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Dave Juarez: Round Red Light

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These days it seems like every young jazz guitarist coming out of conservatories around the world can play with jaw-dropping single-note facility. Such is certainly the case with Dave Juarez, a native of Barcelona who has assimilated the post-Scofield/Rosenwinkel legato vocabulary and conveys it in soulful terms on his crackling debut. He forges a formidable partnership on the frontline with the bold if underrated tenor saxophonist Seamus Blake, and the two execute tight unison lines and exchange potent, flowing solos on the buoyant waltz-time “Montpellier View,” the gorgeous title track and the exhilarating “Lonely Brooklyn.” Pianist John Escreet provides harmonically provocative accompaniment throughout and turns in some stellar solo work, particularly on “The Echo of Your Smile” and the evocative “La Noche Oscura del Alma.” Juarez ignites the proceedings with slightly distortion-tinged fusillades on “Serotonina,” then erupts in classic Rosenwinkel fashion on the surging closer, “RNP.” Scorching intensity and substance from start to finish.

Originally Published