The One and Only
Hear Sonny Play
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Montréal's Sonny Greenwich has been compared to a number of the giants of jazz... usually as a way of describing his incomparable-ness! Much like his fellow guitarist Lenny Breau, Sonny is often considered a "musician's musician". On several occasions, his playing has been likened to that of John Coltrane: both exhibit a piercing intensity of tone which conveys their sense of powerful spirituality to their listeners. And Sonny also has an inclination to pursue a broad spectrum of artistically challenging, "it'll-never-sell" projects -- a kind of relentless integrity and sense of self that reminds me of no one so much as Ornette Coleman!
But personally, if I were to try
and compare the unique Sonny Greenwich to anyone, it would be the also-unique
Both of them play in a style which
is, for the most part, deliberately a-technical -- starker,
searching for the uncommon chord or new run, less flashy than
most of their contemporaries, but a careful listen will reveal sparks of
technique that tell us it's all there, they can use it when they wish to.
Both of them have an aggressive, utterly personal sound which can be
identified nearly by a single note.
While I'm admittedly a Greenwich newbie, I've already learned that, like Monk, like Trane, the sound of Sonny Greenwich is the sound of a master.
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