Sunday, December 25, 2016

Joshua Breakstone "88"

There are many reasons to recommend guitarist Joshua Breakstone. But there are two that stand out for me. Long ago, Joshua settled on a tone that conveys a special warmth like no other guitarist. Secondly, he has always opted for superb if underappreciated material from the outstanding repertoire of jazz history. On this session he honors pianists by playing their compositions. Among those in the mix are Sonny Clark, Elmo Hope, Mal Waldron, Barry Harris, Tadd Dameron and Lennie Tristano. Most of the tunes by these and other piano heroes are obscure choices. And to me, that's a direct reference to the work Breakstone has put in studying the compositions of these player-composers. Probably the best known tunes would be Waldron's "Soul Eyes"; Dameron's "If You Could See Me Now"; and Tristano's "Lennie's Pennies", based on "Pennies From Heaven". As always, Breakstone works effortlessly with his trio mates, Lisle Atkinson, bass, and Andy Watson, drums. Adding some lustre to the session is cellist Mike Richmond. Joshua Breakstone only knows one way: warm, beautiful, resonant guitar. If perchance you've never checked him out, it's time to do so.

Capri Records; 2016; appx. 63 min.

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