Vic Juris & John Etheridge
featuring Miroslav Vitous, Marcello Pellitteri - Bohemia - CD jp 1023
Vic Juris guitar
John Etheridge guitar
Miroslav Vitous bass
Marcello Pellitteri drums
Titles: There is no greater love, You've changed, Con Alma, "L", Georgeiana, Chips, A keen bat, Sim
Vic Juris' first album "Roadsong" came out in the US 1978 with a large cast of musicians and his musical companion of long standing, the keyboarder Barry Miles. Seven years later he, Vic Juris, was to show his dexterity on the strings for the first time in Germany as solo partner to the Alsatian guitarist, Bireli Lagrene, on his first "live" album on the international scene, together with the Englishman Diz Disley on the rhythm gitar. Juris - an outstanding musician who knows how to fuse the influence of Montgomery, Martino, Coryell and others into his own long existent style resources. Vic is back now, ten years after his US debut, more mature, not so adamant about virtuosity and in an enormously productive constellation - firstly to participate in a "Four Country Meeting" with his British guitarist colleague John Etheridge, the bass-player from Prague who went to the US in 1966, Miroslav Vitous, and the Italian drummer Marcello Pellitteri and - secondly for the acoustical duo.
John Etheridge, born 1948 and therefore five years his senior is, it would seem to be superfluous to say, known to insiders above all for his performances with guitarist Martin Taylor and with Stephane Grappelli but also for his recordings with Grappelli and Yehudi Menuhin. This does not mean, of course, that that is the extent of John's field of activity: as with so many guitar-players of his generation he began to play at thirteen after being impressed by Hank B. Marvin in the "Shadows", soon moved on though into the jazz camp of Montgomery, Pass and Reinhardt, then opening up into rock guitar music around Hendrix, Beck, and Clapton, replaced Allan Holdsworth in "Soft Machine", performed with the aforementioned violinists, but also with Didier Lockwood, Darryl Way and Ric Sanders, founded his own group "Second Vision" in 1980 and since then belongs to England's elite guitarists between Jazz and Rock. Finally John amply demonstrates, in duo with Vic, what he has to offer on his classical nylon string guitar: eminent, modern Jazz, in reality as it has just been developed on this instrument, as a contrast to Juris Ovation steel string performance.
Vic Juris - For the Music - CD jp 1034
Vic Juris guitar
Tim Hagans trumpet
Jay Anderson bass
Jeff Hirshfield drums
Titles: Victim, Sim, For The Music, If I Should Lose You , Folk Song, A Weaver Of Dreams, You Don't Know What Love is, For Emily, Back Row Hi Jinx,
In essence, a Jazz group occupies its time engaged in the art of conversation. Four players improvising over a musical structure usually have sign posts along the way which serve to guide the musical conversation along certain lines of thought. These guidelines may appear as an harmonic progression or melodic line of some sort, etc. The similarity to an actual verbal conversation when there is a mutually agreed upon subject under discussion is obvious. The challenge and goals are similar: to express one's view within the context of the subject matter talking into consideration and respecting each of the other participant's feelings and thoughts.
When successful, the result is group consensus and a unified vision. But, there is after all, quite subtle, because a musical image, though quite clear to experienced musicians is by its nature open to multiple definitions. Therefore, for high level group communication to take place, the individuals involved must be both skillful and empathetic to each other.
Guitarist VIC JURIS has put together just such a group with very satisfying results. Although the recording is under the guitarist's name as a leader, it is apparent that the group concept was foremost. This is definitely not a leader/sideman type of recording. There is a unity of purpose here which should be apparent to any interested listener.
In fact, this quartet is constructed of two smaller duos. The bass/drum team of Jay Anderson and Jeff Hirshfield are very keyed into each other as one would expect from the fact that they are much in demand for such occasions. With the itinerant nature of the contemporary Jazz scene where musicians often come together for only one or two short-lived projects, it is rare these days to have such a strong rhythm section team. On the other side, Vic and trumpeter Tim Hagans are highly empathetic, melodically and harmonically. The resulting interaction works excellently as it has throughout Jazz history when strong parings of musicians play together.
