On his second CD as a leader, classically trained guitarist Ron Murray blends his background with jazz, bossa nova, and flamenco, in a mostly trio setting with bassist Marty Ballou and drummer Arti Dixson. He has a flair for the dramatic in his arrangement of the tearjerker song "Besame Mucho," complemented by Ballou's inventive electric bassline. Murray's jazzy side comes out in his freewheeling, breezy interpretation of Django Reinhardt's "Nuages." Henry Mancini's "Charade" is transformed into a lively flamenco, which would have delighted its composer. His reworkings of the pop-jazz hit "Don't Know Why" (written by Jesse Harris and rocketed to fame by Norah Jones' recording) and George Harrison's "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" are no less than astonishing. Harmonica player Ronald F. Murray (the leader's father, who makes his recording debut on this CD) and singer Michael Ciulla are added for the sensitive treatments of a pair of songs ("Corcovado" and "Vivo Sonhando") by bossa nova master Antonio Carlos Jobim, while the guitarist solos effectively on electric guitar. This entire release is a feast for fans of the guitar, regardless of background.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden