Released in 2010, Players II Guitar features fretboard legends Larry Coryell, Harvey Mandel, Barry Finnerty, and Calvin Keys backed by the Wide Hive Players, a well-oiled West Coast jazz machine coordinated by producer, mixer, and composer Gregory Howe. The group, which includes trombonist Mike Rinta, saxophonist Doug Rowan, guitarist Luke Westbrook, drummer Thomas McCree and bassist-keyboardist Matt Montgomery, provides exceptionally strong support for the legendary guitarists whose collective recording history touches upon Charles Mingus, Canned Heat, Ray Charles, the Crusaders, Chico Hamilton, and the Rolling Stones. Packed with attractive and easy-to-move-to funk, rock, and soul-jazz grooves, Players II Guitar paved the way for a comparably enjoyable Wide Hive Players recording with Coryell as featured artist. Like much of the Wide Hive catalog, this album illustrates in bold colors just how diverse and rewarding California's Bay Area music scene has become since the beginning of the 21st century. Genre distinctions blur and morph as the work becomes mainly about how everybody feels rather than the surface tension maintained by marketing categories.
AllMusic Review by arwulf arwulf