Six String Evolution
Review by Willard Manus

Guitarist Andreas Oberg also turns up on another Resonance release, ANDREAS OBERG--SIX STRING EVOLUTION. Resonance, the LA-based record company led by George Klabin, is bringing the Swedish-born Oberg along in deft fashion. His first CD for the company (released in 2008) was a tribute album, My Favorite Guitars; a year later he played on Marian Petruscu's CD salute to Oscar Peterson; followed by featured work on the same pianist's recent Live at the Jazz Standard. Now Resonance has decided that Oberg has found his own voice as a leader.

SIX STRING EVOLUTION showcases Oberg's remarkable skills as a player, composer and arranger. He plays a diverse set of songs, beginning with a salsa number ("Papa Gato"), then seguing to an uptempo burner ("Madame Grenouille"), followed by the ballad "We'll Be Together Again." The next seven tracks include two Brazilian bossa novas, a Stevie Wonder tune ("From the Bottom of My Heart"), some soul jazz, a little funk, and an original Oberg composition, the delicate and introspective "Dawn Ballad."

Throughout Oberg, alternating between electric and acoustic guitars, plays with remarkable taste and musicianship. The same goes for his sidemen: bassist John Patatucci; pianist Dave Kikoski; drummer Lewis Nash. These stalwarts are joined, at various times, by such guest artists as singer-saxophonist Darmon Meader; vocalist Filo Machado; bassist Decebal Badila; cymbalom player Marius Preda; and vibraharpist John Beasely. The latter and Bill Cunliffe also collaborated on some of the arrangements.

With the release of SIX STRING EVOLUTION, Oberg establishes himself as one of the finest jazz guitarists working today.