In his sixth release as a band leader, jazz guitarist Tomas Janzon has produced an album which in some ways can be neatly split into two quite distinct halves as he teams up with vibraphonist Steve Nelson on six numbers, five of which also include bassist Hillard Greene and drummer Chuck McPherson, while the other five show Janzon operating in a trio format with bassist Jeff Littleton and drummer Tony Austin. Personally I would have preferred the album to be split so those with Nelson follow one after the other as opposed to having him on the first four and then the other two split later in the album as those songs sounds far more like a duo as opposed to a band leader and session. The interplay and connectivity between vibraphone and guitar is a delight, and while there is plenty of scored duality there is also room for both of them to shine, and when I first played this (without reading the press release) I was somewhat surprised when the vibraphone didn’t appear on all tracks as by then I had convinced myself that Tanzon was playing that instrument, such is its impact.

When Janzon is operating in the trio he allows himself to display more emotion and finesse, and there is much more warmth than when he is playing against the vibraphone which by its very nature always sounds cold and metallic. By having more space to operate in, he is more fluid and dynamic, and while the rhythm section are wonderfully busy they never overplay which means Tanzon is free to show his true sides and it is interesting to note he can often be found providing classical guitar concerts as it is on music such as this where he can allow himself to be truly expressive. It would have been interesting to have heard more music in each format, either as a double CD or as two separate albums, as they are distinctly different but at least here we have the opportunity to investigate two sides of this Swedish guitarist. Mellow and enjoyable jazz throughout.

Rating: 7/10