Garrison Fewell

Birdland Sessions

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Birdland Sessions Review

by Scott Yanow

Garrison Fewell is an excellent cool-toned guitarist but, although his solos are fine, Birdland Sessions is probably most significant for his catchy originals. With the exception of a pair of Hampton Hawes tunes (the memorable "Sonora" and medium-tempo blues "Black Forrest") and Sam Rivers' "Beatrice," each of the songs is by Fewell. Several (including the bossa nova "Insatiable," the driving "Cafiend," and the melancholy ballad "Hearing Things") deserve to be interpreted by other players and have the potential to become future standards. Fewell plays quite well with bassist Steve LaSpina and drummer Jeff Williams (the three have performed together many times through the years) on this swinging set, and sounds particularly inspired by the rare opportunity to play with pianist Jim McNeely. This is one of Garrison Fewell's finest recordings to date.

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