Jon Pall Bjarnason

Ice

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Iceland has never been known as a mecca of jazz, but it has spawned a fine jazz guitarist in Jon Pall Bjarnason. This 1990 set, released by the Canadian Peridot label, teams Bjarnason with the reeds of Ray Pizzi (who is particularly impressive on bassoon on "Moose the Mooche" and "Whims of Chambers"), bassist Andy Simpkins, and drummer Lew Malin. Bjarnason, who has remained obscure since this recording, proves to be a fine bebop guitarist in the Joe Pass tradition, taking strong solos on the straight-ahead material which includes five group originals and such standards as "Speak Low," "Darn That Dream," and Lee Konitz's "Sub-Conscious Lee." This little-known CD is well worth searching for by bop guitar fans.