Montana Skies

Montana Skies

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Montana Skies may disappoint listeners who expect a follow-up similar to the Adams Duo's debut CD Potpourri. Instead of offering cello and guitar arrangements of classical pieces, this time the duo presents a more pop-oriented program reflecting an interest in light jazz, folk, and international music. To say that this disc is a muddle may be extreme, but there is a lack of focus that gives it an arbitrary quality, more like an informal concert gig than a finished album. The duo may find that its blending of Latin, Celtic, pop, and classical has broadened its audience, but its stylistic dabbling makes it seem too eager to please. More problematic, though, is the blandness of the music: pretty on the surface but emotionally shallow and intellectually unchallenging. Guitarist Jonathan Adams is technically proficient, as he demonstrates on Andrew York's virtuosic Sunburst and his own energetic arrangement of "Eleanor Rigby." Cellist Jennifer Adams plays with a consistently warm tone in both her melodic passages and supportive bass lines, and she displays a light touch on Farruato's Morenita do Brazil. Yet the duo's best performances are offset by the tame and uncomplicated material -- much of it by Jonathan Adams -- which fails to sustain interest even with the most sympathetic listening.

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