Jimmy Bruno

Burnin'

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Burnin' is a most appropriate title for Jimmy Bruno's second album because much of the time, the guitarist is doing exactly that. A hard bopper with superb chops, Bruno loves to swing hard and fast, and he takes no prisoners on bop standards like Sonny Stitt's "Eternal Triangle" and John Coltrane's "Giant Steps." Known for its insanely difficult chord changes, the latter has long been considered a test piece for jazz musicians; Bruno sails right through the tune at maximum speed without even blinking an eye. But while his technique is impressive, it wouldn't mean as much if Bruno (who forms a trio with bassist Craig Thomas and drummer Steve Holloway) didn't have so much soul to go with his massive chops. As intensely as he plays on the fast numbers, Bruno has no problem turning around and showing his lyrical side on Trane's "Central Park West" and the standard "That's All." Burnin' was recorded at Philly's legendary Sigma Sound, where so many great R&B sessions were done in the '70s.

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