Paul Bollenback

Brightness of Being

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Paul Bollenback, perhaps best known as organist Joey DeFrancesco's regular guitarist although he has led quite a few record dates of his own, gathered together quite a variety of material for Brightness of Being. In addition to four of his originals, the repertoire includes some Ray Charles hits and songs by Stevie Wonder, Neil Young, and classical composer Puccini. Bollenback is joined by bassist James Genus, either Terri-Lyne Carrington or Ari Honnig on drums, and three different saxophonists. Veteran David "Fathead" Newman is typically warm and soulful on "Unchain My Heart" and "You Don't Know Me," Tim Garland shows versatility on his three reeds, and tenor saxophonist Gary Thomas plays a bit more conservatively than usual during his appearances. Another asset is singer Chris McNulty, who is heard on four numbers, mostly singing wordlessly. But throughout, guitarist Bollenback is generally the solo star, giving this diverse set unity, coherency, and a constant swing. Recommended.

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