Apprenticed in the Don Van Vliet school of the exploding note theory, Lucas has evolved a unique and instantly identifiable style of playing. Based on a mix of jazz, blues, world and rock, his references are broad, from Davis, Zappa, Harry Smith, Syd Barrett to Richard Wagner via 30 and 40's film scores. Improve The Shining Hour is an eclectic and special brew, a retrospective of unreleased recordings of the first 20 years of his musical career. The exploding notes are heard on three Captain Beefheart compositions including Flavor Bud Living and Oat Hate. His National Steel is to the fore with former New York Doll, David Johansson on Spider Web a 21st Century delta blues, (better than the Joan Osbourne version - which has Lucas too). More slide is heard with Charles' son, Eric Mingus, who does a blues shouter's rendition of the hymn Judgement. Among the 18 tracks of this 70 minute CD, you will find an American folk version of Astro Boy, and Mary Margaret O'Hara with a quite unnerving version of Canadian poet Paul Haines' She Was Showing Me. Not forgetting a couple of short, written-for-TV pieces, and Lucas improvision with scratch artist DJ Spooky. However, "Dulce", a gentle Latin jazz song with Uruaguayan chanteuse Elli Medeiros, just wins my vote. Tremendous variety, much for most tastes and an excellent introduction to Lucas, the master musician.