“Unsung” is a good word to describe John Hart. He’s been part of the jazz-guitar scene for more than two decades, but rarely is he mentioned in conversations about the cream of the crop. That’s a shame, because, as his new trio record shows, he’s an amazingly inventive soloist and composer who is not afraid to step out of his comfort zone.
Take the opener, “Here’s That Rainy Day.” The mood and time get played with while Hart states the melody with a wonderful mix of chords and single lines. His soloing is top-notch, as the ace rhythm section of bassist Bill Moring and drummer Tim Horner pushes him along.
Whether covering Monk, Hart and Rodgers, or Ellington and Strayhorn, the trio’s interpreting skills are top notch and Hart’s soloing above reproach. When you need it funky, it’s funky. When you want it to swing, it swings hard. And when it’s a bluesy bop tune, like the Hart original, “I Mean It!” everyone gets to show their considerable skills.
This record should be on the top of the best jazz guitar lists for 2016.
This article originally appeared in VG‘s August ’16 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.
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