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Chris Winters: Impressions

Chicagoan Chris Winters cuts with a nasty, stinging tone on his Gibson Les Paul guitar on this collection of originals. More an accomplished rock-blues player with jazzy influences than a bona fide jazz guitarist (akin to such creative ax slingers as Harvey Mandel and Roy Buchanan), Winters is especially strong on hard-hitting funk numbers like “Skippy the Peanut,” “Ventura Blvd” and “Trials and Tribulations.”

The quartet’s lone attempt at swinging, “Back at the Jam,” is pedestrian at best, and Winters’ two stabs at ballad writing, “Song for Alexander” and “Faith in Love,” come off as a little mawkish. Winters is on his best footing when he sticks to toe-curling blues licks and driving shuffles, as on “Skuffle,” an urgent, organ-fueled offering that recalls Robben Ford’s Blue Line band.

Originally Published