As assistant professor of music and the director of the guitar program at the University of Colorado Denver, Paul Musso definitely has some outstanding chops, which is more than evident on his latest effort, Tonescapes. For the most part, the seven-song album is a collection of mostly relaxed yet swinging jazz and bossa nova songs written by Musso. On "Jungle Jim," the hardest-swinging tune of the bunch, Musso stretches out on a deft solo that recalls Pat Metheny and Jim Hall. While there's not a whole lot of burning here, it's clear that Musso has an understated, fluid and lyrical handle on the guitar, which fits quite well with the rest of the players on the disc, including bassist Drew Morell, pianist Vlad Girshevich and drummer Jill Frederickson.
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