Jon Dalton: The Gift (2003)
Along with John Barton on tenor sax and John O’Hara on percussion and other instruments, Dalton offers ten easily digestible excursions frequently jumping into playful asides. For example, a strolling, whistle-like accompaniment rings throughout “Champosium,” and “You Can’t Do That!” throws out computerized strings, tambourine shakes and other fun blips and noises. They’re playful, but Dalton’s songs are firmly about radio-friendly memorable melodies and tight grooves. At the same time, he’s not afraid to actually play the guitar, like Standring, Metheny and Carlton do successfully.
One of the recording's many highlights is the cover tune, a slow Lee Ritenour-like groove over a soft percussive bed featuring record scratches. Dalton pays homage to smooth jazz guitar father figure Wes Montgomery on “The Dark Man” and “Westory,” two intoxicating tracks. The disc closes with “A Gift Returned,” a spare ballad where Dalton’s emotive guitar evokes hope and longing. He wrote the song in memory of a friend.
Note: this independent release is available from Amazon.com and CDBaby.com (see right panel).
Track Listing: Champosium; The Gift; Napoli; You Can't Do That!; Master of Complications; The Dark Man; Webs; One Level Up!; Westory; A Gift Returned
Personnel: Jon Dalton (acoustic, electric and MIDI guitar); John Barton (tenor sax); John O'Hara (live percussion and all other instruments)