136

Paul Santa Maria: Johnny Speaks

By

Sign in to view read count
Paul Santa Maria is a jazz guitarist, composer, and longtime bassist and studio engineer for Larry Coryell. In an ode to his 1961 Gibson Johnny Smith, Santa Maria plays eleven tracks of unaccompanied jazz guitar on his self-released 2002 CD Johnny Speaks.



The round tone of Santa Maria's vintage hollow-body guitar shimmers through these eleven tracks. The tunes are mostly short inventions and improvisations, running between one and two minutes each. Santa Maria makes full use of the unaccompanied format by slowing or speeding up the tempo to emphasize the emotional content of the music, as solo classical music performers often do. Most of the tracks include rhythm guitar chording, subtly mixed beneath the melodies. The songs are mellow in the tradition of hollow-body jazz guitar masters like Joe Pass or Wes Montgomery, but Santa Maria's compositions retain a unique flavor.



His playing is skillful and evocative, without ever being flashy or tawdry, like so many current fusion guitarists. The tone is simple and classic. Johnny Speaks was recorded in November 1984 and mastered to CD from analog cassette, according to the liner notes, but the slight tape hiss never detracts from the tonal range of Santa Maria's guitar.



Most of the tracks on Johnny Speaks are now available on Santa Maria's 32-track CD Invention, including several new collaborations with Larry Coryell. Fans of traditional jazz guitar should definitely check out Paul Santa Maria.

Track Listing: 1. Steam Bath; 2. Espana; 3. Autumn Dance; 4. Brewings; 5. Raintime; 6. Observations; 7. Observations 2; 8. Striptease; 9. Past Love; 10. Liberation Day; 11. The Last Word.

Personnel: Paul Santa Maria -- guitar.

Year Released: 2002 | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Groove Dreams CD/LP/Track Review Groove Dreams
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Kami Fusen CD/LP/Track Review Kami Fusen
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Two CD/LP/Track Review Two
by Joe Gatto
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Galaxies Like Grains Of Sand CD/LP/Track Review Galaxies Like Grains Of Sand
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Nightfall CD/LP/Track Review Nightfall
by John Kelman
Published: May 22, 2017
Read Pekka CD/LP/Track Review Pekka
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 22, 2017
Read "Heritage" CD/LP/Track Review Heritage
by James Nadal
Published: October 3, 2016
Read "Big Wheel Live" CD/LP/Track Review Big Wheel Live
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 17, 2016
Read "The Darkening Blue" CD/LP/Track Review The Darkening Blue
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 5, 2016
Read "Silhouettes" CD/LP/Track Review Silhouettes
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 14, 2017
Read "My Foolish Heart" CD/LP/Track Review My Foolish Heart
by Geno Thackara
Published: February 3, 2017
Read "Flowers" CD/LP/Track Review Flowers
by John Sharpe
Published: November 23, 2016
comments powered by Disqus

Why wait?

Support All About Jazz and we'll deliver exclusive content, hide ads, hide slide-outs, and provide read access to our future articles.

Buy it!