Albert Dadon, 'Albare', is one of those guitarists favoring the note for note approach, what's transmorphed from the old Montgomery/Benson/Szabo school into latterday wave-jazz figurations; therefore, as liner notes writer Michael Smith notes, the term 'World, as nebulous as that catch-all term is', doesn't really befit what's going on in this two-CD retrospective anthology from several albums. On the other hand, 'World' sonics indeed infuse the collection, though that hardly answers the interesting flash intro to Stevie Wonder's Overjoyed, wherein Albare sounds a good deal like Jeff Beck in his prime, nor does it encompass when the guy gets mellifluously funky (Can't Buy Me Love, October Love). However, when, for instance, bassist Jonathan Zion plays his fatter-than-fat lines, kindred spirits in Mark Egan's World-smithing are clearly recalled. This crossplay occurs throughout the collection.
After the Rain has a Bumpin'on Sunset vibe and atmosphere to it, and Things You Love is reminiscent of a cut that would've been expected on a Grover Washington LP. No sax, but dub in brief, subdued, cool orchestrative refrains instead, as well as Joe Chimandaro's bright jungley keyboards atop the more active basswork of Evripedes Evripidou, and you wind up in similar terrain. The follower, Journey, is Breezin' period Benson. Curiously, the liner makes no mention of the fact that Albare is not only a much beloved player across the pond and down-under but also a very successful Australian businessman and philanthropist.
Albare's presently signed to Enja, Matthias Wincklemann's distinctive label, the imprint that in 1992 released Nels Cline's Silencer, a CD I still consider one of the most important guitar albums of the last 30 years. In many ways, Albare's Two Decades is the exact opposite of that much more adventitious disc: calm, mellifluous, refined, and very pleasant (Cline was all over the glorious map). You could say Dedon's a staid fellow, but that doesn't mean he isn't inventive and adventurous in his own way, the cuts with Hendrik Murkens showing that vividly. Then there's the artful packaging in sturdy mini-book format reminiscent of Japanese deluxe presentations, with a 20-page center section, everything well matching the guitarist's elegances.
[Correction: A previous version of this review stated that Albare was associated with billionaire, Marc Besen, and married to Besen's daughter. This was included in error.]
Edited by: David N. Pyles
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