by George Harris
Long gone are the days of jazz guitar being simply a vehicle for solo blowing sessions. Since Pat Metheny, six stringers are now looking for new sounds and directions, with these two albums providing rich ideas and wide scopes.
Ian Wardenski brings his guitar in with the pure voice of Tamara Tucker for a handful of tracks to add color to the nine originals teamed with Tim Powell/ss-ts, Jerry Ascione/p, Amy Shook/b and Frank Russo. Tucker’s clarion voice melds in harmony with Powell’s brawny tenor and Shook’s skipping bass on the post bop “Collective Thoughts” and gets artsy with Russo and Ascione on the King Crimson-ish “Boccato’s Influence while displaying an Old World atmosphere with Wardenski and Powell’s soprano sax on “Until.” Soft and dreamy reflections by Ascione lead into Wardenski’s pastel musings on “Morning Silence” and guitar muscles are flexed as the leader shows clean strings on the vibrant “Descending By Three.” A mix of experimental prisms and swinging pulses make for a rewarding outing.