142

Frank Portolese: Last Call

Jim Santella By

Sign in to view read count
This is a guitar lover’s album. Frank Portolese plays standards as they’ve been done before and he also turns it loose with a free spirit and a loose structure. Alternating groups, the guitarist works standards with piano trio for six tracks, stretches out with Brian Sandstrom and Rusty Jones for four, and paints the title track as a soulful, cryin’ in your beer, unaccompanied blues wail.

Portolese’s guitar tone is different. Neil Tesser points out in the album’s liner notes that this guitar was constructed in 1965 by Bill Barker. The Barker guitar gives Portolese a light, but edgy sound. He uses a pick with fluid ease; however, the resonant qualities of his instrument result in phrases that end prematurely. It’s a style that we identify with bebop. Without a lasting ring, the instrument clips notes and allows the performer to move quickly through adventurous territory.

Influenced by Joe Pass, the leader exhibits a natural link to light, easygoing melodic navigation. Joe Henderson’s “Inner Urge” and three of the leader’s originals place guitar, bass and drums in the role of free, creative, trio improvisation. Each of the three artists unleashes empathetic ideas that produce exciting interplay.

With piano trio, Wayne Shorter’s “Virgo” floats gently to chorded guitar melodies, while burners such as Horace Silver’s “Room 608” swing with a hard bop soulfulness. Last Call, Portolese’s second album, brings straight-ahead jazz guitar out into the open with a distinctive sound and a familiar format.


Track Listing: The More You Talk (The Less I Listen); Burn Unit; These Foolish Things; E.S.P.; Milestones; Virgo; Room 608; Inner Urge; Quintin; The Dance; Last Call.

Personnel: Frank Portolese- guitar; Larry Luchowski- piano; Dave Marr, Brian Sandstrom- bass; Tim Davis, Rusty Jones- drums.

| Record Label: Southport Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

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 TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2) CD/LP/Track Review TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)
by Nicola Negri
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Goat Man & The House of the Dead CD/LP/Track Review Goat Man & The House of the Dead
by Dave Wayne
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by James Nadal
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "America's National Parks" CD/LP/Track Review America's National Parks
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 27, 2016
Read "Atmosphères" CD/LP/Track Review Atmosphères
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 13, 2016
Read "So Beautiful, It Starts To Rain" CD/LP/Track Review So Beautiful, It Starts To Rain
by John Sharpe
Published: December 11, 2016
Read "Free for One" CD/LP/Track Review Free for One
by Karl Ackermann
Published: May 31, 2016
Read "The Lightning Bell" CD/LP/Track Review The Lightning Bell
by John Eyles
Published: July 19, 2016
Read "No Favorites!" CD/LP/Track Review No Favorites!
by Troy Collins
Published: November 27, 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!