129

Ron Affif: Solotude

Douglas Payne By

Sign in to view read count
Solo jazz attempts to make too much of either a good thing or not enough of something else. In solo guitar jazz, Joe Pass set the standard in 1973 with his series of Virtuoso recordings. But, for allthe Pass acolytes currently plying their trade, guitarist Ron Affif stands out. And not just because he records for Pass's former producer (Eric Miller) or for the guitarist's celebrated label (Pablo). Affif's fifth disc under his own name, Solotude, strikes enough of a balance to make the tenuous solo guitar thing work and goes one step further in establishing this highly talented guitarist's own identity.



"A lot of guys, when they play solo," declares Affif in the disc's liner notes, "treat it as such a different animal that all of a sudden they play different." How true. Affif - who does sound a bit more distinctive as a soloist - tends to honor this commitment. He does not attempt to fill in for the missing rhythm section or compliment his style with alternative representation. Whereas that may allow a less personable soloist to sound just plain boring on his own, rarely does Affif allow himself to get caught up in his own world either.

Over a program of a baker's dozen tunes, Affif alternates familiar, well-honed jazz chestnuts with several interesting originals ("Mark," "Charene," "Holly"). He also switches comfortably between the acoustic guitar (interestingly, on all three of his originals and "Honeysuckle Rose") and his more familiar electric axe. On electric, he brings many of Pass's refinements to the fore. But at the slower to medium tempos that dominate, he never showers with many notes or showy style.

Affif also adds subtle bluesy touches to achieve something unusual from the melodies of "Mark," "Dolphin Dance," "Honeysuckle Rose," and "They Can't Take That Away From Me." And his takes on "Autumn in New York" and "My Romance" have a lovely sort of lullaby quality too. Solotude is an altogether ideal showcase for this this talented guitarist.

Tracks:Mark; Autumn In New York; Charene; Dolphin Dance; I Love You; I've Never Been In Love Before; Holly; What Is This Thing Called Love?; But Beautiful; Honeysuckle Rose; All The Things You Are; My Romance; They Can't Take That Away From Me.

Players:Ron Affif: acoustic guitar, electric guitar.

| Record Label: Fantasy Jazz | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Coldest Second Yesterday CD/LP/Track Review Coldest Second Yesterday
by John Sharpe
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Chicago II CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Follow Your Heart CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "She Sleeps, She Sleeps" CD/LP/Track Review She Sleeps, She Sleeps
by John Eyles
Published: March 15, 2016
Read "Pensamiento" CD/LP/Track Review Pensamiento
by James Nadal
Published: January 7, 2017
Read "Nearness And You, Duets and Improvisations" CD/LP/Track Review Nearness And You, Duets and Improvisations
by Mark Corroto
Published: April 13, 2016
Read "Sketches on the Radio" CD/LP/Track Review Sketches on the Radio
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 14, 2016
Read "Prospect" CD/LP/Track Review Prospect
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 13, 2016
Read "What Do I Miss" CD/LP/Track Review What Do I Miss
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 10, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!