Kenny Poole

For George: Tribute to a Master

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George Van Eps hasn't been the subject of a lot of tributes. The guitarist was never as well known as he deserved to be, and his admirers have often described him as one of the unsung heroes of jazz guitar. After a long career, Van Eps passed away in 1998 at the age of 85 -- and it was in November of that year that fellow guitarist Kenny Poole recorded this enjoyable tribute to him. Poole considers Van Eps one of his early influences, and the Cincinnati resident salutes Van Eps' lyrical approach with relaxed, easygoing versions of standards like "Indian Summer," "You Go to My Head," and "Stars Fell on Alabama." This isn't to say that Poole, who is unaccompanied on ten selections and forms a trio with vibist Dick Sisto and drummer John Von Ohlen on five others, tries to sound like a Van Eps clone -- he's his own man, and he pays homage to the late guitar master on his own terms. Recommended.

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