Shooting Pool at Leo's
Chase Music Group
There's always something slightly off kilter in the spindly, sweet-toned play of guitarist Doug Munro, and that edge and ever-so-subtle twist in perspective is what keeps his Shooting Pool at Leo's (Chase Music Group CMD 8050; 49:39) an intriguing listen. The guitarist/composer/arranger starts off painting in dark strokes,with the bluesy setting of "Untitled 3." The catchy melodic refrain sends Munro's solo spinning off wildly, like lighting the fuse of a firecracker. Munro's arrangements often serve to thumbnail complex city life atmospheres. For example, the album's title track segues from a jangling pop structured intro into a laid-back rock feel, with sliding guitar riffs and strutting horns adding a swaggering "hang out" attitude. "Is We is or is We Ain't" comes across equally sassy due to the exposed bass play of Harvie Swartz, as well as Munro's twisted lead. Even Munro's lightest tunes, like "Dream Time," have a just-below-the-surface edge which lends interest and meaning.