Graham Dechter Kicks Butt on Guitar!


DECHTER: Orange Coals. Reference. Corcao Brasiliero. Moonithology. Minor Influlence. Bent on Monk. Billy’s Dilemma. NEWLEY-BRICUSSE: Pure Imagination / Graham Dechter, gtr; Tamir Hendelman, pno; John Clayton, bs; Jeff Hamilton, dm / Capri Records 74158-2

This is guitarist Graham Dechter’s third CD and his first in nearly nine years. After listening to so many “jazz” guitarists who sound as if they’re afraid that playing with energy might break their delicate guitar strings, it’s a pleasure to hear someone who knows how to dig in on the instrument.

The publicity sheet accompanying this release states that the album title, Major Influence, is a reference to Dechter’s own personal musical influences. Among these are Herb Ellis, Wes Montgomery, Louis Cole and Genevieve Artadi of KNOWER. I was a little surprised that Charlie Byrd, Django and Oscar Moore weren’t on the list as well.

Graham DechterDechter can clearly play his instrument well, not only with drive and a great beat but with interesting ideas and just enough flash to dazzle the listener without overwhelming him or her with too much. Every track is a gem, and his accompanying musicians play in a tight, swinging style as if they were one person playing three instruments at once, although pianist Tamir Hendelman has some nice but brief solo spots here and there. Bassist John Clayton also gets a brief solo on Moonithology, and both Hendelman and Clayton play full choruses on Minor Influence.

Even on a ballad like Corcao Brasiliero (mislabel as Major Influence in the album booklet), Dichter knows how to keep one’s interest via his deft handling of his instrument, but each track has its own delights because Dichter is just so inventive and plays with so much enthusiasm.

This is clearly an album that jazz guitar aficionados will want to check out. Dechter can relaly play, and his backup musicians are a nice, tight group.

—© 2021 Lynn René Bayley

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