This Just In

This Just In

by Joshua Breakstone


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Breakstone is a fine bop-oriented guitarist, well known after years of recording dates. He knows his instrument and melody, and has an economical sense in terms of phrasing. On this studio recording, though, he performs as if he were in a club or at a concert: compositions linger endlessly, averaging about seven to nine minutes. It gets a bit tedious to listen to, but perhaps stone-cold guitar lovers and mavens of the Jim Hall, Joe Pass, and Pat Martino crowd will enjoy Breakstone's ramblings. There's also a bit of a hollow sound to the overall production values. Nonetheless, this is good, modern, mainstream music played by the leader, Pittsburgh piano icon Sid Simmons, bassist Dennis Irwin, and drummer Kenny Washington. There's not much that distinguishes each of the eight selections except tempo. On "Bebop," Breakstone uses slight note lines and clusters, delicately balancing the small sound with the urgent beat supplied by Irwin and Washington. "Come Fly with Me" is the most compact and urgent swing, while the title track utilizes the most invention on a 12-16-12 bar blues swing figure. "Stop" uses halting, tacit tactics from the rhythm section -- very cleverly conceived -- while the lighter tunes, "Three O' Clock in the Morning" and the ballad "Everything I Have Is Yours," have neat quotes, the former "Take Me Out to the Ballgame," the latter "In a Sentimental Mood." Dishearteningly, the final two selections verge on annoying: "Betrayal" is a spiteful swipe at Breakstone's ex-wife, and "Felicidade" is a Latin-tinged number that drones endlessly and could easily have been dropped or cut in half. This CD is a perfect example that less is more, and that adding ad infinitum only serves to lessen the effect of what would otherwise be a much better outing. Lesson: edit thyself.

Product Details

Release Date: 06/08/1999
Label: Double Time Jazz
UPC: 0711527014929
catalogNumber: 149
Rank: 120840

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This Just In 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Breakstone is an extremely talented and versatile guitarist playing sometimes in the bebop idiom, sometimes with a gentle and rhythmic sensitivity as well. His lines are inventive, quoting widely from the masters, Dizzy to Strayhorn. His fingerings at times are challenging, in fact, dare-devil a-la Tal Farlow. This CD contains a mix of tunes, from hard bop standards, such as Gillespie's ''Bebop,'' to soft ballads, such as ''Everything I Have is Yours.'' His highly esteemed sidemen, Kenny Washington, Sid Simmons, and Dennis Irwin complement Breakstone at every turn.