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Date this web site was last edited:  02/09/2017

 

 

 

 

Past Review

(Previous Reviews)

"Heavy Artillery"
 
Andy Brown & Howard Alden

 


I know that we are a Chet Atkins based finger style guitar club (Ohio Fingerstyle Guitar Club) and that "jazz" wasn't what Chet was known for.  However, he did love the genre and included variations of it in many of his recordings.  He, also, was inspired by many older and younger jazz guitar players such as George Barnes, Django Reinhardt, Herb Ellis, Les Paul, Lenny Breau, Martin Taylor, George Benson, Larry Carlton, Earl Klugh, etc.  And, another obscure finger style jazz player from Cincinnati and good friend of OFGC, the late Kenny Poole.

I once asked Kenny who he had taught his style to along the way and he claimed that even though many had tried, only one young guitarist could be considered his true protégé - Andy Brown.  Well, this time Andy teamed up with the internationally renown 7 string jazz guitarist great, Howard Alden, to record an album of pure delight - "Heavy Artillery."  Aptly named as these two guys are not just playing "a lot of notes" - they are playing a lot of tasteful notes "together."  The essence of the brilliance of this album can be seen on Andy's face in the picture on the CD cover, above - pure admiration of one of a "small, elite group of the very best jazz guitarists in the world" - spoken by Johnny Smith.  

Howard's big break in name recognition came about when he was hired by Woody Allen to not only lay down the tracks in the movie "Sweet and Low Down" (about a renegade gypsy jazz guitarist who refused to recognize Django Reinhardt) - he also had to teach Sean Penn how to look like he was actually playing the guitar to those tracks.  He did both - and, has some great stories about that process.  

Both of these guys can play "a lot of notes" (ala, repetitive rapid improvisational arpeggios that have little, if any, to do with the actual melody of a tune), which they occasionally do throughout this album.  However, it is when they are playing together that this CD raises to another level for the avid listener.  Howard, playing his impeccably accurate single line and chord riffs - Andy with his "Poole" influenced riffs and bass lines (sometimes you would swear Kenny is actually playing on the CD) - they just seem to not only be playing at a world class level - they sound like they are truly enjoying the experience with each other whether they are complementing, harmonizing, or point-counter-pointing with each other .  Two guitarists that were meant to play with each other - and, entertain us.

"Tasteful jazz at it's best."  

Palmer Moore - Organizer, Ohio Fingerstyle Guitar Club 

Listen to Some Samples of the CD at Amazon  (click on Listen to Some Samples)

Watch them play on YouTube