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Scott Whitfield: To Be There

This is Californian acoustic guitarist Diorio’s sixth album on a label from Parma, Italy that specializes in mellow guitar jazz, and his first solo date since the label’s premiere CD. It is indeed a warmhearted effort. Diorio makes this a halcyon reminiscence by keeping the tempos down, the treatments glossy if meticulous, and the general tone hallowed with a slight reverb. That Diorio has chosen to record these classics (any Jobim fan will recognize the entire set) not as gutsy street samba, but rather as elegant-indeed, classical-chamber studies, makes sense not only as a memorial but also from the perspective that Jobim himself had been writing more rarefied and heady compositions in his latter years. That said, I wished occasionally for a little bass tug on “Triste,” an oom-chick on hi-hat on “Desafinado,” or even just a little bit more improvisation (as he does so sweetly on “Corcovado” and “Red Blouse”) from this superb player on these melodic goldies.

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