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Paul Bollenback: Portraits In Space And Time

Read "Portraits In Space And Time" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Guitarist Paul Bollenback is valued by listeners and musicians alike for his incisive and inventive guitar work, wholly in the tradition while simultaneously branching out beyond the same old same old. His playing has been a key ingredient--in some cases, the key ingredient--in much of organ kingpin Joey DeFrancesco's recorded output, saxophonist Jim Snidero's highly praised Savant dates, vocalist Chris McNulty's post-millennial releases, and elsewhere, but it's his own albums that truly provide a full picture of his talent(s). Bollenback ...

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Paul Bollenback: Invocation

Read "Invocation" reviewed by Tom Greenland

Journeyman guitarist Paul Bollenback's Invocation is just that: a shout-out and a summoning forth of the muses, representing a high point in a consistent and substantial oeuvre. This sophomore release for Elefant Dreams is a departure from the guitarist's R&B cover-heavy material found on several of his five earlier recordings for Challenge. Like Brightness of Being (2006), its immediate predecessor, Invocation features the wordless vocalese of Chris McNulty, who doubles the melody on “Alter Ego" and harmonizes with trumpet and ...

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Paul Bollenback: Invocation

Read "Invocation" reviewed by Michael P. Gladstone

Paul Bollenback continues to show his stuff on Invocation. Bollenback's early recorded appearances came with the rise of Joey DeFrancesco, with whom the guitarist spent sixteen years, appearing on the award-winning organist's early 1990s albums.

On Brightness of Being (Elefant Dreams, 2006), Bollenback demonstrated his value as a composer and player. For his second project on Elefant Dreams, the guitarist is joined by bassist Ed Howard; drummer Victor Lewis; trumpeter/flugelhornist Randy Brecker, and with vocalist Chris McNulty's vocalese ...

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Paul Bollenback: Invocation

Read "Invocation" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

Guitarist Paul Bollenback, who spent sixteen years backing organ great Joey DeFrancesco in concert and on CD, has some serious chops. Reviews of his previous CD release, Brightness of Being (Elephant Dreams, 2005), heaped praises on his technical prowess. On Invocation those chops are in fine form once again--the richly layered harmonies, the fluidly inventive intensity of his soloing, the accessible braininess of his compositions. Also apparent is Bollenback's finely honed, expansive Metheny-esque artistic vision.Bollenback brings in trumpeter ...

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Paul Bollenback: Brightness of Being

Read "Brightness of Being" reviewed by John Kelman

Good music is where you find it, and breadth of stylistic interest needn't dilute a distinguishable voice. Like Bill Frisell's East/West (Nonesuch, 2005), guitarist Paul Bollenback's Brightness of Being brings these points home most effectively. While Bollenback and Vic Juris are two very different players (Bollenbeck is also younger), both remain sadly underappreciated, despite their ability to elevate every project into something special. Looking at Bollenback's substantial catalogue of recorded work, one can find the same pattern emerging--which is really ...

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Paul Bollenback: Brightness of Being

Read "Brightness of Being" reviewed by Ernest Barteldes

Jazz guitar fans will not be disappointed by Brightness of Being, an offering of rich harmonics and octave-based solos in a collection of originals, covers of Stevie Wonder and Neil Young, adaptations from Puccini and Garcia de Leon, and a couple of songs immortalized by Ray Charles. The original “Together finds Bollenback on acoustic guitar and Chris McNulty delivering wordless vocals. This soulful tune has a certain Brazilian feel, without exactly going into bossa nova territory. On ...

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Paul Bollenback: Brightness of Being

Read "Brightness of Being" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

You have to love it when a first-rate jazz guitarist opens up a set with a barnburner, as Paul Bollenback does on his sixth release as a leader, Brightness of Being. The song is “Together," and he and tenor saxophonist Gary Thomas work some clean-toned heat together, keeping it sharp and tight in front of a flexible rhythm.Bollenback is best known for his association with organ legend Joey De Francesco, a sixteen-year, fourteen-album musical relationship. The guitarist has ...

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Paul Bollenback: Brightness of Being

Read "Brightness of Being" reviewed by Michael P. Gladstone

Guitarist and composer Paul Bollenback has been a veritable whirlwind of activity over the past fifteen years. Aa a vital part of Joey DeFrancesco's combo, he played on thirteen albums since 1990, as well as a total of 48 sessions during that same time period with artists like Joe Locke, Gary Thomas and Ron Holloway. This is his sixth date as a leader since 1995.

The dozen selections display a wide variety of styles, including straight-ahead bebop with ...

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Paul Bollenback: Soul Grooves

Read "Soul Grooves" reviewed by Douglas Payne

The days of honest to God soul jazz are probably long gone. It's hard to even remember all the good players who stretched out over some well-known R & B or dug deep into a meaningful blues. They packed all the clubs and their records, one a month it seemed, sold like crazy. Somewhere along the way people started taking jazz seriously. Maybe a bit too seriously.Guitarist Paul Bollenback, though, comes from a crowd that seems most capable ...


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