Tommy Guerrero A Little Bit of Somethin'

Elegance is not what you'd expect of a San Francisco skate punk, but Tommy Guerrero, a legend in skating circles and a former member of the Bones Brigade, is no one-note skater. Now approaching his mid-30s, which would translate into pushing fogey-dom for most skateboarders, Guerrero also consorts with the likes of Tortoise, and his ears are clearly attuned to jazz, the current generation of bossa nova grooves and Los Lobos. In short, the multi-instrumentalist Guerrero has made a consummately elegant collection of Latinate grooves, and while DJ/producers like Amon Tobin manage to make collections of samples sound like live bands, Guerrero turns makes songs played on live instruments sound like they were cut and pasted by an exquisitely tasteful DJ sifting through a library of inexplicably forgotten, beautiful instrumentals. That's partly owing to Guerrero's guitar style, which blending Brazilian, Cuban, Mexican, soul and jazz motifs. Guerrero's figures are at once startlingly new and tantalisingly familiar, as if a late '60s easy listening station discovered soul, jazz, world music and sampling all at once and years ahead of the curve. And modesty is not the least of the album's charms. Almost everything clocks in at three minutes or less without any gaudy studio tricks. It won't demand your attention, but it doesn't have to. (Mo' Wax)