Philip Catherine Quartet: Live

Progressive yet at the same time stylistically waist deep in the mainstream, Catherine’s tone and style frequently recall another Belgian guitarist, the great Django Reinhardt. Here, supported by a capable Dutch rhythm section, he makes his way through a set of extended live performances, which range from poetic to grooving.

Catherine’s approach to the ballads “I Fall In Love Too Easily” and “Wondering Why” relies on stark melodic phrases designed to heighten the romantic mood rather than show off his chops, something he reserves for more rhythmically aggressive numbers like “Piano Groove” and “Freddie Freeloader.” Combining both elements, “Rene Thomas” (a paean to the late great Belgian guitarist) starts slowly, gradually growing into a frenzied, fusion-esque workout that speaks volumes about Catherine’s artistry and captivating sincerity.