Jazz Hits, Vol. 1

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The MB3 trio is a bit unusual, as it features three guitarists (rather than two). But veterans Jimmy Bruno and Vic Juris mesh well with newcomer Corey Christiansen, adding fine support by bassist Jay Anderson and drummer Danny Gottlieb, in this volume in a series of CDs exploring fresh arrangements of very familiar jazz works and standards. Songs that seemingly require a piano work well without one, especially Christiansen's intricate setting of Herbie Hancock's sauntering "Cantaloupe Island." Bruno chose to alternate phrases among the three guitars while showcasing the rhythm section a bit in John Coltrane's "Impressions." The standard "On Green Dolphin Street" is played so often it is in danger of overexposure, but Juris' inventive harmonic reworking, played at an atypically slow tempo behind the lead guitar, brings new life to this old chestnut. Jazz guitar fans will want to snap up this Mel Bay CD and keep an eye out for future volumes.

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