RHPII – A superb jazz rock cd with 8 of the hottest players you can find in fusion, rock and blues today: Andy Timmons, Eric Gales, Guthrie Govan, Alex Machacek, Kiko Loureiro, Jose de Castro, Randy Brecker and Greg Howe. The Richard Hallebeek Project II, or RHPII, is the follow-up to the critically acclaimed 2004 release ‘RHP’ that was released on Liquid Note Records. While RHP featured the late legendary Shawn Lane and virtuoso Brett Garsed as special guests, RHPII goes even further by adding a total of 8 guests, who are all household names in fusion and rock, to the already impressive lineup with Lalle Larsson-keys, Sebastiaan Cornelissen-drums and Frans Vollink-Bass. Amsterdam-based Richard Hallebeek is well know for his legato fusion guitar playing, by many described as floating somewhere between the best of early Scott Henderson, the fluidity of Allan Holdsworth and the pentatonic and chromatic craziness of Shawn Lane, but all melted together with his own unique twist.
RHPII is a rock/fusion album with 10 ‘real’ compositions (no bandjams) coming from all 4 bandmembers. All songs were written with the special guest who features on that song in mind, sometimes putting the guest in their comfort zone, sometimes a bit outside on purpose, but all done with respect for the player. This leads to some intriguing and already classic moments on RHPII. The opening track ‘’Wristkiller that starts with a syncopated theme has Richard open the first solo to display some of his blazing trademark lines through a set of quick changes, and his solo is seamlessly taken over by Alex Machacek (who recently subbed for Allan Holdsworth for the UK reunion) who takes those lines even further. The heavy prog-rock riffing on ‘Bring It On’ has Richard trading solos with Guthrie Govan and both end together in a diminished flurry where the notes from both players melt together. The blues waltz ‘Think Of Someting’, that is drenched in Lalle’s tasty organ playing, has ‘the tone master from Texas’ Andy Timmons play one of his most lyrical solo to date. RHPII features memorable songs and besides that, has more then enough tasty and over the top guitar playing to undoubtly satisfy the biggest guitarfans and jazz-rock music lovers out there.