Jim Campilongo (featuring Norah Jones): Stella
Jim Campilongo (guitar)
American Hips (Blue Hen 008)
Tim Luntzel (bass), Dan Rieser (drums).
Composed by Jim Campilongo.
Recorded: New York, 2003
Rating: 92/100 (learn more)
Jim Campilongo and his trusty Fender Telecaster can be found playing their unique brand of quirky country-jazz every Monday night at the famed Living Room in downtown Manhattan. Campilongo is most directly influenced by country-blues guitar pioneer Roy Buchanan, and over the last several years has cleverly incorporated some of Buchanan's techniques ("unusual right-hand muting, squealing harmonics, behind-the-nut bending") into his increasingly jazz-centric solo work.
American Hips is perhaps the most appropriate place for jazz fans to begin exploring Campilongo's music. The base trio of Campilongo, Luntzel and Rieser effortlessly balance country and jazz, and therefore present a stylistically similar approach to the genre-bending trio work of Bill Frisell. The fact that Frisell and Campilongo both approach jazz (and non-jazz) from similar perspectives yet play with such contrasting personal styles makes for a fascinating comparison in a relatively small instrumental subgenre. On this track, a subdued Campilongo plays a stunning introductory statement and brief solo between Norah Jones's relaxed delivery of a Campilongo original. If you like what you hear, Campilongo, Jones and Rieser can likewise be heard together on The Little Willies, a 2006 country-jazz release also featuring guitarist/ vocalist Richard Julian and bassist/producer Lee Alexander.
Reviewer: Eric Novod