Joe Restivo: Making the Classic Quartet Sound Contemporary 

click to enlarge wj_cd_cover.jpg
The debut CD by guitarist Joe Restivo, Where's Joe? (Blue Barrel), brings with it a lot of tradition. The mellow, medium tempo swing of Thelonius Monk's “Bolivar Blues” immediately sets the scene for the fresh, bluesy, country-tinged guitar tone of Memphis' own genre-hopping Joe. The title track — an original by Joe with the familiarity of a jump blues you've heard all your life — leaps into punchy, swinging rhythmic changes, with a big band touch that makes your feet tap and your legs bounce.

With an authentic old-school feel, the rhythm section and the big tenor saxophone sound of Art Edmaiston lend the trio a relaxed laid-back feel, even when things get lively. Another original, “Starlight Motel,” slows things down with its melting guitar/saxophone harmonies, while a cover of Bill Jennings' “633 Knock!” showcase's solidly bluesy, Southern-spiked elixir of Joe's soulful soloing.

The sexy Latin treatment of “I Hear A Rhapsody” reveals the versatility of the quartet. Tom Lonardo's soft rhythmic gyrations on the drums bring a sweet and natural sounding ambience to this track. “Tiny's Tempo” brings a harder drive to the album, with Tim Goodwin anchoring the band on bass. Joe's intricate fingering work during the intro to “A Few Questions” leads us into a Latin-swing groove, and down a rabbit hole of harmonic twists and turns that never leaves us behind or loses its form.

“House Of The Rising Sun,” a staple of folk/blues artists, comes alive as Joe's arrangement sends us waltzing into a glorified swing. The tone of Art Edmaiston's solo on this track brings a true blue jazz depth to the song. Finally, “People Make The World Go 'Round,” a soul/pop hit of the 70s, carries this musical journey to a gritty, bluesy, yet contemporary end. With his fast fingering and “in-your-face” approach, Joe Restivo reminds us of the world we live in, covering a wide spectrum of genres, all riding on the wings of his strings.
Joe Restivo and band play a CD release show Thursday, August 1 at the Crosstown Arts Green Room at 8:00. $10.

He also leads the Joe Restivo 4 at Lafayette's Music Room on Sunday, July 28, and every Sunday morning, 10:30 - 2:00.

Related Events

  • Joe Restivo 4 @ Lafayette's Music Room

    • Sundays, 11 a.m.

Keep the Flyer Free!

Always independent, always free (never a paywall),
the Memphis Flyer is your source for the best in local news and information.

Now we want to expand and enhance our work.
That's why we're asking you to join us as a Frequent Flyer member.

You'll get membership perks (find out more about those here) and help us continue to deliver the independent journalism you've come to expect.



Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment


Trending in the Alternative Press


The Latest

Hungry Memphis

Pickle Fest 2019 to be held at Hollywood Cafe

Politics Feature

Money Talk: A Look at Council Race Funding

Film Features

Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark

Film/TV/Etc. Blog

Dispatch War Rocket Ajax to Time Warp Drive-In's FUTURECOOL

We Saw You

Elvis is Everywhere!

Music Features

1000 Lights: Zen and the Art of Stooges Covers

Letter From The Editor

Save the Swamp

Art Feature

Frida at Frist

© 1996-2019

Contemporary Media
460 Tennessee Street, 2nd Floor | Memphis, TN 38103
Visit our other sites: Memphis Magazine | Memphis Parent | Inside Memphis Business
Powered by Foundation