In the past number of years, Mr. Carlini has been attending to a modest solo career as well as providing his considerable guitar skills, arranging and composing. The Game’s Afoot is a welcome return to a group leadership role. An attractive fact about this disc is that the majority of the pieces are original compositions cast in immediately recognizable styles. "Kool Kitsch" lacks only a violin to sound like the Hot Club. "Blues Al Dente" is a moody minor swing featuring Carlini and banjo player Pat Cloud. It takes many twists and turns, all of which make sense, allowing soloists ample room to move. The lone "standard" is "Wayfaring Stranger." The quintet treats this song with respect, just not too much to stifle it. Carlini opens the piece with the unembellished melody and leads it into a gentle swing.
And so the rest of the disc goes. "Yer Bad Self" and "Musgavero" illustrate the fragile delicacy and durable swing to this music. If you're looking for something other than the current Neo-newgrass fare, look no further.
Track Listing: Kool Kitsch; Blues Al Dente; Bitter Sweet; The Game
Personnel: John Carlini
Record Label: FGM Records
Style: Beyond Jazz
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