George Cotsirilos has been active on the West Coast jazz scene for some time, though Past Present is just his third recording as a leader. The guitarist is joined by bassist Robb Fisher (who worked with Cal Tjader during most of the 1970s) and drummer Ron Marabuto (who recorded with Pepper Adams and worked with a host of other greats) for this easygoing trio date. Cotsirilos' interpretations of standards aren't groundbreaking, yet they swing nicely. "The Way You Look Tonight" showcases his considerable bop chops, while his engaging bossa nova setting of "Without a Song" adds a hip vamp at the end of each chorus. He switches to nylon-string acoustic guitar for an intimate solo interpretation of "What Kind of Fool Am I?" Bop fans will enjoy Cotsirilos' setting of the late Sam Jones' intricate bop vehicle "Bittersweet," an overlooked gem that is infrequently recorded. Among the guitarist's originals, the playful boppish "Franny's Jump" and the infectious Latin-flavored "Cual Problema?" leave the most lasting impressions.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden