Wednesday, June 21, 2017

John Abercrombie, Peter Bernstein, Lage Lund, Rale Micic: Inspired

By Ric Bang
Buy CD: Inspired

This group features four of today’s finest guitarists. The album is one of many projects sponsored by ArtistShare, founded in 2003 to connect artists with fans, in order to share the creation of new works. Since its launch, ArtistShare projects have garnered 10 Grammy Awards and 29 Grammy nominations. 

The four guitarists here have one thing in common: respecting and continuing master guitarist Jim Hall’s musical vision.

John Abercrombie and Peter Bernstein were born in the States; Rale Micic hails from Serbia, and Lage Lund from Norway. Abercrombie, Micic and Lund all studied at the Berklee College of Music; Bernstein attended New York’s New School. All credit Hall as a major career influence.

Three album tracks are Hall originals; the other eight are standards from the Great American Songbook. Only one, Hall’s “All Across the City,” features all four performers together. Four standards are done as solos: “Alone Together,” by Micic; “My Ideal,” by Bernstein; “Body and Soul,” by Lund; and “Embraceable You,” by Abercrombie. All the other tracks are duets: Hall’s “Dream Steps,” by Micic and Lund; Hall’s “Bon Ami,” by Bernstein and Lund; “My Funny Valentine,” by Abercrombie and Micic; “I’m Getting Sentimental Over You,” by Lund and Abercrombie; “I Should Care,” by Bernstein and Micic; and “I Hear a Rhapsody,” by Bernstein and Abercrombie.

This “must have” album is for listening, not dancing; it’s not a hard swinger, but it’s pure jazz nonetheless. Every melody is done  beautifully and softly, and will sooth your soul. These guys are true masters, and we’re blessed by their presence.

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