Cory Wong: Quartet/Quintet

Guitarist Cory Wong releases an ambitious double cd set here, with the music being presented in two completely divergent formats and moods. The first disc has wood leading a band with Billy Peterson/b, Zach Schmidt/dr and either Dan Musselman or Kevin Gastonguay/p working through ten creative, sophisticated and complex original tunes in the post bop genre. The grooves in material like ”October Snow” can be tricky, but always accessible, with the well conceived solos sounding like a wholistic part of the composition. Wong’s tone and approach to his six strings is accessible, but also quite original, with a mix of logical lines with hairpin turns and curves at just the right time.


The second disc is not completely the Quintet that it advertises to be, as only a few of the songs complete the title. The team of Kevin Gastonguay/Rhodes, Dan Musselman/p, Zach Schmidt/dr and  Patricio Creus/b join up with Wong in a more plugged in vein. Wong himself is more assertive in his sound, preferring a more jarring style as  shown on “Approach,” while the spooky and spacey keyboards float around like a Pink Floyd concert on “”714” and “The Hunt.” Both will have a fan base, but I can’t imagine the same person getting into both discs at the same time, as the moods are at such a variance. Does anyone ever listen to ESP and On The Corner the same evening?

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