The Chris Vestre Group: Jazz Camp (2005)

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The Chris Vestre Group: Jazz Camp
Guitarist Chris Vestre has been in different musical environments, gigging and playing in Austin, Texas. This is his first album as leader and while he adopts a jazz stance, he extends his compositions into funk, bossa, and groove music. He writes some pretty good tunes (all of these are original) and his arrangements capture the spirit of his compositions.

Vestre plays with a nimble style, opening the groove with an often nimble disposition. When the band gets into "The Box, there is an air of funk, a waft of Motown kick-started by Chris Maresh on bass and Jon Greene on drums. Vestre cuts in incisively and then rounds off his notes in thick, juicy slabs. And as the beat goes along its jumpy track, Aaron Lack sweeps in on the vibes with a heated swell. The tune certainly hits the spot, and so does the lightly swinging "Dead Ant. Vestre knows how to write a beckoning melody and then dip into it and embellish it with some accomplished ideas that give the song a sturdy depth.

If there is one negative factor about this music, it is the extension of a tune further than it can be carried, a trait that marks "Sweet Honey Tree. The ballad is primed by Vestre, his guitar a lyrical voice that is shaded by Greene's sympathetic drumming. However, as it goes along, the ideas flow heavily on the backs of extended improvisation. Judicious editing would have given it strength.

Visit Chris Vestre on the web.

Track Listing: Dead Ant; Sweet Honey Tree; The Box; Easy Mood; Morgans Hill; Looking Ahead; The Twisted Logic of Staying Up All Night So You Can Get Up Early in the Morning; El Huevo

Personnel: Chris Vestre-guitar; Aaron Lack-vibes; Jon Greene-drums; Chris Maresh-bass

Style: Fringes of Jazz


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