04 Greg AmiraultNews Blues
Greg Amirault; Steve Amirault; Adrian Vedady; Jim Doxas
CUPFA GGA002 (gregamirault.org)

For his third release as a leader, Montreal-based guitarist/composer/producer Greg Amirault has brought forth an intimate, swinging, potent recording – comprised of seven of his own well-constructed tunes, as well as two tasty standards (both arranged in gorgeous solo guitar formats). He is also joined here by longtime collaborators, including his uber-talented brother Steve Amirault on piano, the deft Adrian Vedady on bass and Jim Doxas on drums.

The title track – a sassy, up-tempo blues – features superb soloing from Greg on guitar, while the rest of the rhythm session cooks like an incendiary device as Steve performs a consummate solo, utilizing his ridiculous chops and musical pumpitude. A true standout is Sweet Way (a tip of the hat to Dave Brubeck’s In Your Own Sweet Way), which is a groovy 5/4 cooker that brings to mind the Mundell Lowe-esque L.A. guitar sound of the late 1950s, replete with a contemporized perspective. Doxas drives everyone down the pike with an unwavering urgency – always making the right percussive choice – always listening and enhancing. 

Also intriguing is the sweet, folk-inspired Song for Nova Scotia – a heartwarming divergence, celebrating the Amirault brothers’ Yarmouth roots. Steve’s melodica and Greg’s guitar solo are perfect in their pristine simplicity. Other highlights include the bittersweet ballad, Meeting the Master, which is dedicated to the memory of the late, great John Abercrombie, featuring a moving and facile bass solo from Vedady and a solo guitar performance of Tad Dameron’s rarely performed classic, If You Could See Me Now. Greg’s brilliant interpretation invokes a hint of Jim Hall, and captures both the longing and hopefulness of the timeless lyric in a performance to remind us that Amirault is one of the most significant jazz guitarists/composers on the scene today.

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