Joseph Frame

Soully Guitar

Joseph Frame is a very skilled and sophisticated guitarist based in New Jersey. While he has often led his Framework Ensembles since the mid-1990s (his Framework Acoustic Jazz Quartet previously recorded The Bridge: Musical Connections and Carpe Diem), his recent CD Soully Guitar is a set of unaccompanied guitar solos.

The nine selections are all songs that Joseph Frame clearly loves and each piece has strong melodies. Frame caresses their themes and puts plenty of honest emotion into his interpretations. The guitarist created his arrangements over a period of time, working them out at engagements. His chord voicings are fresh and orchestral, making it clear that the guitar can be a full group by itself when played by the right individual. At times he shows the inspiration of Charlie Byrd and Gene Bertoncini, both of whom he had opportunities to study with. Brazilian jazz and classical music are part of “Frame’s” sound along with swinging jazz.

On Soully Guitar, Joseph Frame always keeps the melody in mind during his creative variations of such songs as “Wave,” “Polka Dots And Moonbeams,” “My Romance” and “Waltz For Debby.” “Greensleeves” is a bit unusual, based on a Jeff Beck version heard by Frame 40 years ago and remembered.

While Soully Guitar can be used as high-class background music, it is best to turn the volume up and fully enjoy the subtleties of the arrangements and the beautifully melodic playing of Joseph Frame.

Scott Yanow, author of 11 books including The Great Jazz Guitarists