Friday, October 18, 2013

George Cotsirilos Trio Variations OA2 2013

George Cotsirilos simply crushes the guitar trio format with Variations!
Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com

The jazz guitar trio is risky with the end result usually feast or famine with very little middle ground. The George Cotsirilos Trio seemingly owns this format with a warmth and intimacy seldom captured since the Blue Note days of Kenny Burrell. Swing, what is it? How do you know when you are in love? You feel swing, it comes from that sweet spot just past your soul. Bop oriented style guitarists of this ability are a rare breed. Bassist Robb Fischer and drummer Ron Marabuto add that nuanced lyrical cohesion that allows three voices to come together with simply magical results.

Perhaps the most amazing aspect of Variations would be the incredible proficiency displayed on both electric and acoustic guitars. Shifting dynamics and artfully manipulated meters allow this true collective to set their own lyrical course and never look back. There is an incredible intimacy, a warm open ended sonic exploratory where members can simply state as much or as little as they wish. While the Ivan Lins tune "Doce Presenca" and the Burke & Van Heusen number "But Beautiful" are the only covers, the incredible depth of the original compositions here is at times staggering. Rob Fisher's "Sambrosia" and the Cotsirilos original "Blues For The J Man" are but two of the standout efforts turned in on marvelous release.

2013 has been the year of the guitarist. The George Cotsirilos Trio is well established in San Francisco, now they should be quickly turning heads across the United States. Making old school new cool again is a walk in the park for George Cotsirilos!

Tracks: A Walk For Ethel; I Know You Know; Doce Presenca; Sambrosia; Chimera; 1937; Justin Case; Blues For The J Man; But Beautiful; Madrugadora.

Personnel: George Cotsirilos: Guitars; Robb Fisher: Bass; Ron Marabuto: Drums.