Joel LeBlanc Quartet Joel LeBlanc Quartet

Joel LeBlanc Quartet Joel LeBlanc Quartet
East coast guitarist Joel LeBlanc clearly has an abiding respect for the blues. From the first notes of opener "Third and Goal," his approach is gritty and aggressive. Abetted by the searing alto of transplanted easterner Evan Shaw, the leader and his cohorts stay intense and groove-based. The short-and-sweet "Bangers" features the muscular rhythm section of Scott Culligan (bass), Jonathan Dutcher (Fender Rhodes) and Greg Harrison, a tightly coiled threesome firing on all cylinders. Tight shots give way to a crisp ride cymbal backdrop for restrained guitar mutterings and a gradually unfolding, excoriating second Shaw solo on "Somebody Else Play Goal." LeBlanc's melodic lines tend to the gnarled and knotty, as on "Butt Out." On this disc, he comes across as an unapologetic modernist. Strong tunes and equally strong playing from all involved come in an eco-friendly CD container. (Stainless Manchu)