Marmaduke Records presents


Review from SFK

A stellar instrumental collaboration of Jeff Kollman, Barry Sparks, and Shane Gaalaas, Cosmosquad weaves elements of jazz fusion, latin rhythms, blues and rock into an eclectic musical blend with their self-titled debut release.

Guitarist Jeff Kollman has had an active career as an instrumental artist, producer, studio session player and mastermind of the hard rock group Edwin Dare, a band that has received international acclaim for their outstanding musicianship and songwriting talents. Jeff wrote and recorded over 50 songs for television, including ESPN, ABC, TNN, Nickelodeon, the Discovery Channel, and MTV. Budweiser, Nissan, and Mountain Dew are among his many commercial credits. Jeff's producing history includes two Edwin Dare albums, two solo instrumental albums, Schizoid and Into the Unknown, and the new Cosmosquad release. As a studio guitarist, Jeff has worked with artists such asBruce Hornsby, Linda McCartney, Lyle Lovett, and studio aces Kenny Aronoff, Lee Sklar, Abe Laboriel, Tim Pierce, and Nashville great Matt Rollings. Jeff received the honor of "Ohio's Best Guitarist" in the 1991 Guitar Wars contest and was featured as a guest teacher in the May 96 issue of Guitar Techniques magazine.

Bass player Barry Sparks began performing at the age of ten, and has over a dozen records on his resume, including MCA guitarist Guy Mann Dudes, Fight's Robbie Lochner, and Shrapnel vocalist John West. Yngwie Malmsteen's Magnum Opus, I Can't Wait, and the video Live at Budokan are among Barry's many recording experiences. Barry accompanied Malmsteen on two world tours before joining the legendary MSG, recording Written in the Sand and the new 25 year anthology The Michael Schenker Story Live, taped in Tokyo on a Japanese tour with the renowned guitarist. Barry's mastery of the groove imparts great substance to Cosmosquad. He also lends his talents to an upcoming project with Jeff, Shane, and Swedish vocalist Lief Sundin, tentatively titled Truth.

Drummer Shane Gaalaas is a classically trained musician, fluent on guitar, piano, and percussion; Shane studied at Canada's Grant McEwan Music College as well as the Musicians Institute of Technology in Los Angeles, where he graduated with honors. Since his graduation, Shane has subbed for teachers at MI. Shane has been involved with bands such as Canada's Hells Bells, The Heat (with Loverboy guitarist/producer Paul Dean) and Diesel, as well as traveling to Europe to record with Czech star Melos Dolesial. Recommended by celebrated drummer Deen Castronova, Shane joined Yngwie Malmsteen's band for the recording of Magnum Opus and Live at Budokan and a two year world tour. Shane appears on Written in the Sand and The Michael Schenker Story, in which he not only handles percussion duties, but also accompanies Michael on guitar for an acoustic segment of the record. Shane has been featured in numerous publications worldwide, including Modern Drummer,Guitar Player and Burrn magazines.

With such a wealth of talent and experience, Cosmosquad emerges as a multidimensional collaboration of stylistic inspiration, polished musicianship, and unique songwriting. So much more than just another guitar hero record, the musical storytelling and versatile rhythm section make the definitive statement of Cosmosquad.

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SFK review:

COSMOSQUAD - COSMOSQUAD (B) Marmaduke Records, 1997

Edwin Dare and solo guitarist Jeff Kollman has teamed up with ex-Yngwie Malmsteen and MSG rhythm section Barry Sparks (bass) and Shane Gaalaas (drums) to form the all-instrumental project Cosmosquad. The trio stretches beyond its classic hard rock/heavy metal background into funk and jazz all over this 10-song album. "El Perro Vaila" starts things off with a fluid, feel, some great soloing, and a Latin-style drum break. The jazz aspects of the album range from the funk/jazz rock combo of "Epapo Funk" to the slower, smoky feel of "Slowburn" to the full-on jazz of "The Scene" and "Pugs In Central Park". (In fact, these last two sound like they'd be right at home as backing music in a "Peanuts" TV special--and that is *not* an insult!) Of the heavier/more straight ahead rock tunes, "I.N.S. Conspiracy" and "Stretch Hog" resemble Dream Theater in places and closer "Galactic Voyage" is a bass-driven number that's both laid back and commercial. All in all this is a pretty diverse album that might surprise fans of the band members' previous efforts. - TW

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