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by John Kelman
Sometimes it's not a good thing to get branded too early in your career. Called "the young Django" by Charles Mingus and operating in the same fusion sphere as John McLaughlin and Larry Coryell, Belgian Philip Catherine was pegged in the '70s as a firebrand guitarist, albeit an unabashedly lyrical one. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but Catherine's career, now nearing its sixth decade, has always been about a lot more than powerhouse fusion chops, something ...read more
by Jack Bowers
I've sometimes wondered why guitarists don't record more often with big bands. Wes Montgomery and Joe Pass, among others, proved that such a marriage can work quite well, as does Belgian maestro Philip Catherine--who reminds me of Pass--on this impressive new album with the world-class Brussels Jazz Orchestra.
Catherine wrote all but one tune, Ellington's In a Sentimental Mood, and the marvelous trumpeter Bert Joris arranged everything, sculpting graceful settings for Catherine's mellow guitar that provide ample counterpoint and color ...read more
by C. Michael Bailey
Philip Catherine has a guitar tone like that of the shine of hot mercury pouring from a stainless steel cylinder. His latest recording, Summer Night is replete with such a tone on both fusionesque pieces and more mainstream standard fare. Catherine deftly employs electric effects, always tastefully, to make his playing more fluid. Tiger Groove" so totally rocks with Bert Jorvis’ brass that it grabs the listeners’ attention and sucks him or her into this wonderful melee of rhythm ...read more
by AAJ Staff
Following up on his more aggressive Guitar Groove release, Philip Catherine presents a more varied, but no less lively, approach on his newest Dreyfus CD, Blue Prince. Working with a like-minded musician, trumpeter Bert Joris--who in some respects is his foil--Catherine and he share an instinctive ability to cut to the heart of a tune and personalize it. Working in tandem or solo as the relatively short tracks proceed from statement to elaboration, Catherine's quartet effectively makes its musical point ...read more
by Glenn Astarita
Belgian guitarist Philip Catherine has performed with the creme de la creme of modern jazz and fusion. Noticeably inspired by the late great Django Rheinhardt, Catherine has emerged as a true stylist who melds lush romanticism with bold, simmering lines, witnessed here on Blue Prince.
The guitarist utilizes his warm-toned hollow bodied electric guitar to great effect via shrewd employment of volume control techniques, jazzy chord progressions and scathing leads, evidenced on the often blistering yet predominately cool and sleek ...read more
by Ed Kopp
If you like melodic guitar-based jazz, Guitar Groove is not to be missed.This CD is divided into two parts, one a section of seven relatively up-tempo numbers collected under the heading Groove," the other a concise six-song segment entitled Quiet Moments." It's a masterful effort that finds Catherine on both electric and acoustic guitars, the former on the faster cuts, the latter on some of the ballads.A picker of Belgian and English descent, Catherine claims Django ...read more