Review of Storybook by Tommy Howard, Destiny Records, 2017
A record of other times. US guitarist Tommy Howard makes a record not playing contemporary music, but great jazz and swing. Listening to it, really seems to be back in time, imagine yourself in a 50’s jazz club, smoky atmosphere, men in dark dresses with white shirt and black tie tight. On the tiny stage a trio, a guitarist sitting with his Gibson, two other musicians behind him, the bass player Daniel Durham and drummer Brandon Guerra. Tommy Howard nods and starts to play and the swing fills the room. People stop, who is at the counter turn with the glass in their hands, the feet of people begin to beat the time, their heads swinging.
The musicians are just perfect, totally cool, as their music is elegant, sinuous, like that of jazz guitar giants: Wes Montgomery, Grant Green, and Barney Kessel. It’s an elegant record this collection of slow and gentle stories, a disc that you can listen to pleasantly relaxed in the armchair, a good glass of wine in your hand, to taste slowly and tastefully. The sound is perfect, simple and at the same time enveloping, the sound of a guitar directly connected to the amplifier, no frills, no effects.
A record of other times. Sometimes we need the good times back.