Like a minor fusion deity, guitarist Tony Purrone can unravel burbling strings of notes up and down the fretboard, but he also has a bit of the Burrell in him, gravitating toward harmonically rich chordal improvisation, stacking chord against chord against chord. He plays with a pinched tone, and will bend and distort notes; but just as often Purrone slips in bluesy double-stops or gentle, classic-jazz guitar single-note runs. He also delves into momentary atmospherics, letting open strings ring out alongside fingered ones in chords that are given plenty of decay time. It may sound like a scattered or ostentatious approach, but on The Tonester the guitarist manages to make it all sound organic. With an admirable sense for moderation and a flair for shooting sparks, Purrone combines just the right amounts of grit and harmonic sophistication.
Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.