On this truly phenomenal record, Granafei rolls through 10 cuts, most familiar, with just his voice, a nylon-string guitar, and a chromatic harmonica.
There is no over-dubbing on this record, and Granafei’s performance is truly incredible. On the opener “Out of Nowhere,” his guitar work is harmonically sophisticated and swings hard, with wonderful walking bass moving the song along as his harmonica provides the solo. Cuts range from Jobim (“Wave” and “Meditation”) to Milt Jackson (“Bag’s Groove”), the latter is a perfect example of why this works well beyond any “gimmick” level. The bluesy swing is driven by a guitarist who knows his instrument inside and out.
On “Wave,” Granafei builds excitement with the six-string in a way few would think possible in this kind of music. He proves to be a master of the harmonica, too, bringing to mind the likes of Toots Thielemans. The playing is jazzy and alive.
While it would be easy to dismiss this record as some sort of novelty, doing so will have you missing out on great music.
This article originally appeared in VG‘s Aug. ’08 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.