According to the liners for Jonathan Kreisberg’s second leader album, Nine Stories Wide (Criss Cross), the guitarist wants his six-string to sound like a piano. I’d urge him to just play piano if he weren’t such a fascinating ax-man. Kreisberg hired great help for the record in drummer Larry Grenadier and bassist Bill Stewart, a duo that carves deep nooks and crannies into these nine originals and standards-who knew that the changes to “Summertime” still keep secrets? But it’s Kreisberg’s explorations of those crawl spaces that intrigue the most. He winds his slightly perky tone through ballads with lovely legato phrases and bounces through uptempo tunes. On Jule Styne’s “Just in Time” he chases Grenadier’s skittering ride cymbal, eventually catches up to strike a slightly muted chord as if to say “gotcha” and then sets off again to hunt down Stewart and his broad, woody tone.
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