Charlie Byrd

The Guitar Artistry of Charlie Byrd

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Released in 1960, The Guitar Artistry of Charlie Byrd is one of Byrd's best albums. In addition to his role in bringing bossa nova to a widespread American audience, Byrd can also be credited with bringing a heavy classical influence to the jazz repertoire. The latter approach can be heard to a large degree on this set, which features Byrd in a trio setting performing a set of standards.

Byrd's clean, beautifully articulated style is both technically impressive and easy on the ear (his approach is characterized by a gentle touch and a penchant for fluid melodic lines), and while fans of more adventurous jazz may find Byrd's improvisations wanting, there is plenty of pleasing material here. In addition to overt classical and bop stylings, one can also hear the distinct influence of Django Reinhardt, one of Byrd's heroes, who gets an homage via a reading of "Nuages."

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