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January/February 2006

Jay Geils, Duke Robillard and Gerry Beaudoin
New Guitar Summit: Live at the Stoneham Theatre

Guitarist Jay Geils is more associated with sprawling bar-band numbers and updated renditions of Chicago blues standards than participating in jam sessions like the splendid three-part ax-harmony date spotlighted on New Guitar Summit. But those who only know his playing from the J Geils band days will be pleasantly surprised at the discipline and range displayed throughout this date that matched him with two other first-rate musicians, Duke Robillard and Gerry Beaudoin. Their exchanges on "Flying Home," "Broadway" and "Swingin' with Dr. Jake" are DVD high points, with each musician offering rippling, elegant statements yet also nicely joining forces during the equally beautiful unison passages. Bassist John Turner and drummer Gordon Grottehthaler supply the frameworks and foundations, nicely spacing and extending things while giving the guitarists maximum room to stretch out and respond to each other. Here's tremendous, ego-free playing by three capable improvisers.

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