Carl Amundson

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The concept behind this album gives you some idea of guitarist Carl Amundson's basic decency and generosity of heart as a musician: Amundson created new arrangements of pieces by 12 famous jazz guitarists and recorded them here, with his quintet, as a tribute to those musicians in a spirit of gratitude for the influence they have wielded as players, writers, and teachers. Featured tunes include Wes Montgomery's "Far Wes," Jim Hall's impressionistic "All Across the City," Laurindo Almeida's "Nocturne," and even Johnny Smith's surf classic "Walk, Don't Run." The unique three-guitar (plus bass and drums) composition of Amundson's quintet assures that his arrangements will sound unique, with lots of nice contrapuntal passages and twin-guitar harmonies, and since he picked a number of tunes that are not among their composers' most familiar pieces, none of the album sounds like it is merely trotting out tired old chestnuts. Highlights include the fantastic head arrangement on "Walk, Don't Run" and the gentle Latin strut of Oscar Moore's "Kenya," but really, there aren't any weak tracks on this very fine album.

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