Albare iTD: Long Way

The Australian guitarist Albert Dadon (a.k.a. Albare) has assembled a top-notch band for this project, including Antonio Sanchez (drums), George Garzone (tenor sax) and Leo Genovese (piano). Unfortunately, the stylistic mesh doesn’t maximize their formidable talents. At its best, Long Way accomplishes a globalized, airy groove in which Albare-who lived in Morocco, Israel and France before going Down Under-plays with the liquid strut of George Benson while his co-composer for most of these songs, Cypriot bassist Evripides Evripidou, provides the most empathetic support and the German harmonica player Hendrik Meurkens adds a key dollop of soul. On the uptempo numbers that seem more in the wheelhouse of Sanchez and the other high-profile guests, Albare careens too close to either rockish wankery or the synthetic sentimentality of smooth jazz. Like nearly every other guitarist, he lacks the creative breadth of Sanchez’s comrade Pat Metheny.