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July/August 2005

Vic Juris
A Second Look
Mel Bay Records

What has Vic Juris learned from a career that's put him in the professional company of the likes of Dizzy Gillespie and Phil Woods? Besides the skills and flexibility of a virtuoso guitarist, he's seemingly gained a sense of humility that leads him to disregard any impulse for the flashy stuff he could surely coax out of his ax. Even his tone-effected subtly with a haze of reverb and chorus-renders his melodies as mirages of sound, dreamy and never clamoring for attention.

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Jimmy Katz

Vic Juris

On A Second Look, Juris is his usual, laidback self, and a fitting foil to the more outgoing Dave Liebman, who adds his tenor and soprano Coltrane-isms sporadically throughout. Occasionally, as in a sleepy "All the Things You Are," Juris plays his thoughtful lines on a nylon-string guitar instead of his usual electric.

Juris wrote half the tunes, and though he doesn't often strike a catchy melody of his own, his composing still intrigues because lines don't resolve as expected. He and his bandmates, bassist Jay Anderson and drummer Tim Horner, never fail to find ways to play in the crevices and imbue the music with a sense of mystery and wonder, keeping it far from the redundancy of average, head-solos-head fare.

Originally published in July/August 2005
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