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Steve Abshire: Come In From the Rain

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A veteran of the U.S. Navy’s Commodores jazz band as well as gigs with Louie Bellson, Milt Hinton and Rosemary Clooney, Steve Abshire plays jazz guitar in a style that is familiar, comfortable and classic. While his approach may have been forged in a bygone age, he swings so sincerely and smoothly that it’s easy to let yourself go and float along on the music’s gently grooving wave.

Supported by bandmates John Jensen on trombone, Mike Shepherd on drums, and Tommy Cecil on bass, Abshire for the most part effortlessly grooves through the set, which includes war horses like “Robbin’s Nest,” “It’s You or No One,” “I Only Have Eyes For You,” “Topsy” and the title track, with its uncredited female vocalist. Apart from the overall style, it’s difficult to find fault with the disc’s good sound and fine playing, although on Abshire’s own “Greasy” he opts for a slightly rawer than usual tone that seems a bit out of place.

If you dig guitar playing by Herb Ellis and other members of the straightahead school, you might want to give this disc a listen. There’s nothing cutting edge here, just fine playing from beginning to end.