Jazz guitarist Curt Sheller is an instuctor/musician who hails from Pottstown, Pennsylvania and performs in the greater Philadelphia area. On his first album he has provided thirteen tracks that consist of largely the Great American Songbook and jazz standards plus two originals and one composition from his mentor, Chuck Anderson.
Let's give some credit to Curt Sheller for having the sense to select ten songs that are fine examples of musical architecture of the Twentieth Century. It would be hard, in a mainstream setting, to mangle any of these tunes, and in the format of the Curt Sheller Trio, he fully succeeds. From a standpoint of categorization, the album could be placed in a "dinner jazz" setting, either by listening to the CD or imagining the trio performing live in a restaurant environment.
The pleasure of basking in the aural presentation of such songs as "When Sunny Gets Blue," "Black Orpheus" and "There Will Never Be Another You" is the melody itself and one is reminded of the countless times that these tunes have been heard without tiring of them. Sheller's originals, "Kelle Belle" (for his daughter) and "Midnight Cafe," are decent enough to not stand apart from the other tracks.
Track Listing: There Will Never Be Another You, Black Orpheus, My Favorite Things, When Sunny Gets Blue, Milestones, The Shadow of Your Smile, Wave, Woman Child, Autumn Leaves, Kelle Belle, So What, Cute, Midnight Cafe.
Personnel: Curt Sheller, guitar; Daoud Shaw, drums; Steve Beskrone, bass.
I was first exposed to jazz when I discovered that one of Jimi Hendrix's influences was Wes Montgomery. I played guitar growing up and idolized Hendrix, so I knew that anyone he looked up to must be good
I was first exposed to jazz when I discovered that one of Jimi Hendrix's influences was Wes Montgomery. I played guitar growing up and idolized Hendrix, so I knew that anyone he looked up to must be good. I was 16 at the time. I went to Tower Records and purchased a CD by Wes, and I was hooked from the very first ten seconds. The sound of the song Lolita illuminated my bedroom, as I just sat back amazed at how colorful and soulful this music was--I understood it, even though at the time I didn't understand how to go about playing it. I get chills listening to Wes' solo on Lolita, and I can still listen to that song ten times in a row and never get tired of it. There is a truly timeless quality to genuinely spontaneous jazz music, and it is that quality that has inspired me to devote my life to studying and playing this music.