October 24, 2011

James Elkington & Nathan Salsburg - Avos

Avos starts off with Hospitality, probably one of its strongest tracks. The playing is crisp and concise and yet doesn’t feel as technically precise as to feel sterile. In fact the whole body of work has a comfortable feel to it that belies the technical skill that is going on concurrently. Fez and Guinness is a favorite of mine, call me a sucker for the beer and the violin? Either way it’s another of the comfort pieces on this effort.
 But just when the comfort is settling in the guys insert just an inkling of strange to keep you on your toes. Avos, is track seven and while there’s nothing too unsettling about the piece I’m also not sure I’m “getting” it either. At first it bothered me but now I’m a little more comfortable with it.
Actually, at the half-way point the guys do start getting a little flashy, at least for this effort. Believer Field takes a lot of elements and blends them for a great sounding duet full of pull-offs, arpeggios and jazzy chords. Ending up with a song that retains the feel of a beautiful melody along the way is tricky but they do it well.
Straight Up and Down is a tune that keeps things from straying too close to the norm. A very attractive tune with its sharp angles slipping into an elegant melody, really a joy for the ears!
On that note I need to mention that a lot of what makes this an excellent effort is the production work, very fine. This is a great addition to the small canon of guitar duet efforts. Work & Worry has an interesting review of this release and I encourage you to check it out if you haven’t already. Raymond Morin is one of the rare breed of guitarist that plays in this tiny niche, his perspective is unique.
Visit Tompkins Square to BUY.
Stream it at Fretboard Journal.

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