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May 2007

Terrence Brewer
The Calling: Volumes One and Two
Strong Brew

Alameda, Calif., fingerstyle jazz guitarist Terrence Brewer launched his own independent record label with two separate self-produced CDs, each with a different rhythm section. A naturally gifted player with a beautiful, warm tone and a melodic penchant, his playing is eminently pleasing, if a tad too mellow and deliberate for fans of unadulterated burn. On Volume One he is joined by pianist Ben Stolorow, acoustic bassist Ravi Abcarian and drummer Micah McClain on 10 tunes that range from smooth, inoffensive offerings like “True to Form” and the delicate waltz-time number “All the King’s Horses” to the Latin-tinged romps “Murray’s Law” and “The Hands of Man” to more urgent numbers like “Ray of Hope” and the up-tempo swinger “Dedication.” Volume Two is an organ quartet date with drummer Derrek Phillips (formerly of Charlie Hunter’s trio), Hammond B3 player Wil Blades and tenor saxophonist Eric Drake. But like Volume One, there’s a certain mellowness and sheen cast over the proceedings (with the exception of the up-tempo burner “Sunrise Sunset”) that will appeal more to contempo fans than old-school jazz guitar aficionados.

Originally published in May 2007
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