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Steve Knight: Persistence

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Steve Knight: Persistence
Readers have surely heard of a "sniff test." It is an informal assessment that something, particularly in finance, just does not look right. It is usually intuitive rather than formal. But many analysts employ one before turning to more elaborate kinds of examinations to verify their suspicions.

Music has no sniff test, but it does have a "sit still test." Can one sit still while something plays? If not, that is probably a good thing, unless it is the urge to run screaming from the room. But that is not the meaning here. Rather, it is that something is so rhythmically engaging that it is hard to resist some kind of motion. Steve Knight's Persistence easily passes the "sit still test." It is very difficult to remain at rest, or to do much more than listen to the music. It is engaging at every level: harmonic, melodic, rhythmic.

There are two tracks, originals, one an alternate take, called "Sharps Disposal." Knight, a Chicago-based guitarist, explains that the title has nothing to do with the disposal of syringes or other drug-related paraphernalia. Rather, it is a blues in F# minor that contains, well, three sharps. Knight explains that someone will occasionally ask if it can be played in F instead, which, with one flat, is easier to execute. The answer, Knight says, is no. The sharps are not disposable. One assumes that is why there are two takes. The listener must decide which is preferable. Or so that is one version of the title.

There are no weak links in this chain of players. Jeff Stitley is an exciting and rock-solid drummer. Justin Peterson is a marvelous bassist whose solos are something else. Knight has been influenced by all sorts of guitar players, of whom Wes Montgomery is only the most obvious. "Cisco" goes well back (1967) to Pat Martino. "Chop Chop" traces its blues roots to George Benson, another major influence. But there are tastes of others, like Grant Green, here as well. It is hard to find anything to dislike. The CD comes with a digital download. The wav files work fine on a smartphone, so one can take it out to the patio and bop there.

In fact, this entire production works very well, whatever one's taste in guitar heroes might be. Knight maintains he does not practice his guitar. From time to time "I open the case and throw in a piece of red meat." If these are the results, get to a butcher shop, fast.

Track Listing

Suspects; Cisco; Real Type Thing; Sharps Disposal; Persistence; Chop Chop; Just Add Meaning; Mary Janes' Last Dance; Art's Rant; Workshop; Change the World; Sharps Disposal (alternate take).

Personnel

Steve Knight: guitar; Justin Peterson: bass; Jeff Stitley: drums.

Album information

Title: Persistence | Year Released: 2022 | Record Label: Self Produced


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