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Ron Affif Trio: Ringside

Recorded in front of a live audience brought into Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, this set highlights the technique that guitarist Affif brings to the scene. One comes away with a clear image of smoke rising from the frets, but most of the heat generated is of high musical quality. Affif’s rhythm mates are well-matched to the set: Essiet Essiet on bass and Colin Bailey on drums provide plenty of energy to keep things percolating on uptempo numbers, and settle wonderfully into the lighter touch of the ballads. Affif’s gifts for fast playing extend to an ability to edit a melody line to lay more gracefully across his accelerated changes: this is by no means the resort of a player who can’t fit in all the notes, as his solos amply prove, but rather the exercise of musical taste and judgment.

Originally Published