Howard Alden – Take Your Pick

Take Your Pick

Here’s a good-old-fashioned jazz guitar album from one of Concord’s young lions. Alden’s work always sounds great, whether he’s swinging with single-note runs (“The Gig”), playing chord solos (“I Concentrate on You”), or bringing new life to old warhorses on acoustic (“My Funny Valentine”). Alden is one of several jazzers playing seven-string and he shines throughout, along with other members of the band, especially the great Lew Tabackin on sax and flute. Listen to the wonderful interplay between the two on “House Party Starting” and “The Gig.” I love this style of guitar playing. Sophisticated and traditional, but never boring; Alden is always sure where he’s going. Highly recommended for fans of traditional jazz guitar.

This review originally appeared in VG‘s May ’97 issue.

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