This 1997 CD has some highlights from guitarist Jimmy Stewart's very occasional career as a leader of his own jazz-oriented sessions. Five of the 11 selections appeared on Stewart's long out of print 1985-1986 Black Hawk album The Touch, while the other numbers (from the same period) were previously unreleased; the exact recording dates are not given. A brilliant studio guitarist who had earlier in his career been a member of Gabor Szabo's Quartet, Stewart is able to play credibly in practically any style. His versatility is on display here, sounding a little like Jimmy Raney on "A Tune for Bill and Jim," paying tribute to Szabo on "Gypsy 86," and "Breezin'," playing "Wes" for Wes Montgomery, and sometimes adopting a more fusion and crossover style. Among his sidemen are pianist David Benoit (whom Stewart helped discover), keyboardist Don Grusin, drummer Earl Palmer, tenorman Don Manza (on "Jim's Tune"), and a variety of top studio veterans. An interesting all-around set by a guitarist who is long overdue to head another record date.
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AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow