Steven Kirby

Point of Balance

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Steven Kirby has an airy sound that is often reminiscent of Pat Metheny. On the two sessions included on this CD, the Boston-based guitarist performs nine of his originals. The other musicians are Bevan Manson or Bennet Paster on piano, Harvie Swartz or Gerald Wilfong on bass, George Schuller or John Mettam on drums, and soprano saxophonist Carl Clements making the quartet a quintet on two numbers; they are mostly in a supportive role, interacting closely with Kirby and doing their best to inspire him without drawing that much attention to themselves. Clements displays a pleasing tone during his two melodic appearances. Kirby has a relaxed and lyrical improvising style, even at faster tempos; since his compositions are harmonically complex yet quite tonal, there are some sleepy moments scattered throughout this release. However, there seems to be a lot of inner heat, and as the guitarist continues to mature, hopefully his fire will erupt more often. Overall this is a worthwhile effort, an important first step for Steve Kirby toward developing an original style.

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