Brian Tarquin: Last Kiss Goodbye

Don’t be misled by Brian Tarquin’s rock-star length blonde locks or the familiar Instinct Jazz “this is acid jazz” slogan on the disc box, and you won’t be disappointed in the guitarist’s mostly silky-light Last Kiss Goodbye (Instinct EX 355-2; 60:35). Throughout the album, Tarquin plays with a fleet-fingered, smooth style which floats across freewheeling pieces like “Freeway Jam” and a muted “flying” read of Jimi Hendrix’s “Third Stone from the Sun.” Even when you think he’s venturing into fusion turf, as on the fast-paced “Trippin’,” Tarquin’s delivery, though detailed, remains melodic and never ventures into the abstract. Although his acid jazz is a gentler breed of fusion, Tarquin does unleash his rock sensibilities on “Geronimo,” a rollicking, Latin-tinged tribute to Carlos Santana which bristles with organ and fuzz guitar. It’s the rock guitar shred worth waiting for.