"Simon Phillips, drummer & producer extraordinaire has upped the ante with his newest instrumental recording PROTOCOL 4. Building on his past PROTOCOL projects, Simon has again enlisted the highly talented bassist Ernest Tibbs along with PROTOCOL newcomers, the superb veteran guitar shredder Greg Howe and keyboard virtuoso Dennis Hamm. All compositions were written by Simon while on tour. "The first time I've really been able to concentrate on writing material on the road. Lots of creativity on airplanes and in hotel and backstage dressing rooms", says Phillips. Perhaps the vibe and energy of touring accounts for the slightly more "metallic edge" to this new album. But, as is always the case, Simon's music defies specific labels as he fuses elements of rock, jazz, funk, classical and even world music into the mix. A case in point being the track "Celtic Run" combining a Celtic rhythmic motif with blazing guitar and synthesizer leads all held together with Phillips signature ultra-tight drumming and Tibbs ever solid bass work. "Passage to Agra" is a rhythmic musical excursion to an exotic foreign land. The tracks "Pentangle" and "Solitaire" both contain some super funky grooves underlying jaw dropping metallic jazz/rock soloing. Greg Howe's guitar work shines throughout the recording, perhaps no more so than the plaintive and anthem-like track "Phantom Voyage". Dennis Hamm's keyboard work is stunning on each and every track, whether he's soloing or adding lush orchestration. The album concludes with the monster high energy fusion track "Azorez". In addition to awesome musicianship, Simon's impeccable production and recording technique shine once more on this album. PROTOCOL 4 is certain to please longstanding Simon Phillips aficionados and is certain to also bring new PROTOCOL fans into the fold."