Guitarist Brent Canter’s CD Urgency of Nowis an aprtly titled update on the organ-guitar-drums lineup that really took off five decades ago thanks to Jimmy Smith and his peers. But Back To The Chicken Shack this most definitely ain’t. Canter, 25, offers eight catchy originals that pull liberally from rock, fusion, pop, funk and Indie rock.
A Los Angeles native who studied with guitarist (and Jimmy Smith sideman) Kenny Burrell, Canter now lives in New York and his disc features with some of the high-energy heavy hitters of that city’s scene, including organists Pat Bianchi and Adam Kipple, the gale-force drummer Jordan Perlson and on several tracks, tenor saxophonist Seamus Blake.
The most exciting and meaty tracks tend to be those that feature Blake, including the disc’s powerful rocking opener, Dialogue, the brisk tune With Eyes Closed, which sounded like this in a version several years ago, sans Blake,
and, most of all, A Long Way From Home, a backbeat-driven tune that switches to some funky, heated blowing in 7/4 for Canter, organist Kipple and Blake.
Speaking of odd meters, Canter is strikingly fluid in his phrasing when he negotiates their contours on the 5/4 tune Marina Del Rey and the lyrical but intense 5/4 Meet Me Halfway, which also features organist Bianchi tearing it up.
Two short tracks represent Canter’s more mellow side and tempered guitar sound emerge on two shorter tracks, the smooth tune Settle Down and the more hymnal, melancholy Transitions.
For those who like their jazz-rock smart, strong, polished and chopsy, Canter’s clearly one to watch.