Paul Bollenback is a well-rounded, talented young straight-ahead guitarist who plays in a style informed by '70s fusion a la John McLaughlin, whom the younger man acknowledges as a decisive influence. Bollenback has a clean, traditional jazz guitar sound. His articulation is precise, his sense of swing strong, his lines declarative and horn-like. He's very solid, as is the band of tenorist/flutist Gary Thomas, bassist Ed Howard, drummer Terri Lyne Carrington, and organist Joey Defrancesco. The only significant problem with the album comes when the organist kicks bass; his sound is so boomingly ill-defined as to be downright offensive. Better that Bollenback should utilize Howard; he's a very good acoustic bassist, and that's what he's presumably there for. Other than that, this is a decent album of the modern-mainstream persuasion, well-played and reasonably fresh within its own prescribed limits.
Original Visions Review
by Chris Kelsey