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Floating On the Silence

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Album Review

Tom Wolfe's debut recording under his own name is a reunion of with his old teacher, jazz guitar master Gene Bertoncini. Wolfe, who was a graduate student under Bertoncini, has long since become a music educator, but this delightful duo guitar session occurred during an off day while they touring together. The result is a recording that should be considered essential for guitar students and jazz fans alike. From the first track to the last, both men are listening to one another, fluidly moving between playing lead and comping, playing beautiful variations of each piece while never losing sight of the melody. The music draws mostly from standards, bossa novas and famous jazz compositions, though Bertoncini contributed the lovely, bittersweet ballad "For Chet" and Wolfe the pensive "A Moment Alone." All the tracks are enjoyable, but the festive setting of Dizzy Gillespie's "Con Alma" produces the most fireworks. The only oversight is the (most likely accidental) omission of credit to the recording engineer, who did a brilliant job in capturing the essence of the duo's playing.


Genre: Jazz

One of the more elegant, tasteful, and sensitive guitarists, Gene Bertoncini has perfected the art of playing soft, sentimental music and presenting it in a light, fluid fashion, yet retaining a degree of feeling and spontaneity. He began on guitar at nine and was a professional at 16, playing on a children's television show. Bertoncini took architecture at Notre Dame rather than music, though he later returned to full-time playing. He played with a group led by Buddy Rich that also included Mike...
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Floating On the Silence, Tom Wolfe & Gene Bertoncini
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