Gonzalo Bergara: Some of These Days
Some of These Days
Gonzalo Bergara (guitar)
Porteña Soledad (Independent Label)
Gonzalo Bergara (guitar),
Philip Kim (rhythm guitar), Jimi Hawes (bass).
Composed by Shelton Brooks.
Recorded: North Hollywood, CA, 2007
Rating: 96/100 (learn more)
There's no shortage of Hot Club swing groups covering this antique chestnut of a tune; it's fun to play and audiences never seem to get tired of hearing it. Improvising through these changes with any degree of freshness is quite another matter. From stage left, enter Gonzalo Bergara.
Perhaps this Argentine guitarist, composer and teacher isn't such big news to West Coast jazz Manouche fans, who have had the opportunity to hear him in venues around his current California stomping grounds, but his playing was quite a shock to this East Coaster when I heard him at the 2008 Django in June event in Massachusetts.
Here's the thing: it's not just the chops, which are considerable, or the speed and dexterity of his execution, impressive though it may be. It's the attack – rarely have I heard a right-hand technique with more nuance. On "Some of These Days" (the album's only non-original tune), pearlescent lines rapid-fire from the fretboard as if his fingers are kissing each note with lapidary precision, bringing fresh sparkle and polish to a priceless old jewel. Don't miss these kisses.
Reviewer: Bill Barnes