The title of the new CD released by The New Guitar Summit, Retrospective represents the collective and individual work of Boston based jazz guitarist Gerry Beaudoin, Duke Robillard of Roomful of Blues fame, and the legendary Jay Geils of the 1970’s rock band The J. Geils Band. Although the majority of the cuts on the recording have each of these guitarists demonstrating their individual styles representative of their unique musical backgrounds, they also make collaborative contributions on three straight-ahead swingers on the recording. Three of the tunes on the CD are originals or arrangements by Robillard or Beaudoin, with eight jazz or blues standards rounding out the rest of the recorded set. In addition to the three aforementioned guitarists, jazz guitar legend Bucky Pizzarelli also joins in on Gerry Beaudoin’s tune “Just Among Friends.”
With the impressive musical pedigree that each of these artists brings to the recording, it certainly goes without saying there is more than a mere display of competent musicianship and artistry. All three of these guitarists have more than adequate chops, and the recorded collection is a pleasing example of fine playing. If there is a weakness to this CD it is a perceived lack of continuity. The New Guitar Summit, as a group itself, accounts for only the first three of the eleven tunes on the CD. The remaining eight are individual efforts by each of the group members. While this does not in any way diminish the individual efforts of the musicians, to this listener, the recording lacks an overall continuity that perhaps would be present in a recording representing a truly collective effort.
Retrospective by the New Guitar Summit would certainly be of particular interest to already established fans of any of these three guitarists. Also, other guitarists and those who love swinging and bluesy guitar playing would find this recording of interest. To the general listener this recording would also be a nice addition their collections.
Jazz is for me the most important cultural revolution of the 20th century and I'm proud to
play this kind of music. For me, jazz is more than a kind of music, it's the best way of playing
any musical material.