Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

320

Jimmy Bruno: Maplewood Avenue & Jazz Hits, Vol. 1

Tom Greenland By

Sign in to view read count








Jimmy Bruno
Maplewood Avenue
Affiliated Artists
2007


MB3
Jazz Hits, Vol. 1
Mel Bay
2006




Jimmy Bruno, one of the most technically proficient yet stylistically-nuanced hard bop guitarists to emerge from the lineage of fellow Pennsylvanians Pat Martino and George Benson, remains a guitarist's guitarist — if not a trendsetter, certainly a standard bearer.

Maplewood Avenue, a trio date with Tony Miceli (vibes) and Jeff Pedraz (bass), shoots for an impromptu-jam-session-in-the-living-room effect, recorded in continuous takes with no overdubbing. Lacking drums, Pedraz provides additional drive with right-hand slap techniques; unfortunately, the bass's high and low frequencies are separated in the mix (panned right and left, respectively), creating the distracting illusion of a fourth musician. On a positive note, the close mic-ing captures any and all extraneous string noises — every snap, crackle and pop — effectively simulating the you-are-there ambiance of an intimate venue. Bruno impresses, not so much for his ability to execute intricate ideas at fast tempos, but more because of his careless precision, laced with infinite gradations of tone and attack: on "PA Turnpike he wields the plastic plectrum like a natural outgrowth of his hand, negotiating the trickiest of lines with effortless fluidity; on "Jimmy's House , a parboiler, even his most audacious gambits land lightly on their feet, connecting and, ultimately, concluding. Miceli and Pedraz, too, are timekeepers of the first order, creating a groove-y gestalt of relaxed propulsion.

For Jazz Hits, Vol. 1, Bruno called on two accomplished colleagues, veteran Vic Juris and Corey Christiansen (a St. Louis local deserving wider recognition), for a six-string summit meeting. Covering some of the most-played standards in The Real Book, Bruno & Co. show what can be accomplished with inborn talent and plenty of practice: Miles Davis' evergreen "All Blues is reinvigorated courtesy of Christiansen's delta blues-isms rendered, slide-wise, on a solid-metal National resonator guitar; Horace Silver's "Peace is reharmonized and contrapuntal; and "Softly (As in a Morning Sunrise) receives rock-metal colorations. Each guitarist has their own sound: Bruno keeps clean and dry, without effects; Juris favors a wet, mid-rangy tone with dollops of chorus and delay; and Christiansen plies the middle ground — damp, slightly washed, with occasional forays into compressed overdrive. Juris is notably inspired on this session, playing with simultaneous cohesion and abandon, bringing it all back home with some wall-banging blues on "Killer Joe .

For aspiring guitarists, Jimmy Bruno is the man to catch: he's raising the bar and lowering the boom.


Tracks & Personnel

Maplewood Avenue

Tracks: Maplewood Avenue; Easton Street Bossa; PA Turnpike; Route 611; Upstairs for Coffee; Song for Meg; Jimmy's House; Bach Sonata Trio; She's a Fox.

Personnel: Jimmy Bruno: guitar; Tony Miceli: vibraphone; Jeff Pedras: bass.

Jazz Hits, Volume 1

Tracks: Solar; Cantaloupe Island; Impressions; Peace; All Blues; Freedom Jazz Dance; On Green Dolphin Street; Milestones; Softly (As in a Morning Sunrise); Killer Joe.

Personnel: Vic Juris: guitars; Jimmy Bruno: guitars; Corey Christiansen: guitars; Jay Anderson: bass; Danny Gottlieb: drums.


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read The Possibilities of Percussion: Yarn/Wire & ensemble, et. al Multiple Reviews The Possibilities of Percussion: Yarn/Wire & ensemble,...
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: December 12, 2017
Read Holiday Roundup 2017 Multiple Reviews Holiday Roundup 2017
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 11, 2017
Read Old, Borrowed and Just a Little Blue Multiple Reviews Old, Borrowed and Just a Little Blue
by Geno Thackara
Published: December 11, 2017
Read Another Timbre Celebrates Its First Decade Multiple Reviews Another Timbre Celebrates Its First Decade
by John Eyles
Published: December 9, 2017
Read Ivo Perelman Makes It Rain Multiple Reviews Ivo Perelman Makes It Rain
by Mark Corroto
Published: November 12, 2017
Read Jazz from the US Virgin Islands' new breed Multiple Reviews Jazz from the US Virgin Islands' new breed
by Nigel Campbell
Published: November 4, 2017
Read "Real World Records' Vinyl Reissues" Multiple Reviews Real World Records' Vinyl Reissues
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: September 16, 2017
Read "Holiday Roundup 2017" Multiple Reviews Holiday Roundup 2017
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 11, 2017
Read "Anat Cohen's Brazilian Bonanza: Outra Coisa and Rosa Dos Ventos" Multiple Reviews Anat Cohen's Brazilian Bonanza: Outra Coisa and Rosa...
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 17, 2017
Read "Emanem Releases New Music From Late, Great Heroes Lacy And Rutherford" Multiple Reviews Emanem Releases New Music From Late, Great Heroes Lacy And...
by John Eyles
Published: September 8, 2017
Read "Green Mountain Jazz" Multiple Reviews Green Mountain Jazz
by Doug Collette
Published: July 24, 2017

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!