Manhattan Sessions Part 1
For his first live recording session in over 10 years as a leader - he has invited such an outstanding line-up of musicians like Randy Brecker (trumpet), Victor Bailey (electric bass), Dave Kikoski (piano), Graham Hawthorne (drums), Chuggy Carter (percussion) and the legendary Ron McClure, (acoustic bass). Finnerty's guitar work is tasty, technical and taunting as ever and he definitely has his own sound going, which is so great to hear these days. The tracks get better every time you will listen to it. The compositions are nicely varied and cover the stylistic map, and it is interesting to hear him add those beautiful harmonic colours on this recording. The tunes are the stars, not the guitar technique. 'I'm lucky because I´m versatile,' says Finnerty, who throws himself into whatever bag he´s exploring. 'I try to make each thing authentic. I don't play a bunch of bebop licks on a funk tune. I try to get down and dirty and make it as funky and groovin' as I can. And when I'm playing bebop -- well, occasionally I throw in a power chord.'''You're playin' it too white,'' Crusaders saxophonist Wilton Felder once told Barry Finnerty when the gifted young guitarist joined the hit jazz-funk band in 1979. 'Now play that groove by yourself.' Finnerty laughs as he recalls his favorite Felder line: 'You playin´ it too wambly. I want it more wombly.' A San Francisco boy who made his name in New York playing in the majors with musicians like the Brecker Brothers and Miles Davis, Finnerty became a superior rhythm player after five years with the stomping Crusaders. 'They taught me if you can't groove by yourself, if you have to lean on somebody else, you can't groove,' said Finnerty, 'You gotta be able to set your watch by every guy in the band if the music is really going to be happening.' Jazz guitarist Barry Finnerty knows how to groove alone to make music.