Joshua Breakstone

Self-Portrait in Swing

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Throughout his series of recordings for Contemporary, Joshua Breakstone consistently showed that he was one of the top bop-based guitarists to emerge in the 1980's, playing in the tradition of Charlie Christian, Tal Farlow, Barney Kessel, Herb Ellis and Kenny Burrell. On this set he is matched with pianist Kenny Barron, bassist Dennis Irwin and drummer Kenny Washington. "Self-Portrait In Swing" (a line based on "Just One Of Those Things"), "Will You Still Be Mine" and "Some Enchanted Evening" cook at very fast tempoes, "Count Your Blessings" is a ballad feature for the guitarist and the last two songs ("If Ever I Would Leave You" and "Don't Take Your Love From Me") are somewhere in between. Breakstone (who tosses in the oddest song quotes at times) sounds relaxed at each of the tempoes, the rhythm section is beyond criticism and the release overall is a flawless bop date.

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