Pete McCann is not one of those jazz guitarists who can be placed in a column and left there. For instance, the title cut of his new disc, Most Folks, is a fine bopper that lets McCann show his chops, at full speed. There really is no doubting his chops after one listen to that opener. And the mix from there is as varied as it gets. The influence of folks like John Scofield and Bill Frisell shows up on cuts like “Rack ‘Em Up” with its very un-jazzy distortion, and the funky “Yes, My Friend” with its wild, chorused solo and very-rock-and-roll guitar work. “Third Wheel” is a nice acoustic piece that lets McCann show off his harmonic wares.
The band is a quintet, and the interplay is wonderful throughout the record. McCann and saxophonist John O’Gallagher seem especially simpatico. Most of the songs interplay the two, whether restating the head before each embarks on solos, or when the solos intertwine. The rhythm section of Mark Ferber (drums) and John Hebert (bass) nicely drive it all, and pianist Mike Holober is present at every turn.
Whether you’re a fan of fusion, or simply like soft acoustic jazz, this fits the bill.
This article originally appeared in VG‘s Oct. ’06 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.