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Jazz Camp by Chris Vestre Group

You know when you say "cool", like in response to nearly everything these days?This is an album that actually makes that response make perfect sense.

The band is mostly Austin vets: acoustic bassist Chris Maresh from Eric Johnson’s group(plus performances with Bonnie Raitt, Ellis Marsalis, Abra Moore, Tish Hinojosa), drummer Jon Greene (with Torch, along with Vestre) and vibist Aaron Lack.

Vestre’s tunes are relaxed, eighth-note based (aside from the ballads) and authentic to supporting the stated vibe; each sounding as if it’s the changes to a familiar standard that doesn’t exist. Guitar solos are often stylistically punctuated with chordal interjections, commentary and the expected bluesy, bent, mid-century organ trio diads a la Benson, Green et al. Sometimes nicely introspective as on "Looking Ahead" and always groovin’ overall.

As the vibe (and vibes) reflect, the sound on Vetre’s debut, "Jazz Camp" is vintage retrolounge, down to the tone itself: dry and clear. The influences range from organ trio Burrell to Red Norvo with Tal Farlow. Yeah, that retro. You can almost hear the glasses clinking in anticipation of Martini’s being shaken (not stirred) in the background. And there’s no hurry, either to get there or to lay down excessive chops; just a cool time journey well worth taking; the perfect foil as the weather gets cooler and the skies darken earlier now. With the holiday’s fast approaching, make sure its on your list.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Chris Vestre Group
  • CD Title: Jazz Camp
  • Genre: Straight-Ahead / Classic
  • Year Released: 2004
  • Record Label: Independent
  • Musicians: Chris Vestre (guitar), Chris Maresh (bass), Aaron Lack (vibes), Jon Greene (drums),
  • Rating: Three Stars
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