New York based guitarist Joe Nardulli's self-titled debut CD inspired and intrigued some of New York’s finest progressive rock musos. After jamming with a few, Joe finally found the right people and put a band together. David Penna on drums, J. Levine on bass and Eric Davis on keys brought Joe's solo material to life. Harold Skeete and Tony Savasta are now filling the rhythm section duties. Now as a band, AD ASTRA (Latin for "To the stars" - inspired by the title of the closing track of Joe's self-titled debut CD) has taken the compositional process to another level.
With tone and melodic sensibilities reminiscent of Steve Morse and Eric Johnson, the focus is on compositions that are tightly structured, eschewing the bombast and length that progressive rock is known for. Smooth, thematic playing styles blend perfectly with soaring, uplifting melodies and odd, shifting time signatures.
The band is currently working on new material for its next release.
On The Web:
Music To Check Out:
from Ad Astra (2008):
"…sheer quality… borderline astounding. …prolific chops and a fluid, lyrically melodic style. …compositions with enough variation to maintain your interest…"
"Ad Astra is progressive instrumental rock at its finest, with each track featuring tight fusion grooves with blistering guitar and keyboard solos. If you dig listening to records by Steve Morse, the Dregs, Phil Keaggy, Jordan Rudess, Allan Holdsworth, Eric Johnson, Liquid Tension Experiment and the like, then this release should be at the top of your list to go out and grab. There wasn't a song that didn't blow me away."
"A very unique and refreshing sound, breakneck ensemble playing, exciting melodies and triumphant soloing, accessible and exultant hooks like Heaven itself reached down."
"One could compare Ad Astra to a kind of 21st century Return To Forever (mid '70s with DiMeola) but with a solid Allan Holdsworth / Steve Morse inspired vision. Even so, the best stuff here has a definite melodic end-game, even when coupled with the daredevil fusion pyrotechnics. "