The Florida based Modern Guitar Quintet was formed by Carl Amundson and Dan Crowley in 1997 and was dedicated to the performance of jazz which has a modern bent. Back to Business is their second release with a program of original compositions. There are three guitar players in the quintet, one of whom, Dan Crowley, doubles on flute. This is one of those albums where the virtuosity in the playing, individually and in ensemble, carries the album rather than the play list. That these guitarists are masters of their trade comes through immediately. But as the album moves along, one starts to ask "didn't I hear this already?". That's one of the problems these types of groups face, making the music sufficiently varied to sustain, as here, almost 50 minutes of music. This is not to say there aren't any meritorious compositions. A simply stated "Evening at Franks" is a lovely ballad where each guitar member of the quintet gets a chance in the solo spotlight. "Eyes" swings along at a brisk pace with an attention-getting melody line while "Down Home" has a down home blues taste. But overall the distinctions between the pieces are so subtle that for the non guitar specialists they may be difficult to sort through. Next time this group would be better served if they added a pop or jazz standard or two to provide an opportunity for the general jazz listener to experience the full effect of their guitar expertise. A nice touch is that the soloists on each cut are identified in their order of appearance.
Track Listing: Shorty's House; Eyes; Day of Rest; Hurricane Memories; Summer Rain; What Spring Can Do; Back to Business; Down Home; Samba du Cindy; Raise up off Me; Sweet Serenade; Seeing the Scene; Evening at Franks
Personnel: Carl Amundson, Robert Popescu - Guitar; Dan Crowley - Guitar/Flute; James Peters - Bass; Dan Crowley, Jr. - Drums
I was first exposed to jazz in 1961 (at age 10) when I was in a shopping arcade in Southport, England with my parents. I fell in love with the music playing over the PA system; Take Five by the Dave Brubeck Quartet
I was first exposed to jazz in 1961 (at age 10) when I was in a shopping arcade in Southport, England with my parents. I fell in love with the music playing over the PA system; Take Five by the Dave Brubeck Quartet. After going through Rock 'n Roll, the Beatles and Heavy Metal/Hard Rock phases over the next eight or so years, I finally bought my first jazz album; We're All Together Again for the First Time by Dave Brubeck, Paul Desmond and Gerry Mulligan. I was hooked on jazz, and still am 40+ years later.
I moved from England to the USA in 2002, and founded the Brookfield Jazz Society in 2005.
I became editor of the quarterly IAJRC Journalin 2012. The magazine goes to the worldwide membership of the IAJRC (International Association of Jazz Record Collectors) and many major libraries and educational establishments around the world.
As well as being the editor of the IAJRC Journal, I write about jazz and review CDs, vinyl, DVDs and books on jazz.
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