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Joe Gallant & Illuminati
Shadowhead  (AC-5044, released 2001)

Joe Gallant and Illuminati have made some of the most sensual, ambitious and uncategorizable large-ensemble recordings of the last ten years, including full-album interpretations of the Grateful Dead's "Blues for Allah" and "Terrapin Station" which managed to honor the originals and turn them inside out at the same time.

A set of Gallant originals, "Shadowhead" draws upon the full power of a large ensemble including strings, horns and percussion, blending and juxtaposing a stunning array of styles. Joe Gallant and company create a fantasmagorical soundtrack for life in today's exciting and scary world of no borders and infinite possibilities, best exemplified by their home base of Manhattan.


 The ten tracks of "Shadowhead" unfold cinematically, layers of guitars, synthesizers, percussion, loops and strange undefinable sounds mixed with the unmistakable sounds of real strings and real horns. A range of vocalists execute Gallant's stark and vivid lyrics, and among the 26 musicians heard on the CD are excellent horn soloists and a hard-driving rhythm section - anchored by Gallant's virtuosic and powerful electric bass - capable of cutting from afro-latin grooves to disco to surf-rock to Bernard Hermann-esque string passages instantaneously and making it all supremely musical and coherent.

The superb sound of the CD, bringing together so many elements into a seamless whole should be no surprise - leader Gallant works during the day as an Emmy-winning sound designer for the CBS program "The Guiding Light. "

All told, "Shadowhead" is an incredible treat for the ears, a vast and intense journey through the mind of an exceptional composer and music visionary as he contemplates the pleasures and pitfalls of life in the new millenium.



Maxim Moston - violin

Joe Deninzon - violin

David Gotay – cello

Julia Kent cello

Rob Henke - trumpet

Barbara Cifelli - soprano sax

Jeff Newell - soprano sax

Jody Espina - alto, tenor & soprano sax

Erik Lawrence - tenor sax

Rick Faulkner - trombone

Bob Hovey - trombone

Catherine Russell - voice

Karen Mantler - voice

Lex Grey - voice

Calamity Jen - voice

Paul Anthony Stewart - voice

Evan Gallagher - piano & synthesizer

Scott Chasolen - Hammond B3 Organ

Andrea Beth Paykin - synthesizer & voice

Rolf Sturm - guitar

Rob Wolfson - guitar

Jaren Barkan - guitar

Gary Miles - guitar & voice

Joe Gallant - contrabass guitar, sound design & additionals

Alan Lerner - drums & percussion

George Hooks - percussion

1. Shadowhead

2. Vivian

3. Scourge

4. Ché

5. Aurora

6. Liquid Heart

7. Tess

8. Sparky

9. What Time Does

10. Breath