Andreas Hagiioannu,
Far & Wide
(Impala Marque, 2007)

British guitarist Andreas Hagiioannu picked up his instrument after hearing fusion artists John McLaughlin and Pat Metheny. He came much closer to mastery when he discovered the work of such artists as Kenny Burrell and Wes Montgomery, artists more at home with pure jazz than a blend of rock and jazz. Although lingering traces of a Metheny influence remain in his playing, his playing mostly reflects the more classic influences of Burrell and Montgomery.

This is not to suggest that Hagiioannu lacks originality. I mention the players who came before him merely to establish a quick frame of reference, to give listeners who are not familiar with his work a quick way in. On the contrary, Hagiioannu is very much his own man.

Playing with a trio that includes Dick Griffin on bass and Alan Savage on drums, the guitarist composed all of the material on the CD; his tunes are playful and accessible, with long loping lines and sweet unexpected turns. The tunes and the playing are melodic, lacking the challenge of hard bop but avoiding the simplicity and vagueness of light jazz.

If you're into guitar trios, give this guy a try.

[ visit the artist's website ]

review by
Michael Scott Cain

29 September 2007

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