Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Dave McKenna, Gray Sargent|
Concord Duo Series 2
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Great duo by two under-rated virtuosos
R. E McBride | Flyover Country | 04/14/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Dave McKenna may have more 'fame' on his side, but both of these artists are neglected marvels.
Their virtuosity is not flashy (though both are capable of blowing over uptempo changes), but in their focus on musicality.
I first heard Gray Sargent in Tony Bennett's road band a few years back, and it wasn't exactly a forum for highlighting the band members. Tony may not be as hard to work for as Frank Sinatra was, but anyone who can make it in his band has to have their ego in check.
But even though the show was all about Bennett, and I'm not taking away from the musicianship it takes to just flat out make the guy up front sound as good as possible, there were occasional solos by band members.
And there was this guitarist with this amazing, woody tone and a unique phrasing vocabulary. The only other guitarist I can think of who's been as immune to the Scofield and Metheny influences, it would be Peter Bernstein. It's refreshing to hear a guitarist who has simply ignored those influences. I love Sco, love Metheny but they made their mark by NOT sounding like Wes Montgomery and Jim Hall.
This is a fun album because in the duet setting you get to hear Gray sound like only he sounds, and McKenna with his blend of traditions from stride to bebop. The chemistry is amazing, the two have their ears open at all times, and never step on each other's toes. Kind of like Sargent did in Bennett's band, they both do everything they can to make the other sound incredible."