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 Northern Adventures CD/LP/Track Review Northern Adventures
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 28, 2017
Read Collider CD/LP/Track Review Collider
by John Sharpe
Published: February 28, 2017
Read Eos CD/LP/Track Review Eos
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 28, 2017
Read More Than This CD/LP/Track Review More Than This
by Henning Bolte
Published: February 28, 2017
Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read "Ugly Beauty" CD/LP/Track Review Ugly Beauty
by Mark Corroto
Published: April 9, 2016
Read "Romance 76" CD/LP/Track Review Romance 76
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 11, 2016
Read "From Here to There" CD/LP/Track Review From Here to There
by Mark F. Turner
Published: September 11, 2016
Read "Insufficient Funs" CD/LP/Track Review Insufficient Funs
by Ian Patterson
Published: January 12, 2017
Read "Legacy: A Coltrane Tribute" CD/LP/Track Review Legacy: A Coltrane Tribute
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 11, 2016
Read "Quartet 1991" CD/LP/Track Review Quartet 1991
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 9, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

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!

Buy it!