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Peter Leitch: Autobiography

Peter Leitch’s Autobiography (Reservoir) features pianist George Cables, saxophonist Jed Levy, bassist Dwayne Burno and drummer Steve Johns in a program of swinging originals and well-chosen covers. Leitch flaunts his fluid chops coming out of the gate on the easy-swinging opener “For D.T.,” written for the Canadian saxophonist Don Thompson, an early employer of the guitarist. The group hits full stride on Charlie Parker’s uptempo number “Segment” and settles into a mellow groove on Henry Mancini’s “Theme From Mr. Lucky,” with Levy doubling Leitch’s melodic octave work on flute. They pull off a blues-infused rendition of Neal Hefti’s “Girl Talk” with soulful aplomb and tackle Albert Ayler’s “Ghosts” (a surprising choice for this postbop crew) with gusto and a touch of calypso. An added treat is Leitch’s unaccompanied Joe Pass-like treatment of “East of the Sun” on acoustic guitar. Leitch has been turning out consistently strong, eminently swinging recordings for the last 20 years. This one exceeds his usual high standards.

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