Ed Bickert / Sonny Greenwich

Days Gone By

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Canadian guitarist Sonny Greenwich has been on the jazz scene for a long time, but he isn't very well known outside of his native land due to the limited opportunities he's had to record for Americans labels. Bouts of ill health and periodical withdrawals from music have also proven to be a handicap. Greenwich had done quite a bit of recording in Canada prior to this 1979 session, including several albums with Don Thompson, the bassist on this occasion. This informal recording made at Thompson's studio features Greenwich predominately playing lead with seasoned guitarist Ed Bickert playing fills (though he also solos very effectively), as well as drummer Terry Clarke. Liner note writer John Norris explains that the occasional distortion comes from the lack of having anyone at the control board, but it isn't a major distraction. All of the music is quite enjoyable even if it wasn't necessarily recorded with the intention of releasing it, as it didn't come out until 2000. The set consists of a heavy dose of standards ("With a Song in My Heart," "I Remember You," and "I'll Take Romance") and classic jazz compositions (Horace Silver's "Nica's Dream" and Sonny Rollins' "Oleo"), all of which are inspired. The lush ballad "I Know Why" (by Harry Warren and Mack Gordon) is a song that ought to be a standard, but has been for the most part overlooked. Greenwich also contributed the lyrical ballad "Lily" and the lengthy finale, "Gittar Blues," was likely created on the spot by the two guitarists. This is one of many fine releases put out by Sackville, a Canadian label well worth exploring as a whole.

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