Carl Weingarten

Escape Silence

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While dobro and slide guitar are usually associated with country and blues, Carl Weingarten breaks the mold to make them into impressionistic, melodic instruments. That he's a consummate player with a firm vision for his instruments is beyond question, and the subtle support he receives here from drummer Brian Knave and bassist Michael Manring serves him well. It's interesting that many of the tracks are short, making their point and leaving without belaboring ideas. And he doesn't even mind taking a back seat on his own album, as on "After You've Gone," where the lead belongs to Barbara Else's luminous flute. If anything, Weingarten recalls the guitar releases that created the early Windham Hill style, although he relies more on impressions than those rippling melodies that the label trademarked. He's perhaps at his best on the aching "Pedro's Lament," with its lovely ringing overtones and cello work, and the title cut, with its mellifluous sax. But whatever way you look at it, Weingarten is an excellent, daring talent.

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