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Blue Horizon

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Album Review

Guitarist Vic Juris has a warm-toned, flowing lyricism that entices his listeners to kick back and enjoy his formidable post-bop style. With Blue Horizon he tends to reveal the many sides of his musical personality, but manages to stay true to his ability to compose songs that have a lasting cross-generational appeal. On this label debut, Juris offers a diverse collection of original material that spotlights his talents on the electric, steel-string acoustic, and nylon acoustic guitars. With Juris joined by such great artists as Joe Locke on vibes and marimba and Adam Nussbaum on drums, among others, this superb recording should garner the guitarist even more recognition from members of the '70s generation who enjoyed Gary Burton with Larry Coryell and Jerry Hahn, while still attracting those who favor similar jazz guitarists such as Pat Metheny and John Scofield. "Dancing Shadows" captures Juris' mellow tones and refined chord changes that are reminiscent of his days with Dave Liebman's group. Locke's beautiful solo is captivating and shines with imaginative textures and vibrato. "Soft Spoken" is a sensitive composition that reflects Juris' ability to interpret a multitude of melodic chords that indicate his romantic, soft side. His duets — "Gojo Duo" with vibist Locke, "Domo Duo" with drummer Nussbaum, and "Vjay Duo" with bassist Jay Anderson — are interesting brief interludes that allow Juris to improvise one on one with the members of his rhythm section. This arrangement is a novel way to spotlight his bandmembers' talents apart from the ensemble, instead of the usual head-solo-head arrangement that many composers use for spotlighting their collaborators. However, it is the sensitive, poetic beauty of "Blue Horizon" and "I've Heard This Song Before" that makes this recording most memorable. By sharing compatible harmonies, rare timbres, and melodic concepts, Juris and Locke bring out the best in each other. Overall, Blue Horizon is an artistic triumph for Juris and one that he can be proud of for years to come.


Born: 1953 in Parsippany, NJ

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Guitarist Vic Juris is best-known for his association with Richie Cole. He made his recording debut with Eric Kloss (1975), gigged with Barry Miles' fusion group, and started his off-and-on association with Cole in 1976, appearing on some of the altoist's finest recordings. In addition to recording with Don Patterson, Mel Tormé, and Bireli Lagrene, Juris (a fine hard bop-oriented improviser) has played duets with Larry...
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Blue Horizon, Vic Juris
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