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Grant Geisman: Bop! Bang! Boom!

L.A.-based guitarist Grant Geissman made his name with the “contemporary” jazz and commercial work that are so much a part of the Southern California scene. Bop! Bang! Boom! is advertised as his third CD in a trilogy that represents his “shift to more traditional jazz expressions.” Yet like Say That! (2006) and Cool Man Cool (2009), those expressions are cloaked in hot-tub sheen.

The opening “Boom!” features a fine guitar solo-Geissman’s claim to jazz fame is his 1978 solo on Chuck Mangione’s early smooth-jazz hit “Feels So Good”-yet even the contributions of former Weather Report percussionist Alex Acuña can’t overcome its pedestrian framework. “The Singularity” also seems like a composition based around a guitar solo, despite the efforts of Tierney Sutton’s ace rhythm-section mates Kevin Axt (bass) and Ray Brinker (drums). A parade of guest stars includes saxophonist Tom Scott on the Latin-tinged Quincy Jones nod “Q Tip” and shuffling closer “Off the Grid,” and Yellowjackets keyboardist Russell Ferrante playing electric piano on Geissman’s classically influenced “Un Poco Español” and the 5/8-timed “Good Morning, Mr. Phelps.”

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