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Action:Reaction by Steve Herberman
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Format: Audio CD
Steve Herberman is a jazz guitarist who isn't satisfied with just six strings. The seven-string guitar gives Herberman access to a greater variety of chords, and like the progenitor of the seven-string jazz guitar, George Van Eps, Herberman is a master of chord-based improvisation. Unlike Van Eps, though, he also indulges in single-note solos. Also, while Van Eps stuck to pre-bop styles, Herberman ventures into the realm of advanced post-bop in a manner more similar to Lenny Breau. This album presents Herberman in a trio setting, leaving him the primary soloist. On his first album, Thought Lines, he shared that spotlight with sax player Bruce Swaim. Swaim is a fine player, and his warm tone and adventurous style are missed here, but Herberman picks up the slack. His playing is subtle and intricate, generating its power mostly from Herberman's ability to take his solos in unexpected directions that still always make sense. This is a difficult task when one sticks with a traditional style (or what constitutes a traditional style now, when players like Adam Rogers are mainstream), but Herberman manages just fine as a fitting continuation of the style of players like Lenny Breau and Ted Greene. Obviously, fans of this album should seek out albums by Breau and Greene (although unfortunately, Greene only recorded one).
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