CD Review: David Boswell, I Like That

May 5, 2009


Boswell brings chops, class, and style to his third smooth jazz outing. On this collection of well-played and lushly produced tunes, Metheny-inspired guitarist David Boswell dishes up straight-ahead sounds for those who like their jazz smooth but lively. Accompanied by an impressive ensemble that includes virtuoso bassist Jimmy Haslip, smooth sax man Nelson Rangell, veteran rock drummer M.B. Gordy III, and the guitarist’s pianist brother John, Boswell wields his Gibson L-4, 6- and 12-string acoustics, Roland guitar synth, and mandolin in addition to various keyboards. The 12 compositions mostly provide pretty, upbeat harmonic contexts for Boswell’s lyrical soloing, though a few—such as the pulsing “Come and Get Me” and the Americana-tinged “Westward Path”—branch off into slightly more adventurous territory.  Fans of Pat Metheny will likely either love or loathe this disc, depending on whether they believe imitation is truly the greatest form of flattery. I, for one, prefer my Metheny darker and more intense, though I have to tip my hat to Boswell for some fine playing and his excellent taste in sidemen. Haslip’s playing, in particular, lends an authoritative edge to the proceedings. My Quiet Moon.

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