Tony_purrone-the_tonester_span3
December 2001

Tony Purrone
The Tonester
SteepleChase

Like a minor fusion deity, guitarist Tony Purrone can unravel burbling strings of notes up and down the fretboard, but he also has a bit of the Burrell in him, gravitating toward harmonically rich chordal improvisation, stacking chord against chord against chord. He plays with a pinched tone, and will bend and distort notes; but just as often Purrone slips in bluesy double-stops or gentle, classic-jazz guitar single-note runs. He also delves into momentary atmospherics, letting open strings ring out alongside fingered ones in chords that are given plenty of decay time. It may sound like a scattered or ostentatious approach, but on The Tonester the guitarist manages to make it all sound organic. With an admirable sense for moderation and a flair for shooting sparks, Purrone combines just the right amounts of grit and harmonic sophistication.

Purrone's tasteful playing complements his interesting choices in tunes on this CD-two Shorters and a Hancock alongside one from Carla Bley, Strayhorn's "U.M.M.G." and a Jan Hammer, to name a few. Playing with his regular trio, including drummer Thierry Arpino and bassist Dave Anderson, Purrone really digs into the tunes; his improvisations are packed with harmonic information. Arpino's busy drumming plus Anderson's electric bass give Purrone a muscular foundation, which suits the guitarist just fine. Purrone does run short of ideas a few times, resorting to repeated patterns up and down the neck. He also gets a little carried away with his chordal accompaniment occasionally and can weight down a melodic line. But overall, The Tonester is a very enjoyable, creative effort that peaks on Bley's "Sing Me Softly of the Blues," where Purrone kicks up plenty of dust.

Originally published in December 2001
BUY THIS ALBUM from Amazon.com
STREAM THIS CD from Rhapsody.com

Add a Comment

You need to log in to comment on this article. No account? No problem!