Guitarist Jeff Barone makes an impressive debut as a leader with these sessions recorded for the English label String Jazz. Barone is a music educator who has absorbed a lot of the jazz tradition in his playing yet brings new ideas to familiar songs. The lively Caribbean rhythms incorporated into his breezy setting of Duke Ellington's "In a Sentimental Mood" (adding co-producer and jazz veteran Jack Wilkins on rhythm guitar) complement his driving attack. Barone's intricate arrangement of "You Must Believe in Spring" communicates its message even without hearing the lyrics. A number of jazz players have explored Stevie Wonder's compositions, Barone's infectious take of "Don't You Worry About a Thing" shows that any great melody is ripe for a strong improviser. He switches to nylon string guitar for a moving duo interpretation of "Who Can I Turn To," once again joined by Wilkins. Also not to be missed are the leader's originals, including the funky riff tune "Crazy Talk" and the driving hard bop opener "Resa's Blues." This CD is an auspicious introduction to Jeff Barone.
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AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden