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Bill Coon and Oliver Gannon

Two Much Guitar

(Cellar Live; US: 8 Aug 2006; UK: Unavailable)

These two premier Canadian guitarists (tendencies of Burrell, Montgomery, Kessel, etc.) have it sown up with retail sites that let you hear the first half minute of tracks in order to make purchasing decisions. Their openings are brilliant; I’ve never heard the theme statement of Tadd Dameron’s “If You Could See Me Now” timed or phrased better. Corey Weed’s note talks of two-head contests and the glint in one of these guitarist’s eyes as the other soloed. I think he wanted to impress the other guy by outplaying him, something recommended in manuals of lovemaking. They are gentle with each other’s guitar parts. Coon’s “Zattitude” has zip, Dave Robbins so tightly sprung they had to give him a drum solo. The audience is enthusiastic, and the lovely sound does suggest they were actually listening. Just think, they could have missed the start of “Darn That Dream”! It sounds like one man playing two guitars with all four hands, bassist and drummer getting time off to let the guitars behave well. You hear Darren Radtke’s bass all the better at the opening of “Have You Met Miss Jones”.  After the duo Dameron, Gannon’s brisk and boppy “So Nice” is the second new composition in an octet including Charlie Parker’s “Chi Chi”, but otherwise consisting of standards. There are a few sets along lines like this one, a serious option beside sets with famous names. The very guys to send a man home happy, or in this form detain him there.

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