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Paul Bollenback: Brightness of Being

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Paul Bollenback has proven himself a remarkably versatile guitarist over the course of an extensive sideman career. With Brightness of Being, his first album for the Elefant Dreams label and his sixth as a leader overall, he employs versatility as a kind of ethos. The result is an exuberant mishmash, in terms of both repertoire and style.

The album’s core is a sturdy rhythm section consisting of Bollenback, James Genus on bass and either Terri-Lyne Carrington or Ari Hoenig on drums. Every song but one includes a saxophonist; Tim Garland and Gary Thomas form a tag team, while David “Fathead” Newman makes what amounts to a solid cameo. The final player is Chris McNulty, whose voice adds color to some tracks and takes the lead on others.

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