186

The Jimmy Bruno Trio: Live at Birdland II

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
As its title indicates, this is the second recording made by guitarist Jimmy Bruno’s trio during recent gigs at New York’s fabled Birdland, and as with the first, the listener is treated to two sessions for the price of one, with tenor saxophonist Scott Hamilton making it a quartet on the second half of the program (on Live at Birdland I, the trio’s guest was alto saxophonist Bobby Watson). That’s quite a contrast, as Hamilton is as laid–back as Watson is fiery, but Bruno and his colleagues (bassist Thomas, drummer Ector) seem unfazed by the disparity, blending as seamlessly with Hamilton’s easygoing Sims/Getz–inspired notions as they did with Watson’s more volatile Bird–based sorties. The trio tracks come first, and what is immediately apparent is that Bruno undeniably belongs in the top echelon of modern bop–influenced guitarists. He is some kind of bad–ass picker! Also worth noting is that he has chosen a superb rhythm section to help keep the session on an even keel. Thomas’s resonant bass and Ector’s in–the–pocket fills on cymbal or snare complement perfectly Bruno’s lightning–like single–note passages and elegant chordal syncopations. Thomas, who solos impressively on several occasions, also wrote “Chesapeake Blues,” one of the program’s two original compositions (the other is Bruno’s “Reticulation”). For sheer textural beauty, the trio reaches its zenith on “Poinciana.” The sparks fly on “Reticulation” and Clifford Brown’s “Joy Spring,” while “Chesapeake Blues” and “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love” glide along at the sort of unhurried pace that is always so becoming to guitar–led trios. Hamilton makes his first appearance on “Broadway,” taking its fast–paced hustle and bustle in stride with a typically perceptive solo that follows some torrid licks by Bruno. The quartet lingers in a loose and mellow Hamiltonesque groove for the next three selections — “Lover Man,” “I Hear a Rhapsody,” “Darn That Dream” — before turning on the after–burners for the rapid–fire finale, Vincent Youmans’ “I Want to Be Happy.” After its completion, Bruno, to his credit, introduces everyone in a clear and well–modulated voice. Trio or quartet, you’re unlikely to hear anything much better than this. And Volume 1 is in that same league.

Track listing: Reticulation; Chesapeake Blues; Joy Spring; Poinciana; I Can’t Give You Anything But Love; Broadway; Lover Man; I Hear a Rhapsody; Darn That Dream; I Want to Be Happy (61:12).

Personnel:

Jimmy Bruno, guitar; Craig Thomas, bass; Vince Ector, drums. With special guest, tenor saxophonist Scott Hamilton (tracks 6

| Record Label: Concord Music Group | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Live at PafA CD/LP/Track Review Live at PafA
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Ocean of Storms CD/LP/Track Review Ocean of Storms
by Troy Dostert
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read "Romance 76" CD/LP/Track Review Romance 76
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 11, 2016
Read "Early Americans" CD/LP/Track Review Early Americans
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 14, 2016
Read "Hark The Herald" CD/LP/Track Review Hark The Herald
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 6, 2016
Read "Undertaker Please Drive Slow" CD/LP/Track Review Undertaker Please Drive Slow
by Glenn Astarita
Published: January 15, 2017
Read "Jungle: Live At Okuden" CD/LP/Track Review Jungle: Live At Okuden
by John Sharpe
Published: November 17, 2016
Read "Upward Spiral" CD/LP/Track Review Upward Spiral
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: May 19, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

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!