To paraphrase Tom Hanks in the film “Forrest Gump” — “the guitar is like a box of chocolates; you never know what you’re going to get.” The poor guitar is, of course, the most abused of all instruments. So when we encounter a guitarist such as Larry Corban, there’s reason to celebrate. His no nonsense, deep in the pocket sound draws on decades of tradition. On this most welcome disc, he is joined by James Weidman, piano, Harvie S., bass, and Steve Williams, drums. Corban’s lines are fresh as a starched dress shirt, clear as a cloudless sky, and man, he swings hard. The opener, “Dizzy Affairs,” is based on chord changes to “You’d Be So Nice to Come Home To,” getting the session off to a crisp start. Corban’s writing, as evidenced by several of his original tunes, is very straight ahead, bop-flavored and melodic. A few faves include the aptly titled “Sea of Fire,” with Corban playing very fast-paced single note lines; the quirky, tricky tempo of “Two, Two, Three Step”; and the rather delicate “Stacked Coincidences.” To these and other well-honed originals, add “Blue in Green,” “You Stepped Out of a Dream,” and the rarely heard beauty, “Old Folks.” One doesn’t have to turn the world upside down to sound great. And Larry Corban sounds great!
Nabroc Records; 2014; appx. 58 min. — with Larry Corban, Steve Williams, Harvie S Bass and James Weidman.