By Damian Fanelli
Today, GuitarAficionado.com presents the premiere of Vortex, the new all-instrumental studio album by founding Journey guitarist Neal Schon.
You can stream the album—which will be released June 23 via Mascot Label Group’s Music Theories Recordings—below.
While Vortex is rock-based, its 18 songs incorporate elements of jazz, classical and world music.
“This is an evolutionary album for me,” Schon says. “I’ve always aspired to be a better player and push musical boundaries. And sure, I’ve sold 80 million records with Journey, and I’m proud of that, but this album is really me—all based on my guitar, which is my ‘voice.’ It’s bold. There’s love, and there’s definitely fire and an element of danger. And the energy level is off the hook.”
Among the album’s guest stars is keyboardist Jan Hammer, whose many accomplishments include charter membership in Mahavishnu Orchestra. “Schon & Hammer Now” is a furious jam between the guitarist and Hammer.
“Jan is all over this album,” Schon adds. “I wrote the material to give Jan room to stretch. There are not many three minute ditties. It’s all huge, epic, bombastic…futuristic.”