Adam Rafferty Trio,
Three Souls
(CAP, 2003)

Nowadays it is fashionable to melt different styles into each other. Adam Rafferty and co-workers Danton Boller and Tomas Fujiwara indulge in just that activity on Three Souls.

Generally speaking, Three Souls is a blues CD, but it has numerous elements borrowed from jazz: swing, funk, groove, bebop, cool, to mention a few. Of course, Rafferty as the composer of all the tunes is the most important "soul" in this mix. His guitar is soft and has a nice curved sound to it. Although drummer Fujiwara serves some interesting beats and bassist Boller holds it all together, they still stay in the shadow of Rafferty's inspiration.

Three Souls opens with a tastefully swinging "America," which is followed by "Crimson," the beginning of which slightly reminds of John Coltrane's infamous "Giant Steps." However, as the CD plays further, the music tends to become a bit boring. Maybe the reason is hidden in the fact that all the tunes are composed by Rafferty and his handwriting prevails in every note heard. Rafferty's style tends to be quite annoyingly epic.

Right, enough criticism -- there are still many great musical masterpieces on this recording. Among them, one has to mention the cool beat of "Two Souls," the hilarious cartoon-like theme of "Bootieology" and the vast soundscapes of "America."

Three Souls is an album for people who love guitar music. Rafferty offers a number of stylish licks for listeners to enjoy. Although, as mentioned above, his writing is soft, it still unites various elements, which makes the music interesting to follow.

by Ester Eggert
6 January 2007

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