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Ron Eschete: Soft Wind

If the seven-string guitar ever becomes the axe of choice for more than a select few players, Concord Jazz can be proud of their track record in bringing the instrument to the attention of the musical public. Here is one more heptachordal outing to add to the queue-but this is by no means “just another guitarist with bass envy.” Ron Eschete has crafted a sound whose smooth surface belies the deep technique on which it rides. Matching his extended-range capabilities with those of Todd Johnson on six-string bass guitar, with the constant swing of drummer Paul Humphrey to knit it all together, Eschet’s trio sounds like the statistical average nuclear family: one surely hears 2.6 voices at work on most of these ten tunes. And the drummer makes…some trio, indeed! The highlight of the set is the leader’s “Rumpled Silk Skin,” a Caribbean romp over Humphrey’s inspired brushwork in which the sleight of hands among guitarist and bassist is truly fascinating.

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