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JGT Album Review: Gerry Beaudoin’s, “Blues & Ballads and More”



Jazz Guitar Today guest contributor Vince Lewis reviews the Gerry Beaudoin Trio release, “Blues & Ballads and More”

Jazz Guitarist Gerry Beaudoin has carved out a career as a leader, arranger and guitarist. Called “One of New England’s premier jazz guitarists” by Just Jazz Guitar Magazine, Gerry has appeared on over twenty recordings in his career since his first national release in 1990. His award-winning group the Boston Jazz Ensemble (which featured percussion legend Alan Dawson on drums and vibes, alto saxophonist Fred Lipsius from the seminal jazz-rock group Blood Sweat and Tears, and Dick Johnson who leads the Artie Shaw Band on clarinet) received rave reviews and critical acclaim.

This recording is a return to the classic Guitar, Bass, and Drum format by Beaudoin after a span of 26 years.  He is joined here by old friends Bob Nieske (Bass) and Gary Johnson (Drums).  Both are skilled veteran musicians who provide the perfect foundation throughout the recording.

The opening track “Blue Once Again” sets the mood with a somewhat plaintive Blues with a subdued pop/rock rhythm from Nieske and Johnson.  Next up is the timeless Duke Ellington ballad “In A Sentimental Mood.” Beaudoin opens with an interesting solo statement of the melody harmonically before being joined by the rhythm section.  Opening with a solid bass riff “Convoluted Blues” is up next with a fun and interesting melodic line.

Other standards included along with the several original Beaudoin compositions are “Tenderly,” “I Thought About You” and “Here’s That Rainy Day”.  

Gerry Beaudoin is a very solid player with a traditional tone and approach that carries on the tradition of a generation of Jazz Guitarists that certainly needs to be preserved.  This recording is a pleasure to listen to throughout.  The selections are well organized and engaging and the trio works together to support the music perfectly.

Check out the release here!

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