Sweet and Lowdown, Sean Penn plays the fictitious Emmet Ray, the second greatest jazz guitarist of the 1930s (after Django, of course). While Penn convincingly pretended to play his stunningly executed guitar parts, they were really being performed by Howard Alden, who has been considered one of the best swing guitarists for the past 30 years. Alden is more than that, however, being equally proficient in more modern styles. For his tribute CD to Bill Evans, Alden went from his usual 6-string guitar to a 7-string with a low A so he could better deal with the rich harmonies of Evans' music. With the effervescent Moore and Harewood urging him on, Alden literally devours the challenging "Displacement" – which sounds like a cross between "I Remember You" and "Giant Steps" – with swift, roller-coaster single-note lines that take your breath away.
February 19, 2008 · 0 commentsTags: bill evans tributes
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