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Chris Champion & John Stowell: Office Hours (2004)

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Chris Champion & John Stowell: Office Hours How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

John Stowell is a veteran jazz guitarist who has been recorded since a 1977 session on Inner City Records. He has appeared in duet with bassist David Friesen and, on other recordings, with Celtic musician Alan Stivell. His more recent albums are all on smaller independent labels, and a solo guitar album, Resonance, has just been released. Guitarist Chris Champion is a musical educator at Arizona State University who met Stowell through the guitar clinics at the University.

This album presents the two guitarists in duet on seven compositions, and it should delight fans of this genre. The session begins with Stowell playing melody on the Fain & Webster piece "Secret Love" while Champion provides some musical filigrees to embellish the tune. On Coltrane's "Equinox," Champion supplies subtle guitar fills against the melody line. On others, like the Rodgers & Hart standard "Have You Met Miss Jones?" both guitarists go head to head with fluent fingerpicking. Other tunes include the rousing Clifford Brown tune "Blues Walk" and a medley of the Coltrane pieces "Resolution/A Love Supreme." The album is recorded so that Stowell and Champion's respective guitar work can be best heard on separate speakers.

If this album is titled Office Hours, then it might be appropriate to suggest that if you only have time for an abbreviated lunch break, you just might find these two musicians entertaining for the midday crowd at that nearby plaza for 35 minutes.

Track Listing: Secret Love, Equinox, Berkshire Blues, What Is This Thing Called Love, Blues Walk, Resolution/A Love Supreme Medley, Have You Met Miss Jones?

Personnel: Chris Champion, John Stowell, guitars

Record Label: AMAZ Records

Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


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