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June 2000

Tony Purrone
Six-String Delight
SteepleChase

A monster guitarist, Purrone displays his prodigious technique on this celebration of 10 jazz guitar innovators. Accompanied by Harold Danko on piano, Keith Copeland on drums and Avishai Cohen on bass, the longstanding member of The Heath Brothers band bristles with six-string bravado on these straightahead extrapolations.
His take on bop master Jimmy Raney's "Signal" is warm and full of harmonic complexity yet executed with a hard swinging sense of assuredness. He places Django Reinhardt's "Fleur d'Ennui" in a more contemporary soul-jazz setting without sacrificing the gypsy guitarist's mindboggling single note flourishes, then shows ultimate finesse in a graceful reading of Jim Hall's beautiful ballad "All Across the City." He makes some daring choices on John McLaughlin's hypnotic modal piece "Follow Your Heart," then deals in an earthy soul-jazz bag on Wes Montgomery's bluesy "Sundown."
Purrone's staccato attack, blinding speed and marvelous facility are put to good use on Pat Martino's chops-busting "On the Stairs" and on Tal Farlow's signature piece, "Gibson Boy." Also included are heartfelt tributes to Joe Pass, Johnny Smith and George Van Eps. A wonderful sampler for jazz guitar fans and an admirable showcase for this criminally under-recognized six-string virtuoso.

Originally published in June 2000
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