From the sounds of Josh Workman's debut release, he could very well be a guitar Renaissance man. His new release covers a lot of ground in jazz styles ranging from bop, Latin, and Brazilian to gypsy and even blues. The music recalls the greatsDjango, Bandolim, Dizzy, Ella, Pass, Vaughan, Ellington, Bird, and others. While it might sound like a bit of a stretch, the California based guitarist's new CD, Jumpin' At the Border
, is an extremely rewarding release that incorporates various styles concerning the jazz guitar idiom.
Backed by some long time friends and equally accomplished musicians such as pianist Larry Vuckovich ( Young at Heart, Reunion ) and percussionist John Santos (Tito Puente), the music is refreshing yet holds a timeless quality. Swing is a common thread throughout the recording, as the music contains both fire and ice on "Jumpin' At The Border," "Sippin' at the Bells," and the nostalgically hip "Ow!" The band flavors the melodies with various combinations of bebop rhythms as Workman dishes out detailed and smooth solos spliced with nice chord changes.
On other tracks the guitarist demonstrates an impressive knowledge of Brazilian and Chilean guitar modes on "Andre De Sapato Novo" and "No Me Platiques Mas." On the vocal selection "I Can't Face the Music" with singer Kim Nalley, Workman speaks the blues with a BB King-like sound, in contrast to his authentic gypsy performance on "Kali Sara." The recording features other highlights such as the lovely and poignant "My Pearl," which was written for the guitarist's wife. Contributing artists perform with top-notch expertise and help to shine the light on this talented guitarist and revealing recording.
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Personnel: Josh Workman - electric and acoustic guitars;
Larry Vuckovich - Piano;
Omar Clay,Harold Jones - Drums;
Noel Jewkes Flute - Saxophones;
Nat Johnson, Buca Necak, Perry Thorsell - Bass;
Kim Nalley - Vocals;
Evan Price Violin;
John Santos - Percussion;
The Hot Club of San Francisco Evan Price - Violin, Paul Mehling - Guitar, Ari Munkres - Bass (track 12)