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Jimmy Bruno: Maplewood Avenue (2007)

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Jimmy Bruno: Maplewood Avenue How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

Guitarist Jimmy Bruno opts for the quiet mood, which he sets up with Tony Miceli (vibraphone) and Jeff Pedras (bass), on several of the tunes on Maplewood Avenue. The accent is on chamber jazz but they move out of it on occasion, to lend a welcome balance.

The trio sets an intimate atmosphere and lure the listener into the center of that spell. The impact is immediate, as the three ventures into "Maplewood Avenue. The melody has a lilt that is perfect for Miceli to explore. He improvises within the theme before setting out to find new pastures. Bruno is agile and lets the notes flow in sweet abandon as he lets swing seep in. He complements this with chords that harmonize the concept, the twin attributes creating alluring structures.

Song For Meg fits better into the chamber jazz format. The tranquil ballad glows as Bruno and Miceli set each other up, play in consonance, and give Pedras the vein on which he carries out his own investigation. They hold it together beautifully, never letting the moment eclipse the whole. The ambience also envelops "Easton Street Bossa. The essence of the bossa wafts across gently, the luminosity of the composition unveiled by Bruno and Miceli. Pedras sets up a different tangent, changing the ambit through the judicious use of space even as he keeps the melody in focus.

They spring a neat surprise with "Jimmy's House, an exuberant bop tune fired by Bruno's fleet runs and abundance of ideas. Pedras, a constant source of energy, pushes the pulse on the bass, feeding Bruno and then Miceli.

The music was recorded in one take without any overdubs or edits. Maplewood Avenue offers proof positive that neither was needed.


Track Listing: Maplewood Avenue; Easton Street Bossa; PA Turnpike: Route 611; Upstairs For Coffee; Song For Meg; Jimmys House; Bach Sonata Trio; Shes A Fox.

Personnel: Jimmy Bruno: guitar; Tony Miceli: vibraphone; Jeff Pedras: bass.

Record Label: Affiliated Artists, LLC

Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


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