Cary DeNigris

Between the Lines

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It might not be accurate to say that Cary DeNigris is a protégé of Chico Hamilton. But, judging by the number of Hamilton albums he is on, he is certainly the first guitar player called when the drummer goes into the recording studio. All of the compositions on the guitarist's debut album are self composed and represent constant reference to the use of the difficult to apply legato technique. DeNigris manages to apply the style without constant slurring of notes as he effortlessly moves back and forth between staccato and smooth guitar lines. Some prime examples of this practice are heard on "Her Eyes," dedicated to his daughter, and, to a lesser extent, "Hang On." Also, throughout the session, rock licks are mixed in with the steady stream of harmonically challenging chords coming from the highly electrically charged guitar. Unlike the abrupt titles of his compositions, none of which have more than two words in them, DeNigris' playing can get quite complex and requires constant listening to catch the full effect of what he is doing. His approach to the blues is laid out in "Stop," where the major theme is clouded with suspense. DeNigris is joined in the studio by Paul Ramsey, whose electric bass opening on "Her Eyes" is one of the album's defining moments, and Drori Mondlak on drums, always there, but never pushy. This album will delight and enrapture those who like to be indulged by fused jazz featuring heavy chordal rendering of an exceedingly technically skilled master of the guitar where complex harmonies, rather than melody, is the name of the game.

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