Chicago veteran Frank Portolese reveals a decided Joe Pass/Django Reinhardt influence on these stellar flat-picked interpretations of familiar fare. While his lush chordal voicings and moving basslines on “Over the Rainbow” speak of Pass, the dazzling filigrees he throws in on that tune are positively Django-esque. With his obscure 1965 Barker guitar, he takes an old-school acoustic-toned approach as he flies through swing-era nuggets like “Topsy” and “Limehouse Blues.” Other highlights include solo arrangements of “As Time Goes By,” “Stardust” and “It’s the Talk of the Town,” and a stirring interpretation of Ellington’s challenging “Black and Tan Fantasy.”Originally Published
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