This CD has ten great Campilongo instrumentals with an additional bonus of special guest appearances by Grammy Award winning vocalist Norah Jones ("Cry Me A River") and the critically acclaimed singer/songwriter Martha Wainwright ("Beautiful Dreamer"). Campilongo's "Heaven Is Creepy" comes during one of his most active periods that included a collaboration with Norah Jones, Richard Julian, Lee Alexander and Dan Rieser in The Little Willies. This combo exposed Jim's guitar mastery to excited audiences nationwide. Performances included The Conan O'Brien Show, David Letterman, The World Cafe and more. The Little Willies debut album also demonstrated Jim's formidable writing talents ("Easy As the Rain") that reached # 48 on the Billboard Top 200.
Guitarist Jim Campilongo is no more a jazz artist and no less eclectic than Norah Jones, his bandmate in their Little Willies side project. Like virtuosi as different from each other as Chet Atkins, Jeff Beck, and Pat Metheny--each of whom Campilongo's music occasionally recalls--he's more concerned with tone, timbre, and space than with show-off runs of hot-licks speed. With his rhythm section almost subliminal, supporting the guitarist rather than pushing him, the trio's music is primarily instrumental, though vocalist Martha Wainwright provides a timewarp turn with her tremulous vocal on Stephen Foster's "Beautiful Dreamer," while Jones cuts to the heart of "Cry Me a River" (also featured as a wiry instrumental). As the name of the album suggests, Campilongo has a knack for the quirky, catchy title, and as Chuck Berry once praised, "He can play the guitar just like ringing a bell" (literally, on the album-opening "The Prettiest Girl in New York"). --Don McLeese