Howard ALDEN & George Van EPS – 7 Strings Jazz Guitars 1993

Howard ALDEN & George Van EPS – 7 Strings Jazz Guitars 1993

Jazz

This is the third of four studio dates featuring guitarists George Van Eps and Howard Alden together, except that they are both on seven-string instruments and without a rhythm section this time around. Alden’s step up to the more versatile instrument enables him to use a bassline when needed while also enabling him to achieve chord voicings that weren’t possible on a six-string instrument. Like their earlier collaborations, this CD concentrates on well-hewn standards that have great melodies which provide inspiration for lyrical improvisations, ranging from a relatively easygoing “Ja-Da” to a shimmering “Skylark.” Van Eps goes it alone on his newly written “Salute to Basie” and a very soft “Last Night When We Were Young.” Fans of jazz guitar should snap up this gem, along with all other dates by George Van Eps and Howard Alden (whether they’re together or featured individually).
By Ken Dryden. AMG.
**
A seven string innovator since the 30’s, Van Eps recently celebrated his 80th birthday and yet has the facility of his much younger colleague Alden who was long an admirer of the older master’s work. On this their third album for Concord, they explore standards like “Night and Day” and “My Romance” trading off rhythmic and soloing responsibilities with equal ease. “Lullaby of Burdland” is given an interesting harmony treatment as they double up on the melody. And then Van Eps goes it alone on “Last Night When We Were Young” and the two finish off the disc together on “I May Be Wrong But I Think You’re Wonderful.” A must have for any fan of the 7 string.”
By Matthew Horton.
**
It’s always a treat to hear another Howard Alden/George Van Eps album. The two guitarists, separated in age by nearly 50 years, have a masterful sense of collaboration on Seven and Seven. Alden, a relative newcomer to the seven-string guitar which Van Eps has played since the ’30s, matches the performance of his elder. This is their third album together, maybe their best. Like comfortable old shoes, the two guitarists slip into the eleven tunes with an ease that pleases.
Nanct Ann Lee.
**
Howard Alden- Guitar
George Van Eps- Guitar
**
01. Night And Day 5:27
02. Ja-Da 5:13
03. Just Friends 5:57
04. My Romance 5:30
05. Salute To Basie 4:23
06. I Surrender, Dear 6:41
07. Stella By Starlight 4:57
08. Skylark 4:42
09. Lullaby Of Birdland 5:16
10. Last Night When We Were Young 2:15
11. I May Be Wrong, But I Think You’re Wonderful 4:57
**


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