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Album Review

His cherished 1971 Gibson ES175 electric guitar firmly in his grip, the Canadian born jazz guitarist perfectly blended his Wes Montgomery influenced jazz/blues roots into an eclectic mix of Latin, Brazilian, and world music on his '90s Top Ten masterpieces Straight to You (1995), One 2 One (1998), and Shakin' Not Stirred (1999) — three of the most exciting and exotic yet accessible and melodic discs of the contemporary jazz decade. He has had some incredible day gigs to keep him from a strong flow of solo releases in the 2000s — chief among these, world tours with Loreena McKennitt, but his 2003 disc Along the Way was equally stellar. Hughes fans who wondered when he would re-emerge were rewarded with this exhilarating live date that was recorded at the Maison de la Culture Frontenac in Montreal. The guitarist's expansive arrangements and ensemble work with longtime keyboardist/partner Les Portelli, bassist Tim Landers, drummer Tal Bergman, and percussionist Ron Powell show that even catchy songs that catch on with smooth jazz audiences have the potential for improvisational greatness. Not surprisingly based on the timeline, four of the eight songs come from Along the Way, beginning with the cool laid-back Latin strut "Son y Lola," dreaming through the soulful "Omaha Unbound," and looking ahead to the passionate and moody "Endless Road." The Eastern tinged, slightly tribal soundscape heavy "Nasca Lines" takes Hughes back to his early-'90s gem Under One Sky, while the brisk and breezy "The Beat" and moody, old-school soul-jazz number "For You" come from Shakin' Not Stirred. A wonderful reminder of just how creative and innovative pop influenced contemporary jazz can be, it shows Hughes in perfect form and primes him — when he has time — to get back in the studio and keep the juices flowing.

Biography

Born: 1955

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s

A versatile guitarist with a sound of his own, Brian Hughes creates unclassifiable music that is both accessible and at times adventuruous. He grew up in Alberta, Canada and studied at Grant McKewan College in Edmonton and the Banff School of Fine Arts. In 1981 he moved temporarily to Los Angeles where he studied at the Guitar Institute. In 1987 Hughes relocated to Toronto. Since then Brian...
Full bio
Live, Brian Hughes
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  • 8,99 €
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: 20 January 2007

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