Bill Connors: Return (2005)
Aside from John Coltrane's "Brasilia," the program features Connors originals that emphasize guitar and piano equally, as well as giving the rhythm section plenty of room for adventurous exploration. Drummer Kim Plainfield, who appeared on those last two Connors albums, returns with thunderous backbeats, textural variety, and a snappy syncopated approach.
Connors brings a lyrical charm to his smooth jazz selections, a swinging rhythmic approach to his light Latin pieces, and a hot, fiery attack to his contemporary selections. "Mr. Cool" and "Mind Over Matter" provide the best examples of his blazing guitar in action. Connors' most creative improvisations come along later on "Terrabill Blues," which forges strongly ahead at a fast tempo and ignites brushfires along the way.
"Brasilia" rambles slow and smooth with a comfortably smooth Latin jazz texture. Connors lets his guitar sing out in a vocal style that resonates languorously around the room. Unlike the song's composer, Connors chooses to keep this one smooth and mellow, focusing on his fluid, lyrical way with a melody instead of lighting his improvisational fires. They are, of course, lit brightly elsewhere on the album.
Track Listing: On the Edge; Mr. Cool; McMinor; Mind Over Matter; Minor Matters; Try Tone Today; Terrabill Blues; Nobody Yet To; It Be Fm; Brasilia.
Personnel: Bill Connors: guitar; Bill O'Connell: piano; Lincoln Goines: electric bass; Kim Plainfield: drums; Myra Casales: percussion.
Record Label: Tone Center