The influence of guitarist Herb Ellis and to a lesser degree the guitar style of Wes Montgomery and Joe Pass are all present in LaVerne Christie’s guitar playing. Ms. Christie has a clean fluid guitar style made up of sharp crystalline single note runs, blending melody and rhythm flawlessly into sounds of delight. She produces a full sound, a tone that is classic arch top for the most part; some guitar parts remind me of a classically trained guitarist, with a nylon string sound as in the song "Be My Love." Her phrasing is well articulated, a Latin element comes through, a little Brazilian flavour comes through as well, as in the tunes "Tin Tin Deo" and "The Sunset Hour".
East of the Sun, West of the Moon by The LaVerne Christie Trio mixes up the styles but maintains the flow, the essence of this strong guitar led trio is all about harmony, melody and wonderful rhythms. The bass playing by Mark Ruben is very solid not only in holding the foundation but in enhancing the tone, adding the color to the sound, making for a very bright harmonic picture. Drummer Mike Candito pushes each song with his dynamically driven style, never laying back, he adds plenty of excitement to the trio’s tune selection and fills in with excellent cymbal work to provide a full sound. His drumming is a superb accompaniment to LaVerne Christie with well thought out fills and rhythms, there are no empty feelings. Ms. Christie has plenty of opportunity to branch out and so she does, there are many excellent moments of guitar spontaneity. Not just another guitar trio, this is a very good guitar trio, so if you like jazz, guitar or just want to hear some great music give this a listen.