC/DC, Allan Holdsworth, Bach, The Beatles, Charlie Parker, Chick Corea, Judas Priest, King Diamond, Oscar Peterson, Ozzy Ozbourne, Rush, Slayer, Van Halen and Yngwie Malmsteen. Make what you will out of all of this.
Caleb is also the founder and semi-retired member of the contemporary electric jazz group Charged Particles: www.chargedparticles.com, whose CD Sparks is available on PKO Records. Caleb is also a member of the imaginative (and more traditionally-styled jazz group) Afterhours: artists.mp3s.com/artists/73 /after_hours_jazz Both groups rely heavily on original tunes written by the band members, including Caleb.