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Denny Jiosa: Body 2 Body

One of smooth-jazz’s most accomplished guitarists, Denny Jiosa possesses a strong sense of melody and remarkable dexterity, both of which are amply in evidence on Body2Body (1201). Jiosa has a way of articulating a melody without unnecessary flash, as on the graceful “Il Dulce Per Due (Dessert for Two),” the romantic “You’re Like Chocolate to Me” and “Peace in Manhattan,” a tribute to the victims of 9/11, which he infuses with a quietly expressive lyricism that’s accented by poignant flugelhorn.

Most of the tracks emphasize Jiosa’s laid-back eloquence, but he’s also got a ferocious rock side, which he unleashes on his raucous cover of Buddy Miles’ “Them Changes.” Body2Body includes two versions of “Europa,” the Santana composition popularized by saxophonist Gato Barbieri; on the first, Jiosa establishes the familiar melody, and then he and saxophonist Jeffrey Scot Wills improvise around it. On the second version, which is billed as a remix, Jiosa’s guitar explodes into a display of rock-edged pyrotechnics that brings the album to a close with a fiery flourish.

Originally Published