SUBSCRIBING to the notion that more is a lot more fun than less, guitar phenom Joe Satriani has compressed 10 years of his studio and live recordings onto the double-CD package "Time Machine." The result is a dizzying decade of guilty guitar pleasures, unabashedly indulgent bravado and flat-out six-string wizardry and sophistication.
After opening with three new songs, including the sinuous Billie Holiday/Mal Waldron-inspired ballad "All Alone," a kaleidoscopic retrospective of Satriani's career unfolds in all its metallic-funk flash-fusion boogie-power pop-speed demon glory, complete with experimentally loopy (and sometimes tape loopy) excursions and outtakes, expanded jams, rare oddities and a full disc of live cuts containing performances from last year's "The Extremist" tour.
Of course, material developed during "Surfing With the Alien" and "The Extremist" is included, with the latter even spawning a 16-minute atonal jag cum jam recorded in Woodstock with Satriani's bandmates on the Mick Jagger tour, bassist Doug Winbush (currently with Living Colour) and drummer Simon Philips.
Also included are rare cuts from Satriani's self-titled and long-out-of-print 1983 EP, on which he laid out the strictly solo guitar, multitrack blueprint of the curious things to come.
JOE SATRIANI -- "Time Machine" (Relativity). Appearing Wednesday at DAR Constitution Hall. To hear a free Sound Bite from this album, call 202/334-9000 and press 8122.