B.D. Lenz: Straight Up

Contemporary jazz guitarist B.D. Lenz’s quartet lays down a funky, jamming vibe on this CD, integrating catchy goodtime grooves with moodier, blues-inflected pieces. Tunes like “Joe Citizen” and the title track are tight and solid, with a direct thrust and thumping rhythmic cores, busy enough to sustain interest but straightforward enough for crossover appeal. On ballads, Lenz goes for a sweet, airy tone while his band creates thoughtful, spacious atmospheres. It’s an agreeable mix.