Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Joyce Cooling: Third Wish

A versatile guitarist who can play prickly, notey runs as effortlessly as swooping, lyrical melodies, Joyce Cooling makes her GRP label debut with Third Wish (GRP 314549850-2; 47:41). Backed by a stalwart trio, Cooling offers a likeable selection of mostly airy, laid-back compositions well suited to her chorusey tone. These pieces are flavored with sprinklings of influence: a dash of Brazil-beat for the cornered, busy rhythmic feel of “Tamba,” which finds Cooling reaching down into the lower registers for a warm, minimalist melody, and a bit of retro-’70s groove on the bass-pumping “Daddy-O,” reminiscent of some of Earth, Wind & Fire’s jazzier work. Throughout, Cooling shows a great ability to deliver a melody, from the infectious pop quality of “Whenever the Rain Falls,” to the urbane Latin swing of “Jelly on My Jacket.” That said, the guitarist’s considerable chops show best on the swaggering, retro-funky “East Side,” delivering bluesy licks among the smoldering horns for a summer-in-the-city quality of hipster cool. This piece suits Cooling so well that listeners may find themselves wishing for more risk-taking, ragged edges on the guitarist’s next outing.

Originally Published