Saturday, October 27, 2007

CD Review: Peter Inglis, "Late Night Lovers"

I don't do a lot of this kind of thing, mainly because I despise most music critics - whether they are musicans or not - figuring anyone with a well enough developed sense of taste can decide for themselves what suits them. Seems to me music criticism is mostly vanity, and I often equate professional music critics with, "zits on the ass of art"... but that's just me.

With that in mind, let's just consider this a shout out to a friend and fellow guitarist.

I've never gotten mail from Australia before! It was such a unique event that I spent an inordinate amount of time opening the box with a very sharp knife so I could save it.

It's what's inside that counts, of course, and what I recieved was a free CD from my pal Peter Inglis of The Whole Guitarist fame (Take some time to absorb that bio: Peter is an amazingly accomplished musician).

The album, entitled Late Night Lovers, carries the subtitle "a jazz suite by the whole guitarist." Most of the time, subtitles don't mean much, but in this instance the subtitle is telling, as Peter has indeed constructed a suite of arrangements that work together to form a... well, a "whole."

I must admit that when I first looked at the suite's list of pieces, I let out a bit of a sigh, "Oh, these old standards again."

01] Blue Moon
02] Autumn Leaves
03] Misty
04] Night and Day
05] Black Orpheus
06] Body and Soul
07] Stella by Starlight
08] Have You Met Miss Jones?
09] Autumn in New York
10] Wave

See what I meant? One would be hard pressed to come up with a better top ten list of great pieces that have been "done to death" by legions of guitarists over the years.

Well, what greated my ears at first listen banished those concerns. I'll have to admit that if I don't find something positively riveting, I won't listen to the entire CD: Forty-plus minutes is a lot of time to suffer through music that doesn't take me somewhere I want to go. I listened to the entire CD on first listen.

What really impressed me was the fact that I absolutely, positively could not cite a list of Peter's influences. The arrangements are so eclectic and spontaneous sounding that such a thing would be impossible, even if my life depended on it. This is in direct opposition to most solo guitar jazz records I hear today, where I'll be listening along and thinking to myself, "Wes Montgomery... there's a bit of Joe Pass... ah, he's into Herb Ellis even," and so on. With Late Night Lovers I found myself just being transported to a place Peter devised out of his own imagination... which is how it ought to be.

Since I can't cite a list of Peter's influences, there is no way I could do a coherant track-by-track description of the arrangements either. I really wouldn't even know where to start, so I won't bother tying myself up in knots trying to describe the music. Just not possible. Or, at least, beyond my abilities.

So, if you like startlingly fresh renditions of timeless jazz standards - even if you have several other versions on hand - I'd suggest you acquire this CD. After listening to it once, it went into iTunes and my two iPods and iPhone en toto; and I even leave pieces out when I transfer Tommy Emmanuel and Kaki King to iTunes.

The ideal listening environment would include red wine, candlelight, and company like this.


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