Tony Purrone

Six-String Delight

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Tony Purrone's third SteepleChase outing is a collection of tunes written by jazz guitar greats spanning several generations: Django Reinhardt, George Van Eps, Johnny Smith, Jimmy Raney, Tal Farlow, Wes Montgomery, Jim Hall, Joe Pass, Pat Martino, and John McLaughlin. Joining Purrone on this far-flung journey are pianist Harold Danko, drummer Keith Copeland, and bassist Avishai Cohen (just before he became a hot commodity). With Danko present (not on every track), we get to hear Purrone's guitar against a fuller harmonic background than was the case on his two previous CDs. It's also interesting to hear Purrone's take on music by Hall and Van Eps, two of the least chops-oriented guitarists in jazz history. Purrone seems more in his element, however, on the machine-gun tempo of Martino's "On the Stairs" and the wide-open, hypnotic grooves of McLaughlin's "Follow Your Heart" and Johnny Smith's "Cavu." Some may not kindle to Purrone's notey, almost agitated style and his somewhat thin tone, but it's hard to quarrel with how he dances his way through Raney's "Signal" and Pass's "For Django." (Avishai Cohen is brilliant on the latter as well.) There's a wide breadth of music on the album, but Purrone ties it all together by remaining himself throughout.

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