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Kevin Lutke: Fallen Wood

With a smooth, chorusey tone and a fluid, seamless technique, guitarist Kevin Lutke packs his Fallen Wood (Ampersand 6003-2; 52:45) with accessible, illustrative melodies which never lack for inventive timing. Much of what separates Lutke’s effort (he also produces) from those of many similarly-minded contemporaries is a willingness to work the basics, utilizing both contrasting and complementary techniques to get the most of his tight, four-piece group. Examples of this attention to detail can be readily found in the stuttering guitar vs. dark blue bass in “My Blues,” and a hopping drum line anchoring “Gostos” which is much like the aural equivalent of a joyful grasshopper. On “You’ve Changed,” noted as a tribute to Billie Holliday, Lutke solos in tender, musing chords, softening the grit of blues into a haunting melody. Throughout the effort, Lutke proves that great effects can be achieved through the inventive use of the basics.

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