Album Review of
Uncommon Measures

Written by Joe Ross
February 21, 2021 - 1:46am EST
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Five years in the making due to his other commitments as a composer for film and television, Uncommon Measures is Lyle Workman’s fourth solo project and one that allowed him to seek balance and personal fulfillment in his busy musical life. His previous solo albums date back to the 1990s and early 2000s. By collaborating with John Ashton Thomas for orchestrations, Workman’s goal was to take his music to a new level on Uncommon Measures. Pursuing a creative vision to write in a no-holds-barred fashion without constraints, Workman incorporates elements from multiple genres (classical, jazz, rock), and he’s produced a most satisfying, instrumental guitar-centric album with a competent, quality orchestra. The guitarist delivers energetic solos over complex changes, and the statements made have considerable character in pieces like “North Star,” “All The Colors of the World,” “Noble Savage,” “Imaginary World” and “Unsung Hero.” Over the very solid rhythmic drive, session players provide tasty flavorings of piano, organ, violin, vibes, saxophone, trumpet, flute, clarinet and pedal steel. Other tracks like “Arc of Life” and “Labyrinth of Love,” arranged for just guitar and orchestra, channel depth of feeling and emotional resonance.  The album closes with the one song composed by John Ashton Thomas, “Our Friendship,” a sublime tribute to the enlightened music that results from such an auspicious collaboration as this one. Good company and chemistry have captured the power, passion and intensity of Lyle Workman’s musicality.  (Joe Ross, Roots Music Report)