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July/August 2001

Peter Almqvist
My Sound
Storyville

This album, devoted to jazz standards for the most part, features Swedish guitarist Almqvist in a series of unaccompanied solos and overdubbed duets.

An accomplished player, Almqvist has a great deal of facility and fluidity. But overdubbing offers its own share of challenges, and his admirable traits tend to get lost over the course of the duets due to the fact that the lead and accompaniment often fail to sync up. This is especially true of the Latin treatments of "The Song Is You" and "A Night in Tunisia", where the relatively busy supporting parts are annoyingly out of phase with the single-note-based solo portions. And while he fares a bit better on the numbers that feature a straighter, more swing-oriented underpinning ("All the Things You Are," "Donna Lee" and others), there is still a certain inconsistency in terms of tempo and groove. Of course, these complaints don't apply to the set's three unaccompanied solos ("God Bless the Child," "Manh_ de Carnaval" and "Goodnight"), which he graces with some nice voicings and substitutions.

Pass on this one, but it might be worth checking out what Almqvist can do in the company of other musicians.

Originally published in July/August 2001
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