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The Doug MacDonald Trio: It’s A Blue World

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Following 2009’s ambitious orchestral outing, Fourth Stream, veteran L.A. guitarist Doug MacDonald has pared things down to a trio. Accompanied by electric bassist Lou Shoch and drummer Jack LeCompte, he reveals a focused, Barney Kessel-inspired touch and warm tone on Tin Pan Alley nuggets like “Fools Rush In” and “My Buddy,” a bossa-fied rendition of Henry Mancini’s “Loss of Love” and a beautiful unaccompanied version of “My Ideal.” But you have to question the wisdom of letting Shoch sing on “The Masquerade Is Over,” or solo so extensively on a few tracks. In a post-Jaco world full of staggering electric bass virtuosos, Shoch’s pedestrian licks aren’t getting it done.