Besides displaying impressive jazz chops, New York City-based guitarist Nick Russo mixes it up rather effectively here. The program features brisk swing grooves, jazz-fusion workouts, tender balladry and a world-music vibe, where Russo augments the program by using either a tenor banjo or oud. He embarks upon knotty unison choruses with tenor saxophonist Mark Turner and budding undercurrents, featuring vocalist Miles Griffith’s emphatic vocalise on “Ro.”
Therefore, Russo’s mindset is steeped within various jazz-related genres. The ensemble even touches upon the avant-garde and heated; Indo/jazz breakouts on the piece titled “Please Come Home,” marked by Pandit Samir Chatterjee’s bustling tabla maneuvers. In sum, Russo’s a top-flight artiste who communicates clear-sighted vision and a wide-ranging vernacular throughout this cunningly, divergent showcase.
– Glenn Astarita