OK, begin with "Abraxas"-era Santana as a starting point. Add some vintage Gino Vannelli instrumental references and take a stroll across the fringes of Weather Report territory. That sort of gives you a clue where Michael Sanders' head is at for this amazing release.
The Canadian, now living in LA, is the kingpin of this project and one heck of a guitarist. "Servants of a Lesser God" is a collection of songs that mush up a serving of rock, jazz and fusion, embellished by some engaging Brazilian percussion.
There is considerable instrumental clout on this release, particularly from Sanders, who also wrote or co-wrote all the material. His guitar is hummingbird fast at times, and that's when he's coasting. Seriously, the dude can shred. Fluid and clean. It's not just all about pedal to the metal, however. He can switch it up and throw in some tasty bits that are as integral to the mix as the fast stuff.
Standouts are the title track, which seems ripped right out of the '70s, as well as "Esoterica", and "One Trick Pony" which houses some great piano and guitar parts over a raucous percussion. Sanders is joined by a batch of top-notch talent on the record, as well. Luis Conte,(percussionist for Santana and Madonna), vocalist Andy Vargas (Santana), vocalist Bernard Fowler (the Stones), and sax player Jimi Roberts are all featured.
This is a hypnotic blend of musical virtuosity and melodic ear-pleasers that should sit well with anybody who likes their music executed by professionals that are as versatile as they are entertaining.