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Brian Hughes: One 2 One

Guitarist Brian Hughes infuses his melody lines with the type of smooth, high-toned and notey style familiar to fans of many contemporary jazz artists. What makes his One 2 One (Higher Octave Jazz HOJCD 52:57) such a unique pleasure is the creative way that Hughes, who honed his craft with the Chieftains and Loreena McKennit, among others, maximizes his style in some very different settings. These mix-in elements-from Latin to swinging jazz club arrangements-swirl nicely with the guitarist’s elegant technique, giving each cut a distinctive flavor. While the album’s title track is a sweet, “Breezin'”-recalling melodic tonic featuring Hughes’ bubbly fretwork, “While the World Slowly Turns” plays like a torch-lit drama, with orchestral swells and ticking percussion offsetting the dreamier side of Hughes’ work. Other mix-ins contributing to standout tracks include purring Hammond and rhythmic piano on “Stringbean,” and exotic percussions on “Postcard from Brazil,” which, swirled with Hughes’ notey lead, makes for a distinctive modern-meets-traditional sound.

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