Gene Bertoncini: You'd Be So Nice to Come To
You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To
Gene Bertoncini (guitar)
Concerti (Ambient CD-007)
Mark Feldman, Rob Moose (violins), Keely Dylia (viola), Dana Leong (cello).
Arranged by Fred Sturm. Composed by Cole Porter.
Recorded: Stamford, CT March 24-25, 2005
Rating: 93/100 (learn more)
Guitarist Gene Bertoncini has built a career, over a period of decades, on intelligence, talent and taste. He is a musician's musician, and although he is not a household name with crossover hits to his credit, the guitarists know how good he is. Many have studied with him -- at Eastman, or at clinics -- or learned indirectly from his records or his instructional DVD.
On this stellar all-strings release, Bertoncini taps into his contacts at Eastman to find some brilliant string arrangements that don't sound like your typical commercial studio gig fare. Fred Sturm, who was a professor at Eastman for more than a decade, contributes a creative chart for "You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To." Even without the guitar part, you would want to come home to this performance.
But Bertoncini is at top form here. He kicks off with a quasi-classical guitar melody statement, but by the time he gets to bar 7, he is working through some glorious thick chords that hint at the jazz riches to come. The string quartet gets an interlude to strut its stuff, then the guitarist returns with another melody statement (but check out the chords again) before taking a crisp, swinging single-note solo.
Certainly there are many fine recordings on the market by this artist, but his fans will want to add this release to their collection; while those who haven't had the chance yet to hear Bertoncini may want to start with this CD.
Reviewer: Ted Gioia