JORGE GARCIA — Dedicated To You (review)

JORGE GARCIA — Dedicated To You album cover Album · 2022 · Post Bop Buy this album from MMA partners
3/5 ·
js
Guitarist Jorge Garcia has worked with many top names in jazz and pop, including Tony Bennett, Cecile McLorin Salvant, Jon Faddis and many more. The reason that his name is not better known has to do with the fact that his current album, “Dedicated to You”, is only his second album as a leader. Jorge is a top notch guitarist who may remind some of rugged boppers like Joe Pass and Barney Kessel, but he is also adept at playing the nylon string acoustic in Brazilian style settings as well. “Dedicated to You” brings out all the styles that Jorge enjoys as this album is put together from many different recording dates and groups.

The album opens with smoking hot bebop with Richie Cole on alto sax. Richie is no longer with us, but he was a master of the Charlie Parker sax-speak, with a dose of springy Eric Dolphy exclamations. Its too bad Richie is only on two tracks, because these are the album’s highlights. After these openers, Jorge moves into more of a Brazilian vibe, including an imaginative remake of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” featuring vocalist Wendy Pederson. Harmonacist Hendrick Meurkens supplies a solo on the Bossa Nova flavored Jorge original, “With You Always”. In a Bossa setting, the harmonica almost takes on an accordion flavor for a European café jazz vibe. Recorded in a trio setting, “S’Wonderful”, brings back Garcia’s blazing bebop chops. The album closes with a beautiful original ballad on which Jorge is backed by Phil Banman on the string synthesizer. Jazz guitar fans need to check out Jorge, he’s a great player and also an excellent writer as well.
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