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I'm a sucker for the sound of a classical guitar in jazz; I'll admit that going in. But within that sound, there are many different styles—some players do their best work in a solo context, while others shine brightest in Brazilian settings. Ken Hatfield is an all-around artist whose compositions are varied as well, as demonstrated in this collection of ten. There are funky, bluesy tunes ("Most Every Day" and the second-line "Funkissimo"), the mischievous ("Ariadne's Thread" and the title track) the churning ("The Chimera"), the gently swaying ("A Demain") and the poignant ("Berceuse," "Iphigeneia"). On the bossa "Castalia," Hatfield recalls Charlie Byrd, but without the sharper edges of Byrd's touch.
What these tunes have in common is strong and memorable melodies; there's also a directness about Hatfield's playing that conveys great warmth. He's recruited the ideal support in drummer Jeff Hirshfield—whose subtlety and brushwork are rarely matched—and bassist Hans Glawischnig, whose arco work is terrific (especially on "Berceuse") and whose thoughtful solos are not the kind people talk through when seeing a trio live.
In fact, this is an exceptional trio, and it's a thoroughly enjoyable CD. It's Hatfield's fifth on Arthur Circle Music, which is reason enough to search out the others.
Track Listing: The Chimera, A Demain, Iphigeneia, Mixed Motion, The Surrealist Table, Castalia, Berceuse, Most Every Day, Ariadne's Thread, Funkissimo
Personnel: Ken Hatfield (guitar, composer), Jeff Hirshfield (drums), Hans Glawischnig (bass)
I love jazz because my father shard it with me. I was first exposed to jazz as a kid with Eddie Condon records. I met Warren Covington when I was in College and he was leading the Tommy Dorsey Band. I sat in, and very soon after that began singing with a Big Band in Cleveland
I love jazz because my father shard it with me. I was first exposed to jazz as a kid with Eddie Condon records. I met Warren Covington when I was in College and he was leading the Tommy Dorsey Band. I sat in, and very soon after that began singing with a Big Band in Cleveland. The best show I ever attended was Earl Hines when I was in middle school. My Dad took me. The first jazz record I bought was a Dinah Washington LP. My advice to new listeners is to find artists and composers that are not mainstream. Go outside the box. Please don't just purchase what they are pushing on iTunes.