Jazz Weekly – George W. Harris

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“…see if it’s as good. Check this one out, guitar fans!”

Vibist Mike Mainieri has played with everyone from Diz, Hawk, Wes and Buddy Rich before founding his own niche-creating band Steps Ahead.

Here, he works with the compositions of co-leader/guitarist Marnix Busstra for a dozen very clever, intriguing and accessible tunes that mix clever soloing with exciting interplay. Along with Eric Van Der Westen/b and Pieter Bast/dr, the vibes and strings bounce, glide, collide and weave with each other both during the melodies and solos.

“Old Fashion” and “Square Brown” glide smoothly during the ensemble passages, with Busstra using various guitars, sitars and even a random bouzouki now and then to clever effect. This is their second disc together, and this one makes me want to find their first one to see if it’s as good. Check this one out, guitar fans!