Music is proud to present two re-releases
from the world’s most famous female
guitarist Jennifer Batten in June 2008 –
“Jennifer Batten - Above, Below &
Beyond” and “Jennifer Batten’s
Tribal Rage – Momentum”.
Below & Beyond” was Jennifer’s
debut solo album and saw her garner major
press attention in the worlds leading guitar
and rock press. Home to devastating technique,
a unique touch and individuality the album
is rightly regarded as one of the premier
guitar instrumental offerings ever recorded.
The buzz on Jennifer Batten rose from the
guitar underground, and the guitar magazines
promptly began chronicling her savvy musicianship
and highly original approach to the electric
guitar in print. At one point Batten was
in 6 different bands, playing everything
from straight ahead rock, to metal, fusion,
and funk. A major turning point came when
she was selected from over one hundred guitarists
to play in Michael Jackson's highly skilled
band which toured the world for one and
a half years playing for over four and a
half million people. Jennifer wasted no
time after the “Bad” Tour's
grand finale, diving into work on her own
album with renowned producer (and Stevie
Wonder guitarist) Michael Sembello. The
stunning results can be heard on “Above,
Below, and Beyond”, the title appropriately
describing the interesting diversity within.
With this debut release, the world at large
learned what all the excitement was about
and despite being out of print and hard
to obtain for a number of years is available
once again via Lion Music.
On the album Jennifer comments, “Above,
Below, and Beyond” was my debut record
in which I explored a lot of different musical
directions. I began recording this in the
80’s when all the hair bands were
raging, and guitar players were all concerned
with speed and flash. Michael Sembello of
the hit song “Maniac” fame produced
FLIGHT OF THE BUMBLEBEE
was a classic chops challenge. I found a
way to get much more speed than ever in
the past by using both hands to fret notes
instead of using a pick in the right hand.
This track was a challenge for me more than
anything else. I found some sheet music
for it that my mother had laying around
and learned it while experimenting with
YA AIN’T NOTHIN’ LIKE A FAST
was written from a request from my producer
to write something ZZ Top-ish for a car
movie. It’s faster than the average
ZZ song but has that Southern boogie groove.
I now call it a ZZ Top on crack song!
WANNA BE STARTIN’ SOMETHIN’
inspired by my first Michael Jackson tour
as that was the song we started every show
with. I listened to his version of it intensely
for a while, and heard so many details and
care put into the production of it, I fell
in love with it. My version is quite a departure
is the only real vocal tune on the record
with vocals by raspy singer Michele Rohl.
Although it’s an Aretha Franklin cover
song, again I changed it up quite a bit
from it’s original R and B flavor
and made it rock and threw in some pyro
for the solo.
is dedicated to Digitech’s whammy
pedal which was new at the time. I fell
in love with the possibilities I could have
with that pedal and found a way to make
the guitar sound like an angry cat.
is pure fusion meets metal. I wanted it
to be as choppy and weird and challenging
as possible. It’s kind of Yngwie meets
Zappa meets Vai track. It’s a manic
tune with no hope of ever being on radio.
found me using not one but two whammy pedals
at the same time, which allowed me to jump
several octaves with foot movement. It was
a challenge to coordinate and I’ve
only ever played it live once. It’s
a solo piece of tapping chops that requires
is more of a hip hop groove with vocoder
vocals by Michael Sembello. I used the whammy
pedal to emulate a slide guitar in this
snaky effort. This was also my first rap
which I didn’t like then or now :-)
9) VOO DOO is kind of a film like
track written by the Sembello brothers.
I loved the sound effects in the intro and
took that inspiration through the rest of
CRUZIN THE NILE
is one of the only clean guitar tracks on
this record. I wrote this as a solo piece
and it ended up with some cool percussion
that Sembello programmed, and the fantastic
foreign vocal sample that adds so much to
the ambiance of the track. I’m now
performing this live with a lot of Egyptian
imagery in the film that accompanies me.
TAR-ZENS DAY OFF
reverts to many weekends filled with watching
old Tarzen movies on television. It was
such a different experience than the one
I was growing up with, that I became engrossed
and fascinated with it. The African drums
especially added so much to the movie’s
feel, it stuck inside my DNA forever. I’m
still trying to express the magic I felt
from that world in the jungle.
is the John Coltrane tune which he wrote
primarily as a study in chord progressions.
It’s a challenge for anyone. I played
his solo for the jazz version of this song
and then did a two hand tapping solo over
a couple choruses of it. I also played this
for my Michael Jackson audition.
is one of the most metal sounding tracks
with a distorted wicked guitar groove teetering
on a bed of wackiness and
» Jennifer is one of the highest profile
guitarists in the world.
» 'Above, Below & Beyond' has
been out of print for a number of years.
» Jennifer is currently running a
tutorial column in Guitar Player magazine.
» Jennifer if available for interview,
to arrange your publications, please contact