George Cotsirilos

Mostly in Blue

oa2 22151

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MUSIC REVIEW BY Dr. Debra Jan Bibel, Amazon

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Chicago-rooted guitarist George Cotsirilos has blues in the bones, and although this album, Mostly in Blue, skirts the classic blues, its essence remains. And if that sounds like a legal nuance, then former University of California law professor Cotsirilos will come to the defense. Retired from his attorney and teaching duties, his first passion, music, [playing experience with Etta James, Pharoah Sanders, and Eddie Marshall] now occupies his time. This is his sixth album under his name, from solo to trio and now quartet. His choice of jazz guitar, taught by Warren Nunes, with classical studies at San Francisco Conservatory of Music, followed youthful instruction in violin, drums, and piano, which make his composing projects more instrumentally aware. The Quartet includes Keith Saunders, piano; Robb Fisher, bass; and Ron Marabuto, drums. The leading and title tune, Mostly in Blue, is in 6/8 time and minor key. Closer to the standard format is Wes Side Blues, a reference to Wes Montgomery, with bebop flurry of notes and upbeat tempo. One of the two standards, I Wish I Knew, is next, as Cotsirilos plays smoothly and continuously in introduction against a bossa beat. Ms Luna, named for a cat, does seem to prowl about the night shadows with a Cheshire grin. Blue Dusk maintains the playfulness. Charlie Parker's Crazeology is taken as a frenzy of string-picking and fingerboard dancing. The slower, thoughtful Lights Out has a strong melancholic blues feel. The album concludes with Down, Not Out, a sentiment of the present era; the piece has a propulsive, optimistic groove, furthered in turn by guitar, piano, bass, and drum solos. The cohesive album is a showcase of jazz guitar, which the other musicians support in fine fashion.






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