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5

Quentin Angus: In Stride

Geno Thackara By

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Quentin Bryan Angus comes across as the kind of player who's seemingly absorbed everything in developing a repertoire—one whose extensive study lets him draw on any style and throw out familiar licks on a whim. Here we have soft electric tones worthy of Grant Green crossed with the expansive compositional smarts of Pat Metheny. Fleet lines and chords (and sometimes devilish combinations of both) flow from strings with silky smoothness, often showing impressive smarts but always sounding as effortless as breathing.

For this appropriately-titled session, he leaves behind the bigger lineups of his previous two outings and keeps it to a simple trio; in Ari Hoenig and Sam Anning he's found comrades just as sprightly and groove-happy as he is. Hoenig in particular keeps the pleasant jitters going too fast to let things lag much, though all three find the right level of busy without clattering or crowding. A pair of '90s pop ballads make surprisingly pleasant breathers—one with Angus finding lovely shades in the over-familiar melody, one where he largely keeps to rhythm behind Anning's nimble lead.

This album's pulse stays strong and the band never stops cooking. The leader's fretwork is quietly dazzling, but the mind is just as important as the fingers here; Angus has an excellent knack for melody that keeps his pieces engaging through every twist and turn. One can't help eagerly awaiting whatever else he decides to take in stride next.

Track Listing: Jingles; Iris; In Stride; One for Bernie; Segment; Droplets; Wonderwall; Kinship.

Personnel: Quentin Angus: guitar; Sam Anning: bass; Ari Hoenig: drums.

Title: In Stride | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: QFTF

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