Bop! Bang! Boom!

Grant Geissman

Bop! Bang! Boom! strings skunky funk, down home B-3 blues, classical snips and quirky bop boogaloos with eclectic elegance. Title notwithstanding, the end result of this mix is a smash supreme.

Long recognized as a guitarist’s guitarist by way of his marvelous work with Chuck Mangione, Lorraine Feather and Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band and many others, Geissman herds together a crew of old friends and L.A.’s brightest and sets all free to frolic over a dozen Geissman-composed - or co-authored - platforms. Collectively they leave the studio with no rear ends.

There’s a complementary sense of focus and freedom here with no studio sterility surfacing. Irrespective of the grooves and textures at hand, this is a showcase for the leader’s prolific chops, versatility and pure inventiveness. Geissman plays with a fun-loving, expressive and irreverent style, milking the most out of the various guitars he embraces on the session. His original selections eccentrically intrigue (of note “The Singularity” and “Good Morning, Mr. Phelps”) and they set the table perfectly for all involved to generously offer superb creative commentary.

The supporting cast of Boppers is a leader’s dream (and testimony to Geissman’s respect in the biz): Saxophonists Brian Scanlon and Tom Scott (who both soar), Larry Carlton, Albert Lee, Tom Scott, Russell Ferrante, Trey Henry, Van Dyke Parks and more. With such a diverse set of selections to support, the various rhythm sections employed add all of the necessary soul, swing and funk flavors needed to make things shine.

Brilliantly produced, performed (and packaged!), Bop! Bang! Boom! is a joyous tour de groove. Who knows? It might even bang, boom and bop its way to play on one of those small golden Gramophones.

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Nick Mondello