Guitarist Doug MacDonald gets down to basics on his seventh album as leader, shepherding a seasoned quartet through its paces in an amiable session that swings gently but firmly from start to finish. MacDonald’s mellow sound is underscored by an unblemished technique that he never uses to overwhelm the listener, seldom submitting an unnecessary note and letting the quiet spaces speak for themselves. His comrades–in–arms, pianist Art Hillery, bassist John Heard (also responsible for the impressive cover art) and drummer Johnny Kirkwood, are comparably laid–back except when the need for acceleration becomes evident, as on Blue Mitchell’s “Blue Capers” or Sweets Edison’s “A Little Tutu,” on which everyone puts the pedal to the metal. Otherwise, the program consists of an astute blend of standards (“Until the Real Thing Comes Along,” “What’s New,” “Thinking of You,” “I Thought About You”), Jazz–centered themes (Milt Jackson’s “Bluesology,” Jobim’s “So Danco Samba,” Dodge Bolton’s “Bolton’s Bossa”) and bright originals by Hillery (“Emma Lu”) and MacDonald (“Ori’s Theme”). As is true of all superlative Jazz ensembles, the quartet makes playing them seem deceptively easy — but never unexciting. MacDonald is a remarkably accomplished player, his partners no less so. Easily recommended.
Contact:Sea Breeze Records, P.O. Box 1910, Pismo Beach, CA 93448–1910. Phone 818–489–2055.
Track Listing: Blue Capers; Emma Lu; Until the Real Thing Comes Along; Ori
Personnel: Doug MacDonald, guitar; Art Hillery, piano; John Heard, bass; Johnny Kirkwood, drums.
I love jazz because it expresses things so deep that I can't transform in words.
I met John Pizzarelli.
The best show I ever attended was MASP in São Paulo Brazil.
The first jazz record I bought was a Baby Dodds CD.
My heroes on drums: Papa Jo Jones, Sid Catlett, Gene Krupa, Baby Dodds, Zutty Singleton, Ray Bauduc, Vernell Fournier,
Shelly Manne, Jimmy Cobb, Joe Morello, Daniel Humair, Kenny Clarke, Sonny Carr, Buddy Rich, Sam Woodyard, Cozy Cole,
Sonny Greer, Neil Peart, Carl Palmer, Tony Sbarbaro, Vic Berton, Edison Machado, Milton Banana, Rubens Barsotti.
My heroes in jazz: Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Chet Baker, Miles Davis, Ahmad Jamal, Coleman Hawkins, Teddy Wilson,
Barney Kessel, Lester Young, Johnny Hodges, Jelly Roll Morton.