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Vic Juris: Blue Horizon (2004)

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Vic Juris: Blue Horizon How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

With a program of his own compositions, guitarist Vic Juris maintains a smooth concept for this dreamy project. A cool and calm sense of serenity pervades, highlighted by the blend of vibraphone and guitar timbres. Spanish classical guitar has left a significant impression as the composer paints pictures of various pastoral themes.

"889," the session's only up-tempo romp, emphasizes the leader's masterful technique and his powerful sense of swing. With Joe Locke, he lights fires along the road to straight-ahead bliss.

The remainder of the session deals with dreamier passions. Languorous in most aspects, the guitarist's smooth approach provides his audience with an overabundance of melody and harmony, while oftentimes placing rhythm in the background. Juris provides musical therapy for the soul. It's a session that can slow your heartbeat and calm your nerves.

"Labyrinth," well named for its woven melodic pattern, takes the listener on a dreamscape tour. "Kling On" drives moderately with an underlying, foot-tapping pattern, while guitar and marimba rise and fall with spontaneity. It's the album's high point. Here, both Juris and Locke have found a relaxed atmosphere that allows them to release their creative thoughts unencumbered. "Sunset on Vega" returns to a smooth, dreamy format that emphasizes the guitar's classical history, while "Uphill" churns forward to a walking bass pattern with a contemporary melodic style.

Juris, a veteran who's paid his dues many times over, has shown that his concept of modern jazz covers a lot of territory. The freedom that he has given himself here brings delight to the listener.

Track Listing: Dancing Shadows; Soft Spoken; Labyrinth; Kling On; Uphill; Gojo Duo; Sunset on Vega; Domo Duo; The Spanish Horse; 889; Vjay Duo; Blue Horizon; I've Heard That Song Before.

Personnel: Vic Juris- guitars; Joe Locke- vibraphone, marimba; Jay Anderson- bass; Adam Nussbaum- drums; Jamey Haddad- percussion; Kate Baker- vocal on "Dancing Shadows."

Record Label: Zoho Music

Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


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