Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Louis Stewart - Overdrive

There is no doubt that Irish jazz guitarist Louis Stewart is one of the all-time greats, and it is obvious from the first notes he plays on any occasion. Quick witted, clean and clear, original, inventive, steeped in tradition, astonishing at most turns and only remarkable on the others, the only reason most of you don't know him is that he works in Europe, barely visiting the continental America's during his five decades of performing. This live club date at the Tron Jazz Cellar in Edinburgh, Scotland shows Stewart at the height of his powers during a set of well-worn standards, brought to life by this brilliant plectrist. As most use energy as a fuel for the others, or as a flashy pyrotechnical show, Stewart has no problem playing quickly. In fact, for him it all seems so effortless when he plays a straight melody on the well-worn "All the Things You Are," the rousing "Oleo" with its tricky changes played perfectly, or the very fast, never flustered "Stompin' at the Savoy," where he seems really in his element. Did it take any time for him to warm up ? In contrast to the fleet fingered display of virtuosity, Stewart also likes to change things up a bit. He strips down the melody of "Lady Be Good," extrapolates slightly on the basic theme, and then stretches out the song in his solo spotlight, swings the normally balladic "Body and Soul," and fattens the tempo for the usually relaxed "Walkin'." Ronnie Rae is the bassist, and the Edinburgh native and regular accompanist for vocalist Fionna Duncan acquits himself well on this recording, especially taking the lead for "Walkin." The appropriate closer "My Shining Hour" closes this set of music that showcases Stewart wonderfully, and is likely the best, certainly most accessible recording of his relatively small discography.
Michael G. Nastos

Source : http://www.allmusic.com/album/overdrive-live-at-the-tron-edinburgh-mw0000665369

Louis Stewart


1 All the Things You Are (Hammerstein II, Kern)  5:30
2 Oh, Lady Be Good (Gershwin, Gershwin)  9:44
3 Polka Dots and Moonbeams (Burke, Van Heusen)  8:04
4 Oleo (Rollins)  6:37
5 Yesterdays (Harbach, Kern)  7:17
6 Stompin' at the Savoy (Goodman, Razaf, Sampson, Webb)  5:50
7 Body and Soul (Eyton, Green, Heyman, Sour)  11:23
8 Walkin' (Carpenter)  10:32
9 My Shining Hour (Arlen, Mercer)  6:47


Louis Stewart - g
Ronnie Rae - b
Tony McLennan - dr

Recorded at Tron Jazz Cellar, Edinburgh, Scotland ; February 10, 1993


Melanchthon said...


Fred Archtop said...

Thanks a lot Mel !

Anonymous said...

Thanks Mel. I never heard Mr. Stewart perform, but have enjoyed the recordings I've heard. Listening forward to this one!

Pedro del Castillo Alonso said...

Thank you very much Mel

Peter said...

Dear Melanchthon,

Louis Stewart was unkonwon to me. Thank you for introducing me to his playing.

deGallo said...

Masterful! Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I've been a fan of Louis for almost 30 years, and I already own this CD, but I want to thank you for sharing it and making more people aware of Louis. I hope you might perhaps upload more of his recordings here for your all of the jazz guitar fans you have so deservedly attracted to this blog over the years.

Louis was right there with the elite players of all time, and he really deserves to be more widely known. He was also a kind and funny man who I was very fortunate to meet in 1995 after he surprised me by searching out my phone number in order to invite me to his show with George Shearing when they came to my area (I had written him a fan letter).

RIP Louis.

Jim in California

ProfessorCalculus said...

Thanks a lot Mel

neil said...

Sadly missed now; many thanks, mel...

Kovina Kris said...

FYI - Expired files here.