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Richie Summa Quartet: Tear It Down (2002)

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No stars How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

If Richie Summa’s goal for his CD Tear It Down is to successfully continue the tradition of great modern jazz guitarists, he certainly accomplishes that goal. In addition to affirming his roots in the performance of two Wes Montgomery tunes, the title track, “Tear It Down,” and Montgomery’s “Road Song,” Summa also performs an original composition “Until Sunrise” in a manner that very strongly exemplifies Montgomery’s style. Summa also pays homage to Pat Martino with his tune “On the Stairs” and also adds three other original tunes, one of which, “Blues for Sal” is in memory of the recently late guitarist Sal Salvador.

In the nearly forty-four minutes of music on Tear It Down, Summa’s playing demonstrates a delightfully light and deft approach to his instrument. Summa is also an inventive improviser, and the accompanying rhythm section of piano, bass, and drums are unobtrusively supportive to the leader and featured soloist. Scott McQuade, pianist for much of the recording also provides some excellent musical moments during his improvised solos.

The musicianship on Tear It Down is of an unquestionably high caliber, and the overall sound quality of the recording is clean, crisp and with good balance and separation between the instruments. For those who enjoy jazz guitar in particular, and those who enjoy pleasant sounding music in general, Richie Summa has put together a nice recording that would be a welcome addition to a collection.

Track Listing: Tear It Down, Road Song, The Phoenix Love Theme, On the Stairs, Until Sunrise, Skippin', World of Tomorrow, Affirmation, Musty, Blues for Sal

Personnel: Richie Summa, Guitar; Burt Wolf, Bass; Leon Anderson, Drums; Manuel Valera, Piano; Scott McQuade, Piano

Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


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