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Gino Foti 09/12/2006

Artist review
Eugene Grey

Veteran guitarist Eugene Grey brings both a lengthy resume and a perfect blend of jazz sophistication and rhythmic stylings from his native Jamaica to BeSonic.

On "Love You Too Much", the fourth track from his 2004 release "Shades Of Grey", Eugene's playing recalls the fluidity of Charlie Christian, the creativity of Wes Montgomery, and the first-class execution of George Benson while sounding completely unique - an incredible feat given the deep talent pool of past and
present jazz axemen. Multiple plays may be needed by the listener who is new to instrumental jazz to focus on the layering and the nuances of the arrangement to reveal its beauty from both a cerebral and emotional aspect.

"Skata", from the same release, is a laid-back composition featuring his clean and shimmering tone, giving the listener the imagery of a tropical sun reflecting on clear emerald waters. The title refers to 'Ska' and may allude to 'Rock Steady', the pronounced rhythms in this tune (both actually precursors to Reggae) with Grey's voicings and arranging skills adding jazz sensibilities in a melding of not only styles, but once again of different musical eras. Like his compatriot Ernest Ranglin, Eugene Grey is one of the few musicians to blend jazz and Jamaican music successfully.

High marks also to the backing musicians and the production value of these tracks. The varied instruments are mixed and performed as clean and flawless as his technique.

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