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Greg Skaff: Blues and Other News

Born in Wichita, guitarist Greg Skaff is a neo-modernist whose no-nonsense style is spiced with healthy dollops of blues and bop. Alto saxophonist Bobby Watson, another Kansan and Skaff’s current employer, offers this assessment: “Greg is the most versatile and imaginative guitarist I’ve played with. He has one foot in the past and one foot in the future, so anything the music calls for…he’s there!” Now that’s an endorsement!

Among the gems are a seriously swinging “Walk the Walk,” whose loamy contours Wes Montgomery would have felt at home with. For contrast, Skaff’s poignant evocation of the William Warfield/Leontyne Price version of “My Man’s Gone Now” transforms melancholy into tremulous, palpable hope. Throughout, group interactions are tight yet loose, and always swinging.

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