Paul Kogut has been a mainstay on the Utica jazz scene for many years. Having played with some of the greats such as the late sax player J.R. Monterose, and organist Charles Earland to name but a few. Having learned valuable skills from guitar masters Pat Martino and Mick Goodrick, Kogut is able to incorporate his own brand of finger bending into every track on this delicious recording. Know It? I Wrote It!
is a fine example of how Kogut incorporates some of Martino's unique harmonic approach. Blending the melody in such a way as to give the piece a certain feel that is unforgettable. From the beginning phrase, that is repeated a few times, the trio settles into a swinging groove. Kogut makes use of subtle dynamics and phrasing that work well. Stretching the melody as well as an ability to leader bring out the best in the trio.
Another original up tempo piece, Small Doses
is a tricky arrangement that beautifully displays the skill and dexterity that Kogut possesses. His ability to successfully weave in and out as well as around the melody, note for note and phrase for phrase is a joy to the ear.
A lovely and rich interpretation of Stella By Starlight
, Kogut's fat sounding intro segues smoothly into a bright and swinging exercise in dynamics and overall fun. The trio explores the melody with verve and gusto. Of special note is Montalbano's use of staccato chords in combination with a fluid delivery.
Another original from Kogut is the georgeous ballad, Especially When It Rains
. A beautifully structured guitar solo followed by Montalbano's rhythmic organ make this a satisfying listen.
Most musicians love to cover a Beatles tune or two mainly because of the melody and the chord changes. Kogut's version of Can't By Me Love
is no exception. Swinging from start to finish, he leads the way with some exceptional playing. Another example of trio integration.
With admirable support from Montalbano and John's, Kogut is able to cut loose and tastefully explore different avenues. Know It? I Wrote It! is a balanced recording of up tempo and ballad arrangements worthy of repeated listening.