Friday, September 6, 2013

Frank Potenza For Joe Capri 2013

Frank Potenza does more than capture the spirit of Joe Pass, he becomes Joe Pass on this stellar tribute to one of the pioneers of modern improvisational guitar!
Brent Black /

Taking on the work of a true legend can only go one of two ways, train wreck or emotional brilliance. Frank Potenza's For Joe is more than a riff on the great guitarist but may arguably be the finest homage to Pass in recent memory. This formidable 4tet is rounded out with Colin Bailey on drums, Jim Hughart on Bass, and guitarist John Pisano. An emotional harmonic journey down the storied path of Pass with tunes such as "A Foxy Chick and a Cool Cat" and "Catch Me." These tunes are not Pass transcriptions or carefully tweaked reharms but instead the artistic interpretation of the warmth and fluidity of a virtuoso that continues to inspire to this day. Additional compositions are tunes closely associated with Joe Pass and it is the attention to detail and flowing interpretations of these tunes that pushes what would normally be a good release into the category of being something special.

John Pisano contributes the stunning original "Blues for Joe" while Potenza locks in on such tunes as "Do Nothin' til You Hear From Me" and "Love is Here To Stay." A vision that began shortly after the passing of Joe Pass in 1994 has come full circle in 2013 with a recording that is ethereal, organic and most of all re-fires the Pass swing with an unmatched elegance. Potenza, having struck up a friendship with the late virtuoso later in life maintains the appropriate perspective on a recording that would be difficult for some but perhaps it is indeed that very bond that has allowed this release to be so carefully constructed. A true celebration of genius. 

Going much further than this with a review would be like plunking the proverbial one string banjo. Frank Potenza nails this release cold. Somewhere Joe Pass is very happy.

Tracks: A Foxy Chick and a Cool Cat; For Django; Blues For Joe; Catch Me; Do Nothin' til You Hear From Me; Fleur d'Ennul; Love Is Hear To Stay; Rosetta; Voce; Beautiful Love.