Another aspect which is apparent here is the depth of these musician's experience heard by the variety of musical formats presented. As leader, and thereafter the final judge of the presentation, this is a direct reflection of Vic's wide musical background. The quintessent New York guitarist, Juris has recording and performing credits with the likes of Phil Wood, Al Cohn, Jimmy Smith, Sonny Stitt, Mel Torme, Gary Peacock and others as well as three previous dates as a leader. His ability to play comfortably in a wide variety of contexts is clearly demonstrated throughout this recording. Along with a flawless technique, crisp time and articulation and a beautiful sound, we are hearing a mature artist on all accounts.The material features both standards and originals ranging from the free bop line "Victim" to the rubato "For the Music". The harmonically demanding "For Emily" (dedicated to the late Emily Remler), "You Don't Know What Love Is" receives a fresh point of view, evidenced especially by Hagan's clever use of chromaticism. In fact, Tim shines throughout as he avoids melodic clinches and uses a daring harmonic approach in his style.
Overall, Vic Juris presents a highly musical recording, devoid of any pretense or use of gimmicks. How refreshing it is to hear four fine musicians truly conversing together - "For the Music".
CD jp 1023: This has to be highly recommended. The liner notes describes the album as ‘a pure jazz guitar album for string purists’,and I couldn’t describe it any better, except to add that the appel will exted well beyond the guitar world. Juris and Etherdige are supberbly compatible, and their four acoustic duets are a particular delight. Just hear their thoughtful version of You’ve Changed (Etheridge on classical nylon string guitar and Juris on Ovation steel string) or their bossa-nova interpretation of Con Alma and you’ll be hooked. The four quartet tracks demonstrate that Vitous is a world-class bass player (listen to his arco work on Sim), though I must say that the quartet tracks, particularly L, don’t hold my interest to the same extent as the duos, if all of the album was up to the standard of the duets it would have to be considered for the end of year top 10.
(jazzjournal J.R. Brown 3/1989)
..Die Hälfte der Titel wurden mit E-Gitarre und einer Rhythmusgruppe eingespielt, bei der Miroslav Vitous wieder einmal am Kontrabass zu hören ist. Jazzpoint, das schon mit der Debütplatte von Lagrene einen Paukenschlag landete (und u.a. Produktionen mit Coryell und Pastorius herausbrachte), profiliert sich mit diesem sympathischen Album weiter als bedeutendes Label für zeitgenössische Gitarrenmusik.
...Ein Genuss für Liebhaber handgemachter Gitarren-musik.
(Fachblatt Musikmagazin 12/1088)
...jeder Ton ein Universum, jede Sekunde eine Ewigkeit.
...Ob im Duett oder gestützt von Bass und Drums - stets hält sich ihre Saitenkunst ohne elektronische Stelzen auf allerdhöchstem musikalischem Niveau.
(Audio/Peter Steder 12/1988)
JOHN ETHERIDGE first came to the attention of European audiences in 1975 when he joined the legendary group SOFT MACHINE who had a huge following in Europe and toured extensively throughout the seventies. In 1979 Etheridge also commenced working with veteran jazz violinist Stephane Grappelli an association that lasted, with numerous tours of USA, Europe and Australia until 1981. Since 1981 Etheridge has followed a solo career including appearances in Spain, Italy, Germany, USA and Australia either with his own group or with local musicians.”For the recording of BOHEMIA” I chose to play the acoustic tunes on a bnylon-string gitar to make a contrast with Vic’s steel-string Ovation. Except for “Chips” which I played on a steel-string acoustic that I found in the studio, the other acoustic tracks are all nylon.
CD jp 1034: David Liebmann: “Vic Juris presents a highly musical recording, devoid of any pretense or use of gimmicks. How refreshing it is to hear four fine musicians truly conversing together”.
Bireli Lagrene featuring Vic Juris - CD jp 1047 (sorry out of sale)
Bireli Lagrene guitar
Vic Juris guitar
Diz Dizley rhythm guitar
Jan Jankeje acoustic bass
Gaiti Lagrene rhythm guitar
Titles: Bireli, Minor Swing, Spain, Paris, Rue de Pierre, Ornitology, Sim, Nuits de St. Germain des Pres, The Night of a Champion, I Can’t Give, You Anything But Love, Moll-Blues