Stew Cutler

So Many Streams

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After years of playing with such prestigious jazz-rock musicians as Bill Frisell, David Sanborn and Wayne Horvitz, as well as releasing two CDs under his own name and performed with a trio which included Harry Bruer and Booker King, guitarist Stew Cutler broadens his musical horizons even more, working with 14 different musicians to create So Many Streams. Impressively, the addition of so many musicians has not cluttered Cutler's clean and precise guitar licks. Yet inversely, it's not until well into the second song, "Not to Worry," that the uninitiated listener might realize that this is an album spotlighting a guitarist, so generous and unassuming is Cutler's playing on opener, "Post Time." A majority of Streams falls under the adult-oriented jazz umbrella, and Jeb Loy Nichols' sub-Van Morrison vocals on "Sparrow in the Kitchen" doesn't help matters. On the other hand, "Something to Think About" takes a traditional blues approach that finds Cutler's picking at its most intense, particularly when he doubles and triples notes against the sparse backing of organ, bass and drums. And Mary Jean Cutler's torch song-blues croon on "Feel Your Presence" makes a much better argument for adding singing to Cutler's mostly instrumental oeuvre.

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