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Richard Hart

Blue Swing

“Blue Swing.“ the new recording from smooth jazz guitarist Richard Hart is fraught with eloquent waltzes, tender sonatas, and radiant sambas. Accompanied by saxophonist Ron Munn who crafts the most soaring moments on the album, Hart keeps the melodic progressions cohesive as he treads gracefully over the rhythm section of percussionist Gene Fuchs, bassist Markus Allen, and pianist Pete Corbett.

The mirth-packed riffs that Hart sculpts for the title track bring out a bluesy ragtime hue in the track, while the succor-jeweled motifs of “Time Away” have a waltzy glow. Hart is a natural at creating supper club-bowered ambiences. His talent lies in harmonizing with his band and keeping everyone on the same page. His tracks invoke images of relaxing evenings with a touch of bubbly champagne like in “Lazy Afternoon.” The Cole Porter-esque lilt in the piano keys strolling through “In The Breeze” are partnered with the silky threads of Munn’s saxophone as Hart’s guitar adds twinges of spontaneous ruffling. The samba shimmies of “Bonja Samba” inject a Latin swing/bossa nova hue that enlivens the momentum of the recording which is followed by a tribute to Stanley Getz, the prolific saxophonist of the ‘50s, in Hart’s tune “Stan’s The Bossa.” The percussive fringes invoke images of Acapulco’s lounging beaches and friendly sunshine.

Hart knows how to hone-in on smooth jazz coordinates and parlay them into bossa nova riffs when the mood takes him there. This is the world of Richard Hart filled with elegant lines and pleasing lifts, and yet, he makes it all sound attainable in the temporal dominion.

Personnel: Richard Hart - guitar, Ron Munn - saxophone, Gene Fuchs - percussion, Markus Allen - bass, Pete Corbett - piano

Tracklisting: Simply For You, Blue Swing, Time Away, Lazy Afternoon, In The Breeze, Bonfa Samba, Stan’s The Bossa, Catch The 9-12, Mark’s Got No Socks, Slower Nickels

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Susan Frances