Nat Janoff: Looking Through
Nat Janoff (guitar)
Looking Through (Nat Janoff NATJ001)
Nat Janoff (guitar),
Matthew Garrison (bass), Gene Lake (drums).
Composed by Nat Janoff.
Recorded: Caldwell, NJ, October 1999
Rating: 93/100 (learn more)
One of the best modern jazz guitar players out there these days is Nat Janoff. The New Jersey native is a superior technician who plays with feeling on either acoustic or electric guitar. He possesses a strong identifiable melodic sense that is evidenced by his own composing and his guitar interpretations of others' music. Looking Through is full of tasteful modern jazz, calming bossa novas and even some fusion fusillades. The title cut is a bouncy blues-rock number infected with a strain of fusion funk. The tune opens with Janoff and Garrison doubling on a catchy riff-based theme. Lake syncopates along with them. Soon Janoff burns. His playing is ridiculously fast. From a technical point of view this is very impressive, although it would be a big fat waste if that were the sum of it all. But after Janoff's runs burrow beneath the ground, we can feel the energy of him digging his way back to the surface for air. Once there, Garrison funks things up a bit, and Janoff joins him. Janoff, Garrison and Lake use their considerable talents to bring everything to a pleasing coda. This 1999 cut should persuade you to make an effort to hear Janoff's other releases since.
Reviewer: Walter Kolosky