All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review


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.

Title: Last Call | Year Released: 2001 | Record Label: Southport Records


comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles

Last Call

Southport Records


Related Articles

Read Wherever You're Starting From CD/LP/Track Review
Wherever You're Starting From
by Troy Dostert
Published: March 21, 2018
Read Live in Miami @ the WDNA Jazz Gallery CD/LP/Track Review
Live in Miami @ the WDNA Jazz Gallery
by Jerome Wilson
Published: March 21, 2018
Read From Silence to Somewhere CD/LP/Track Review
From Silence to Somewhere
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 21, 2018
Read Never Bet The Devil Your Head CD/LP/Track Review
Never Bet The Devil Your Head
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 21, 2018
Read The Questions CD/LP/Track Review
The Questions
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 20, 2018
Read Meerkat Parade CD/LP/Track Review
Meerkat Parade
by Geno Thackara
Published: March 20, 2018
Read "Graviton" CD/LP/Track Review Graviton
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 8, 2017
Read "Float The Edge" CD/LP/Track Review Float The Edge
by John Sharpe
Published: July 23, 2017
Read "The Mugician" CD/LP/Track Review The Mugician
by Thomas Earl
Published: February 1, 2018
Read "December Avenue" CD/LP/Track Review December Avenue
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 2, 2017
Read "Art in the Age of Automation" CD/LP/Track Review Art in the Age of Automation
by Geno Thackara
Published: August 21, 2017
Read "Tag Book" CD/LP/Track Review Tag Book
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: November 19, 2017