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Peter Leitch: Up Front

Drawing upon the talents of bassist Sean Smith and drummer Marvin “Smitty” Smith, the Canadian-born guitarist renders this diverse nine-tune set (including five originals) with a combination of his trademark virtuosity, imagination, musicianship and good taste.

The up-tempo title track clearly displays Leitch’s single-note fluency, which he periodically punctuates with chords and double stops as he swings hard. And while the interaction between the trio’s members is subtle, it’s plainly close to the surface, especially when guitar and drums pick up on a rhythmic figure stated during Sean Smith’s solo. Leitch’s abilities as a composer are underscored by “Sea Change,” a brisk samba graced with long, effortless-sounding single-note lines and chordal episodes, and “Millennium Part I,” which begins with a virtuosic cadenza before it alternates between up-tempo and rubato sections. Further evidence proving that Leitch is one of the finer straight ahead guitarists around.

Originally Published