Amos Garrett Jazz Trio: Jazzblues Stony Plain 2013
Listen up, young blood. Sure you can slash and burn your way through a guitar solo and shred like there’s no tomorrow but when that tomorrow actually dawns and there’s no one left
standing to gape in wonder at your skill and finesse, you’re gonna need a coda. This is it here. This is a guitar player’s record. What it leads to is the sublime, the stuff, the juice,
the soul of great guitar music.
The dude’s been around forever and he knows a thing or two. For one, he knows that if the jazz don’t got no blues and the blues ain’t got no jazz there ain’t nothing memorable goin’
down at all. Here, he and his mates just kill it. Eight tracks culled from live settings strung across Canada with no over dubs that say virtuoso, gunslinger and tone architect often in the same bar.
Don’t believe me? Check out the Miles Davis opener, Freddy Freeloader, and then the two Thelonious Monk cuts before skipping ahead to Freddie Hubbard’s Little Sunflower and
ask yourself how the hell they pulled that shit off. Jazzblues. No drums. Just that sumptuous lead backed by rhythm guitar and bass. The tone is exotic, rich, full and expansive as hell,
all in a languid, soothing, lambent mix born of the rain, the stars and the those places where even the wind is lonely, that place where jazz is born and the blues achieves its holler.
Jazzblues. ‘Nuff said except to stay that this is how you get an audience to stay with you through decades; create memorable, inarguable art.
Classy, poignant and enduring. --Richard Wagamese on canada.com, June 20, 2013
“Amos Garrett. Now there's a name no self-respecting critic or omnivorous listener can encounter without a wistful smile, harking back to over 150 LPs with the gent's way cool fretwork
(that's his one-take slay-ya-where-ya-stand solo in Maria Muldaur's Midnight at the Oasis). Makes perfect sense he'd be on the Stony Plain label, as the cat's sensibilities come from a
nother era and have only deepened as each year has passed. I covered his mightily bitchin' trib to Percy Mayfield (here), and, though Garrett's most known for roots work, his jazz side is
blissful and blue, hence the CD's sobriquet.
Lotsa instrumental work here, LOTS, y'all (only two vocal cuts), and once you get into the swing of things, you'll be lining up old Booker T, Harvey Mandel, Chet Atkins, and Hawaiian
LPs for afters. Catch Garrett's do-up of Monk's Misterioso and just try telling me he couldn't make the slack key cats sweat. Every cut on the disc is live from one fest or another, and the
tempo is down-lo, moody but quietly effervescent, a bit sparked up here and there, as in the Erlandson medley and the vocal portions Hoagy's imperishable Skylark, but overall content
and laissez-faire lemme-do-my-thing.
Choosing a rhythm guitarist (Keith Smith) as back-up along with bass player Greg Carroll was a stroke of genius and the combo of the three shines immensely in the tropical
10:19 Little Sunflower. I'm strongly reminded of the old obscure Gabor Szabo / Louis Kabok team-ups, not that Garrett and Smith sound like Gab & Louie per se, but there's a simpatico
that's meltingly delicious and filled with tangs of all sorts of backlogged influences, including a somewhat revved Albatross (from Peter Green's old Fleetwood Mac). Favorite cut? That's it,
buster, but the entire release is both balm and mellowly galvanizing. Not too much, though, not too much, just enough to prompt the listener to get up, pour another margarita, and then sit
back down, sipping and smiling like someone who just realized it doesn't get much better than this. As Amos himself says, "That's the shit right there!". Damned if it ain't, and I'm hoping
like crazy that he favors us with a second helping in the near future.” --Mark S. Tucker for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange http://www.acousticmusic.com/fame/p08810.htm
Inspired By Kenny - Keith Smith Trio - Afterthought CD Release at Beat Niq in Calgary, May 15/09
Simon (Bass) provided the Sony EX1 camera, audio by me.
Jazz at the Hyatt
(Centre St. & Stephen Ave SW - In the Lobby)
Wednesdays & Fridays 5-7
Ralf Buschmeyer / Keith Smith Duo
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