Fred Woodard

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Fred Woodard: Reviews

Boston guitarist Fred Woodard is a master at combining jazz and blues in an electric guitar style that never fails to engage. His new album, 1715 (the address of the modest house where he grew up), includes several terrific originals, but the highlights are exquisite arrangements of Consuelo Velazquez' "Besame Mucho" and Don Pullen's "In the Spirit." In both cases, Woodard states the theme and then takes off on wonderful melodic excursions over the chords, leaving no doubt about how rich these compositions are. Woodard's trio (Herman Hampton, bass, and Peter Barr, drums) is joined by Kurtis Rivers on tenor sax and Andre Hayward on trombones for one rousing tune, "Stretching/Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like Dat)." There are three opportunities to catch Woodard's trio in the Rochester area over the next few days.

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