Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Lines & Spaces
Genres: Jazz, Special Interest, Pop, Classical
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Sven Lavine | San Francisco | 02/22/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This album is a must have (if you can get a hold of it). I hadn't heard of stowell until recently - he is being touted as a major rising force in the jazz guitar community. Unable to find any online samples anywhere, I bought the CD with no idea of what I was getting (like we used to do before the internet). Stowell is the kind of musician that leaves an aspiring guitarist like myself awestruck. His chordal and harmonic approach is so refreshing - he avoids most of those guitar cliches, playing more like a piano player (with huge hands). He does not let the the supposed physical limitations of the guitar hold him back, he achieves amazing and unique chord voicings, kind of reminiscent of Alan Holdsworth's work, except Stowell is working from a much more traditional jazz chord/melody starting point, and implementing in in a non-traditional way. But this work is by no means a chops intensive ego trip, this is very accessible, and easy to digest jazz that could be appreciated by non-guitarists. As far as his tone goes, there is no jazz rule book that says that all guitarists must play with a super dark tone ala Jim Hall; Johns tone is on the bright side, and he utilizes some time delay effects, but it is pleasing to my ear, and it allows his beautiful voicings to ring clearly. One reviewer commented on audible fret noise - turning the treble on your amp down all the way does wonders for masking those little imperfections - it's just part of the sound. I must admit that I have a hard time listening to the tracks that feature Lynn Skinners vocals - admittedly, I'm not a big vocals fan. I realize that Stowell wasn't going in this direction, but I think it would be better as a virtuoso effort."
Excellent musicianship throughout
Sven Lavine | 02/28/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"John Stowell is an gifted guitarist who plays absolutely beautiful original music as well as arrangements of tunes written by others. Creative chord voicings and interesting improvisations are present from beginning to end. A great choice for anyone interested in contemporary jazz guitar."