Dream Dictionary

Dream Dictionary

Although he has a strong reputation in New York City for his weekly Monday-night gigs, guitarist Jim Campilongo is best known out of town as a guitarist’s guitarist who plays with The Little Willies as well as artists like Cake, JJ Cale, and Martha Wainwright; he even has a column in Guitar Player magazine. Leading his own groups, this master of the Telecaster fuses jazz, surf, moody instrumental rock, and roots music. Here, on his 10th studio album, he works through a set with bassist Chris Morrissey and drummer Josh Dion—while the band is relatively new, the three have an easy rapport that starts with the leader's offhanded genius. The band ebbs and flows following the guitarist’s every cue (check out “Heaven Is Creepy”) or sits back as he extemporizes (see the title cut or the country-ish “Nang Nang”). Campilongo also breaks up the instrumental-trio template at times, most notably when Willies bandmate Norah Jones stops by for the album’s only vocal turn on “Here I Am.” This is a veritable clinic in dark and freewheeling guitar.

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