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String Jazz continues its crusade to bring to the public the finest in guitar jazz. The emphasis with this UK label is on quality, not quantity. So when a new release becomes available, both jazz fans in general and especially those who favor the stringed instrument, should rush to snatch it up. This time it's the guitar styling of Greg Clayton that's getting the attention as he is joined by fellow Canadians Dave Young and Jerry Fuller for a three day stint at Café Boomers. Those who have seen Clayton in action say that he closes his eyes while strumming his guitar, heavily concentrating on getting subtle harmonies from his instrument. While he is considered one who applies modern techniques to American popular songs, he remains steeped in the tradition of the great lyrical and melodic string players like Tal Farlow, Joe Pass and Herb Ellis. This heritage is validated on a medium tempo "I Thought about You" and a lovely version of a Kurt Weill/Ira Gershwin tune that not played all that much, "This Is New", written for the 1941 musical Lady in the Dark. Dave Young's bass gets a thorough, tasteful workout on this track. But the gold star track is "My Shining Hour" where the quartet comes together in a rendition of this standard which can best be described as breathtaking.
The only reservation, and it is a very slight one, is that from time to time Jerry Fuller's drums get a bit busy. Sometimes more subdued is better. This occasional minor annoyance notwithstanding, this is album is recommended.
Track Listing: This Is New; There Is no Greater Love; You Don't Know What Love Is; You've Changed; My Shining Hour; Misdemeanor; Ghost of a Chance; I Thought about You
Personnel: Greg Clayton - Guitar; Dave Young - Bass; Jerry Fuller - Drums
Jazz is a continuing revelation. The best show I ever attended was the
Roots Picnic at Penn's Landing in Philadelphia, or was it Robert
Glasper's Experiment at Lincoln Center, or was it Chick Corea with
Brian Blade at Oberlin College? Most of all I enjoy playing guitar and
composing beats with my Brooklyn-based group Space Captain.