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Vic Juris: Blue Horizon

Coming off a few recent discs where the name of the game was Standards Songbook, guitarist Vic Juris has thrown a curveball with Blue Horizon (ZoHo), a long and adventurous journey that has him slinging archtop, acoustic, classical and solid-body guitars to create a cool and mellow world of “Ah…relaxation.” Lest you start thinking smooth jazz, please take note that Juris’ bag is far more complex than that and that drummer Adam Nussbaum is not the least bit content to just sit inside a pocket for too long without getting a little nasty.

Over beds made up of Joe Locke’s vibraphone (and sometimes marimba), Jamey Haddad’s Latin-tinged percussion and, on the opening “Dancing Shadows,” the angelic, wordless vocals of Kate Baker, Juris’ mellow lines tend to roll out like gestures made toward a setting sun, conjuring an image of the guitarist reclined on a chaise lounge at twilight, totally blissed-out and shoeless. It’s great to hear Juris break out of the standards mold for a set and get casual.

Originally Published