Various Artists

Guitar Tribute to the Beatles: Come Together

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Strictly speaking, this isn't just a guitar tribute to the Beatles, although stringed instruments that are plucked, strummed, and otherwise manipulated are in abundance, representing styles and sounds that will recall Django Reinhardt at one moment and the Mahavishnu Orchestra at the next. Toots Thielemans adds some astonishingly tasteful harmonica (and whistling) to "Yesterday" and Thomas Dawson's organ is almost a lead instrument on "Come Together." But it's the guitars (plus some superb bass) that make up the core of this delightful recording. Larry Coryell, Steve Khan, Ralph Towner, Adrian Belew, John Abercrombie, Allan Holdsworth, Toninho Horta (whose Brazilian-flavored rendition of "She's Leaving Home" is worth the price of admission by itself), and others do what they do best, and the results are revelatory and dazzlingly entertaining. This reviewer's favorite cut was Khan's medley of "Within You, Without You/Blue Jay Way," but that's just because it's that much more unexpected than anything else here. Mark Whitfield's lead work on the title cut, which is also the leadoff track, sets the bar pretty high for the rest of the CD, but everyone clears it and then some, each in his own way. One only wishes there'd been a follow-up album.

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