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Oliver Gannon & Bill Coon: Two Much Guitar (2006)

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Oliver Gannon & Bill Coon: Two Much Guitar How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

Here's another new offering for afficianados of jazz guitar duos! Veteran Canadian jazzmen Oliver Gannon and Bill Coon team up for eight duets, ably assisted by bassist Darren Radtke and drummer Dave Robbins, for this live recording at the Cellar Jazz Club in Vancouver.

In the liner notes, label honcho Cory Weeks finds a unique way for the listener to differentiate between the two guitar stylists, and it seems to work. In the setting of this album, he describes Bill Coon as a melody player who performs ballads in the style of Canadian guitarist Ed Bickert, while Oliver Gannon's sound is a little "harder," emulating a Wes Montgomery style of delivery. Ordinarily I would dislike generalizing in this manner, but it does seem to work, and it certainly helps to distinguish the two plectrists.

As you'd expect, there is a lot of give and take between Coon and Gannon insofar as the duelling guitar approach is concerned. On the up-tempo opener, Charlie Parker's "Chi Chi," Bill Coon starts off like the Jim Hall of twenty years ago before handing things off to Oliver Gannon, who enters with an octave approach a la Montgomery. For the Coon original "Zattitude," the guitarist adopts a grittier approach before Gannon takes over.

Both "All The Things You Are" and "Darn That Dream" are given reflective ballad readings by the two, and on "Have You Met Miss Jones," taken at a medium pace, Coons opens with a lengthy and lyrical statement, followed by a swinging Gannon solo. All in all, not a bad hour spent!

Track Listing: Chi Chi; All The Things You Are; Polka Dots; Zattitude; Darn That Dream; Have You Met Miss Jones; If You Could See Me Now; So Nice.

Personnel: Oliver Gannon: guitar; Bill Coon: guitar; Darren Radtke: bass; Dave Robbins: drums.

Record Label: Cellar Live

Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


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