Jiggs Whigham

Jiggs & Gene

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A true "odd couple," trombone and guitar represent an unusual marriage of instruments, especially without benefit of a rhythm section. It's just these two players, exposing their artistry for all to hear. Jiggs Whigham is a fine trombonist, in the tradition of Frank Rosolino with the playing style of a Bill Watrous. Bertoncini has been on numerous recording sessions, most notably with his longtime confrere Michael Moore. But together, Whigham and Bertoncini don't always jell, because the trombone often drowns out the guitar, even when Whigham mutes his trombone. Bertoncini's guitar is heard fully when he plays introductory chords, as he does for most of the songs, and, of course, when he solos. His solos on "It Could Happen to You," "Girl Talk," and "Like a Lover" are highlights of the session. But, for the most part, it's an uphill battle not to be overwhelmed by Whigham. There's one notable exception. On "Gone with the Wind," where Whigham not only mutes his trombone but plays with restraint, are the potential benefits of this unlikely combination realized. But, overall, there was apparently little effort by the engineer to give Bertoncini a bit of an electronic edge by providing more amplification for his guitar.

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