The Jazz Guitar of Mark Capon, Capon’s first CD as a leader, is a swinging collection of jazz standards that pays homage to “old school” Jazz Guitar within a contemporary backdrop.
Tunes such as “Cherokee”, “Angel Eyes”, “Just Squeeze Me”, “Cute”, “Little Darlin’”, “If You Could See Me Now”, “When I Fall In Love”, and six other classics, showcase Capon’s nimble-fingered guitar playing and musical sensitivity to each tune as he lays down lavish chords alongside wonderful melodic lines that belie his youthfulness. Capon can also burn with the best of them as is evident on the tunes “Cherokee”, “Broadway” and “Have You Met Mrs. Jones” as he, and guest pianist Ray Alexander, tear up the charts with musical agility and melodic enthusiasm.
The rest of the tunes, played in a trio setting with the exception of one gorgeous solo guitar outing, “Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most”, flaunts Capon’s sense of swing, warmth, and jazz melodicism. His bright and snappy tone, while contrary to most jazz guitarists, works well in this instance and reminds me a little of Grant Green and of Capon’s late mentor, teacher and friend, Tal Farlow.
In fact there may be some comparison between Capon and Farlow, but that is natural given the importance and influence of Tal Farlow on many of today’s established and up and coming jazz guitarists. Whatever the case, Capon has studied well and the thirteen standards that make up this CD are a testament to the American Popular Song as played by a true fan of that genre.
There is no conceited, ego-infused guitar playing here, just solid musical statements and wonderful Jazz guitar playing helped along by bassist Rick Eckberg, who sounds and plays superbly, and drummer Dick Johnson who keeps the rhythm swingin’ and boppin’.
The Jazz Guitar of Mark Capon makes a fine addition to any jazz guitar lover’s collection and I am glad it is in mine. Mr. Farlow would be proud.
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