Doug Munro's sixth CD for Chase Music Group is a return to a traditional bossa nova trio, dropping the keyboards or sax utilized on most of his earlier projects. He is joined by bassist Michael Goetz, with Jason Devlin and Jason Anderson sharing the drum chair, all who primarily play supporting roles.
The guitarist has a light touch and generally stays close to the melody on most tracks, opening with a shimmering treatment of Chick Corea's "Spain" (which itself is based in part on classical guitarist Joaquin Rodrigo's Guitar Concerto) and following it with a hip bossa nova arrangement of Thelonious Monk's bluesy "Bemsha Swing."
Sonny Rollins' blues "Blue Seven" has not been recorded often, but Munro's scoring blends elements of bossa nova and calypso rhythms. An extended workout of Freddie Hubbard's "Little Sunflower" works well, though his best playing of the date may be in a relatively straight-ahead interpretation of Wayne Shorter's "Fee-Fi-Fo-Fum."
Of his several originals, the mid-tempo bossa nova "A Day at the Races" is the highlight, even though it is thinly disguised reworking of Dizzy Gillespie's "A Night in Tunisia." There are some misfires though. Rocker Beck's "Devil's Haircut" is rather monotonous in spite of Munro's best efforts, while the original "Prayer" is a bit too pop-flavored and sounds as if it is derived in part from Eric Clapton's "Tears From Heaven."
Track Listing: Spain; Bemsha Swing; Sticks N' Stones; Devil's Haircut; Blue Seven; A Day at the Races; Little Sunflower; Fee-Fi-Fo-Fum; Something I Heard; Prayer.
Personnel: Doug Munro: guitar; Michael Goetz: bass; Jason "J. Dog" Devlin: drums; Jason Anderson: drums.
I grew up listening to my father's jazz records and listening to the radio. My dad was a musician for many years as a vocalist, bassist and drummer. His two uncles played in the Symphony of Reggio Calabria back in Italy
I grew up listening to my father's jazz records and listening to the radio. My dad was a musician for many years as a vocalist, bassist and drummer. His two uncles played in the Symphony of Reggio Calabria back in Italy. So music and jazz specifically have been a part of me since I was born. I love and perform in all styles of music from around the world. Improvisation in jazz is what drew me in, and still does as well as other genres that feature improvisation. A group of great musicians expressing themselves as one is the hallmark of great jazz and in fact all great music.