At first listen, Joe Finn’s guitar playing is sweet and charming. It is smooth and fluid, not complicated, heady or stylized. Nice, yes, but listen more closely and what is revealed is deeply spirited, joyous and freshly vibrant, reflecting his long-time relationship with music and his love for the craft. "String Theory" features four strong talents who jell. It is a blast from beginning to end.
The CD opens with one of Finn’s major influences, Pat Martino’s "The Visit," where each artist’s skills are highlighted and Zuccchini takes off with a few rollicking solos. The quartet sizzles together on Noel Rosa/Vadico’s "Fietio de Oracao" and their version of Cedar Walton’s "Bolivia" is fluttery and boisterous. Wicks’ full, bouncy bass carries this one. Also of note is Benny Green’s "Captain Hook" - a sultry, swinging, blues-infused jam.
Finn also adds a couple of his own compositions to the mix. The voice of his guitar speaks directly to the heart in the title cut and it is sharply accented by Bassinson’s exhilarating piano. "Never to Return," explodes with Zucchini on drums and Finn’s guitar, here, zings.
These four guys have a chemistry that ignites the music with gleeful exuberance. This CD is definitely one that will be played over and over again because it is just that good.