Imagine Pat Metheny on steroids...that's what instantly comes to mind when listening to The Wishing Stones, the latest from jazz guitarist Tom Guarna. Along with Jon Cowherd (keyboards), the always incredible John Patitucci (bass), and Brian Blade (drums), Guarna has written 11 new original compositions here on The Wishing Stones which were inspired by a recent trip to the Caribbean by the guitarist, and though there's a laid back, melodic feel to many of these tracks, you'll also hear plenty of fire and passion throughout. I mentioned Metheny earlier for a reason, as Tom's melodic sense and phrasing at times does remind of the legendary guitar player, though Guarna plays with a bit more intensity, no doubt thanks to his early years playing rock music before he discovered jazz. Tracks like "Hope" and "Song for Carabello" sees the guitarist flying about the fretboard with rugged precision, yet always with class and emotion. A lovely Patitucci bass solo permeates the lush tones of "Moment-Eternity", complete with tasty lead guitar and plenty of majestic piano from Cowherd, while classic jazz and fusion collide on "Modules" and "Unravel", each featuring plenty of jaw dropping interplay from the quartet. There's a light, airy feel to the upbeat title track, and the near 10-minute "Beacon" takes things into dreamy, lounge jazz territory, Guarna's guitar flowing with sumptuous, legato notes over gentle rhythms and piano melodies.
The Wishing Stones is a pretty lengthy album, as most of the tracks push the 7-minute and beyond length, but for jazz guitar fans, this will be a complete treat. Though this is the New York guitarists seventh album, he's not yet a household name, but all that could change in the very near future after folks hear this one. Highly recommended!
See more about this release on our recent YouTube show!
2) Song for Carabello
3) Surrender Song
8) The Wishing Stones
10) Run Signal
11) Native Tongue