Jim Devlin

Puerto Nuevo

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The guitarist that Nova Records let get away spins some absolutely amazing pop-jazz yarns on this heated and energetic, beautifully composed disc. Like Russ Freeman, Devlin is an aggressive player (especially on electric), but his hip way with a melody and strong production skills seem to be his ultimate forte, as demonstrated on absolutely infectious jammers like the title cut and the wild "The Kimster," which features the soaring tenor of Gary Herbig. Devlin also elicits cool solo spots from Steve Bach's saxman Gary Meek and keyboardist Tom Kellock, who struts his stuff all over "Marcosa." This is one of those instantly likeable pop jazz classics, a must add to any collection featuring the finest in the genre. While Devlin was at the top of his game, his career suffered from "indie label-itis," which snuffed out many a promsing artist in the early days of smooth jazz when adventure was still encouraged. Thus, we didn't hear much more from him.

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