DAN MCCLENAGHAN

Larry Corban: The Circle Starts Here (2013)

By  DAN MCCLENAGHAN

Guitarist Larry Corban keeps a picture of Django Reinhardt(1910-1953) on the wall of his practice room. The Belgium-born Gypsy guitarist/swing pioneer was a master of tripping from single note melodies to crisp chords—and keeping it all swinging in his collaborations with violinist Stephane Grappelli.

Corban takes his Django inspiration well on the opener of The Circle Starts Here CD, his first recorded outing since 2003’sMoving 4-Ward (Self Produced). Corban says that opener, “Sideswiped,” is a nod to alto saxophonist Cannonball Adderleyand trumpeter Lee Morgan. It is—bebop inspirations aside—a virtuosic swing vehicle for Corban and his trio mates, bassist Harvie S and drummer Steve Williams, a Hot Club de France romp with Corban’s clean, snappy lines and sharp, glowing chords on full display.

The trio format suits Corban. His “Bossa Barb,” written for all those gorgeous women that you dream about, has that smooth, cool flow of a lady in a long gown doing a languorous walk in a summer breeze. “Breakneck” lives up to its name, with rapid-fire single notes riding high and fast on the bass/drum rhythm.

Corban seems to have an old soul, with his Django Rheinhardt vibe (again) on “Seventh Dimension,” and he also boasts a forward lean and some soul with “On the Sly,” a driving groove that sounds as if it could be covered nicely in the organ trio format, and “Roll the dice,” Corban’s nod to online dating, has a rather dark and melancholy mood.

Corban closes with a gorgeous take on the standard, “East of the Sun,” his guitar singing in front of some beautiful brush work by Steve Williams, for a meditative close to a fine guitar jazz album.

Track Listing: Side Swiped; Bossa Barb; Enjoy the Ride; Seventh Dimension; The Second She Leaves; On the Sly; 3 Hours Late; Roll the Dice; Story Inside My Head; Dream Wheel; Wolf’s Den; Hmm; East of the Son.

Personnel: Larry Corban: guitars; Harvie S: upright bass; Steve Williams: drums.

Record Label: Nabroc Records

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