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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Frank Portolese: Plectrum Jazz Guitar Solos

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Solo jazz guitar is a harsh and unforgiving lover. The piano provides a more complete performance experience as a solo instrument for technical reasons, though this same completeness can be achieved on guitar by a precious few, talented enough to achieve such artistic parity. Add to this the stipulation that a plectrum (guitar pick) be used in preference to finge-picking, and the number of masters diminishes even further. The touchstone of this brand of playing is, of course, Joe Pass, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Frank Portolese: Last Call

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This is a guitar lover’s album. Frank Portolese plays standards as they’ve been done before and he also turns it loose with a free spirit and a loose structure. Alternating groups, the guitarist works standards with piano trio for six tracks, stretches out with Brian Sandstrom and Rusty Jones for four, and paints the title track as a soulful, cryin’ in your beer, unaccompanied blues wail.

Portolese’s guitar tone is different. Neil Tesser points out in the album’s liner notes ...