(Review of Jeff Barone's latest CD)
GUITAR FIESTA: "Open Up" Jeff Barone (Jazzed Media)
NYC-based guitarist Jeff Barone will make new fans with this wide-ranging, imaginative release. Most of these modern mainstream tracks feature organist Ron Oswanski and drummer Rudy Petschauer -- including an oh-so-slow "If You Go Away," with Barone on acoustic guitar issuing tender lines and stretches of alluring chordal melody over soft, creamy organ chords and quiet, thack-a-whack drums. "Falling in Love with Love" is faster, with the leader on electric; it has a funky feel at points, as it cooks along. The title track has a hip-hop-ish beat and spirited work from Barone, trumpeter Joe Magnarelli and saxophonist Mike Dubaniewicz, all of whom also lay down solid stuff on the opening blues, "Duban's Groove." Magnarelli is enticing on "New Samba," another deft mix of acoustic guitar and organ, with more A-1 Barone. He and guitarist Jack Wilkins offer two duos, including a beguiling ballad, "Jenna's Song," with Wilkins' distinctive, ringing sound a standout.
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