Gennaro Cannelora


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San Francisco-based Gennaro Cannelora bills himself as the world's greatest guitar player. While some may argue that point, there's no arguing with his virtuosity and technique as he swirls through a play list of 21 tunes, all of which he wrote. The first 17 songs were recorded in a studio, while the remaining four are dubbed the unplugged living sessions. There's something for everyone on this CD -- soul, surf, rock, and jazz, and several permutations thereof. "To Kill Ya" is flashing mariachi, while "Thunderdame" is funky, with Cannelora turning his guitar into a twangy machine. Cannelora displays a pleasing voice, alternating between soft and rough and ready on a wild "Cherry Red Sombrero" and surf music with "Once Blue," with the group sounding like the Beach Boys, and a bit of psychedelic eeriness on "Let Me." The music can be tender and gentle as well as frenzied, as on a cleverly contrived "Richland." Cannelora's regular trio of Jay Hansen and Eric Wilson is augmented from time to time by guest musicians Charlotte Ubben, Alex Bardack, and Parker Barnes. But it's the flexible guitar and vocalizing of Cannelora which makes this album. This is one of those CDs where if you don't like what's being played, wait a track or two, because the music will surely change.