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John Bruschini: As You Were

Jim Santella By

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The interfusion of jazz and rock music has long been regarded simply as fusion. The format remains the same as with mainstream jazz: unadorned melodies are followed by improvised variations or creative soloing. The melody is usually repeated at the end. Guitarist John Bruschini’s compositions follow those characteristic guidelines. MP3 sound bites for the title track and three other selections are available through the guitarist’s web site .

The title track, "As You Were," starts the album with a natural, new adult contemporary, scenic impression. Viola and acoustic guitar make a smooth duet lead, while Bruschini’s multiple overdubs provide much of the wallpaper background. Fingerstyle guitar provides both a natural sense and constant surrounding soundscape. Appearing on the first three tracks, Jim Nolet adds smooth, legato bowed lines, while shying away from heated improvisation. He leaves that aspect for Bruschini, who wields several different guitars through his various dry, rock-influenced, build-it-higher-and-higher, tirades. Unfortunately, the guitarist doesn’t say much. The end of each piece comes along, and you realize that it consisted of a head melody tied to excessive picking. Much of the album may be considered acid jazz. After all, the band does add an organ sound and some blues-related funk. "Way Down" sits well with a loping, easy to like blues approach. "Glory" provides a slow, romantic R&B setting, while "April" expresses a fresh, springtime air of perennial motion. Bruschini’s handsome melodies offer impressions suitable for framing, but would surely work better if he were to share the spotlight and apply more innovation to his various adventures.


Title: As You Were | Year Released: 2000 | Record Label: Cathexis Records


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