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New Guitar Summit: Live at the Stoneham Theatre

Jim Santella By

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New Guitar Summit
Live at the Stoneham Theatre
Stony Plain Records

Swing is the thing with this concert featuring Jay Geils, Duke Robillard and Gerry Beaudoin on stage, seated in a row, interacting and soloing on their hollow body amplified guitars. With acoustic bass and drums providing a rhythmic foundation and contributing additional solo work, the performance offers plenty of variety.

All three guitarists contribute eloquent solo work. Geils prefers a hard, driving edge in his interpretations, while Robillard enjoys the cool swing spirit, and Beaudoin employs a conversational style that emphasizes harmony.

As the three guitarists trade fours, you can feel their musical conversation taking hold. They're loose, relaxed, and completely at ease. Songs from the Benny Goodman and Lionel Hampton Swing Era give them plenty of comfort. The also delve into the blues, reaching out with the kind of feeling that the music dictates.

The camera work for this concert concentrates on close-ups and group shots from straight ahead angles. There are exceptions for variety, of course, and all of the camera work provides crystal clear imagery.

The high point of the concert comes on a traditional blues. Robillard plays and sings "Lonely Boy Blues while the others contribute warm accompaniment all around him in a circle. The feelings are genuine, the music is fresh, and tradition is served.

Tracks: Broadway; Swingin' with Dr. Jake; Tain't Nobody's Business; Glide On; Seven Come Eleven; Lonely Boy Blues; Flying Home.

Personnel: Jay Geils: guitar; Duke Robillard, Gerry Beaudoin: guitar, vocals; John Turner: bass; Gordon Grottenthaler: drums.

Program Notes: Directed by Alan Chebot; Approximate running time one hour. Special features include: interviews with Jay Geils, Duke Robillard & Gerry Beaudoin, historical photo gallery, interactive bios.


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