Johnny Copeland

Jungle Swing

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Johnny Copeland's eclectic nature is on display on Jungle Swing, an ambitious collaboration with jazz pianist Randy Weston. Weston brings a selection of African rhythms and melodic textures to the table, which are incorporated subtly into the rhythmic underpinnings of each song. In no sense is Jungle Swing a worldbeat experiment -- it's just a small, affectionate tribute. Even so, the African flourishes don't dominate the sound of the record. Like always, Copeland takes center stage with his clean, precise licks. At this point in his career, he knows exactly what to play and the guitarist never overplays throughout the course of the disc. There are a few weak moments on the disc, but the sheer strength of Copeland's musicianship -- and his willingness to stretch out ever so slightly -- make it worth the time for any of his fans.

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