Just Jazz Guitar Magazine
If I tell you that I was not sure if I was going to enjoy a jazz acoustic CD featuring my friend, John Carlini, on guitar with Pat Cloud on five string banjo and mandolin player, Don Stiernberg, you certainly could believe me. But once listening to this elegant presentation my mind was changed. This was a 44 minute adventure into acoustic music with tones of jazz, bluegrass, bop, blues, swing, western swing, and anything that you can imagine put across expertly by some really savvy musicians.
John Carlini is a technical and musical genius. a teacher, composer and guitarist who has a tremendous experience in bluegrass, country, swing, and jazz playing. This production of his includes all acoustically recorded music with some of his originals featured. "Kool Kitsch" is a blue grass-bebop piece, and it is believable. "Blues al Dente", another blue grass 3-horn chart designed to stimulate the appetite according to John and a wonderful example of how different styles can be mixed by expert players. "BitterSweet", a slice of life, is another fun cut and, of course, "The Game's Afoot", the title piece, is really a mandolin showplace which swings from the outset. "Poor Wayfaring Stranger" is dedicated to John's brother, Peter James Carlini, "a loving brother and a great musician".
The last piece on this CD, "Mugavero", is a bossa inspired by a friend, Natale Mugavero. This is a very interesting and unusual piece and well worth checking out. One can always expect a musical surprise from John and this CD is no exception.
Dr. Francis Forte