DAVE FREISHBERG ON GUITAR?
By George Harris – November 8, 2018
Rare is the muse that can mix sardonic wit with swing. Gary Wittner writes lyrics like Dave Frishbert, plays guitar like Jim Hall, and sings like your uncle as he teams together Matt Langley/ts, Les Harris Jr/dr and Keala Kaumeheiwa/b for eleven musical observations. The lyrics are filled with sardonic wit, oozing with clever meters and messages, but it wouldn’t work if the music itself wasn’t strong enough to support the messages, but it is. Langley leads the way on a rich samba’d “I Don’t Know” and weaves through a modal “Illusion” while Kaumeheiwa bounces on a bohemian “I’d Rather Stay Home” and Harris delves into a fluid pulse on “Regrets.” Wittner’s guitar is Jim Hall cool as he bops on a rustling title track and is richly spacious during “Here Today” while on voice he’s cozy by the fireplace on “I Want It All.” This guy coming to LA?
“Some artists love to recreate the warm and authentic tone of Golden Age records, and this is definitely the case of Gary Wittner, a talented performer who has just released a fantastic new album in the vein of Thelonious Monk.
This record is a really amazing combination of modern jazz and old-school vibes, and one of the most intriguing aspects of Wittner’s music is definitely his guitar tone. He reminds me of some of the classic greats of the genre, ranging from Charlie Christian to Tal Farlow, and pretty much everything in between.
As the title of this release suggests, the songs have a nice classic style, although Wittner is an innovative and creative guitar player who always love to spice up his sound with fresh ideas and new groundbreaking creative solutions. This is definitely a holy grail recording for people who can’t get enough of simply great guitar playing.”
Stacey Zering – Ink 19
JAZZ CORNER NEWS – COMPOSER-GUITARIST GARY WITTNER ASTONISHES ON NEW ALBUM
February 19, 2019
Maine-based Gary Wittner is a gifted composer/guitarist who recently came out with a fantastic brand new album. This project has a very thought-provoking title: Too Modern for Me.
How many of us are tired of listening to harsh, ear-fatiguing music with way too much loudness? Music shouldn’t be a competition for the loudest, fattest sound. It should be about making art, and Gary Wittner knows this very well.
As a result, his sound has a charming retro twist, with warm melodies and inviting aesthetics. In addition to the stunning production, Wittner strikes me for his amazing guitar playing. His phrasing is absolutely impeccable, and the arrangement of his guitar parts is astonishing. He learned various lessons from the greatest of jazz, ranging from icons such as Charlie Christian, to innovators like Julian Lage. The possibilities are truly endless, and Wittner knows what it takes to take the listeners on a deep musical journey.