The musical path followed by Tommy Bolin has it’s parallels with that of oft-celebrated Randy Rhoads. Both were powerfully prodigious guitarists in the hard rock genre that were heavily influenced by seemingly opposing musical styles. Where Rhoads was drawn to classical music, Bolin brought the influence of jazz, reggae and latin music into a combustible relationship with the blues based structures favored in arena rock. Both guitarists also betrayed their talents by suffering tragic, untimely deaths at an early age. Rhoads on March 19, 1982 and Bolin on December 4, 1976. Both were 25 years old.
After an already extensive career playing with the likes of James Gang, Billy Cobham and Deep Purple, Tommy Bolin had some time to work on a couple solo albums starting with the release of Teaser in October of 1975. Following the lead of Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew, Teaser is a hard rock, jazz fusion record. On paper, the whole concept of jazz fusion may sound a bit too academic, but, DAMN if Tommy Bolin’s expertly performed forays into fusion don’t resonate with the heartfelt enthusiasm of one of the BEST GUITAR PLAYERS EVER!!!!!…. regardless of genre.
The songs on Teaser are all over the place but not uneven. Every song on this record is an absolute killer. There are proggy synth and horn heavy songs, like “Homeward Strut” and “Marching Powder”. Latin sounding “Savannah Woman” has such an amazing guitar solo it makes me wanna go to Africa to drink with Peter Beard and at some point we would be listening to Teaser and “People, People” would come on and the whole world would make sense. Title track “Teaser” along with “Wild Dogs” are completely ahead of their time even to this day…absolutely stunning songs.
Apparently Motley Crue covered the song “Teaser”.