Janet Marlow

Good Company

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If certain talented instrumentalists would look in the mirror and size up the fact that their truest expressive gifts come from their axes and not from their marginal vocal ability, they might create perfect rather than spotty CDs. The latest maddening example of this diluting effect comes from ten string guitarist Janet Marlow, whose Good Company would be considered a picture perfect pop meets world beat extravaganza if not for her insistence on three airy, distracting vocals which aim for the Kevyn Lettau effect with none of the panache. But enough negativity. Her string stroking on a difficult instrument is crisp and impeccable, creating generous landscapes which ease towards Brazilian, Latin, even African music in spots. Her playing has attracted the company of aces like keyboardist Pete Levin, drummer Danny Gottlieb and bassist Mark Egan, but it's her saxmen, Alex Foster and Darmon Meader, who create the thickest smoke with her fires.

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