Saturday, June 20, 2009

Danny Gatton - 88 Elmira St. (1991)

This album is nothing short of a complete celebration of the electric guitar. Danny Gatton (1945-1994) was part fierce monster and part teddy bear. His playing style suggests bits of Dick Dale, bits of Chet Atkins, and traces of everything in between. During up-tempo numbers, Gatton could rip the roof off. His ballads and quiet moments never failed to draw tears. 88 ELMIRA ST. marked his debut on a major label after a handful of small-label releases.

The half-dozen originals among 88 ELMIRA ST's eleven tracks are more than simple vehicles for Gatton's soloing. He is ably backed by his regular quartet, and each number shows sharp character and a sense of style. Gatton's rapid-fire runs on such pieces as "Funky Mama" are balanced by the subtler pleasures of his version of The Beach Boys' "In My Room." Sadly, Gatton was even more troubled than Brian Wilson, and the guitarist took his own life four years after the release of this album.

Live RecordingRolling Stone (4/4/91) - 3 Stars - Good "...Gatton is essentially a pre-rock-era guitarist...a glorious anachronism."
Musician (3/91) - "Gatton isn't interesting for what he plays, so much as the way he plays it. Meaning there's little on this album that you haven't heard done a million times before, and nothing you've heard done better."


1. Funky Mama 5:41
2. Elmira St. Boogie 4:06
3. Blues Newburg 4:11
4. Quiet Village 4:52
5. Red Label 5:06
6. In My Room 4:50
7. The Simpsons 3:16
8. Muthaship 4:40
9. Pretty Blue 6:10
10. Fandingus 3:08
11. Slidin' Home 4:58


chayjazz said...

Thanx for the Danny Gatton. I only listen to a select few guitarist and Danny is definitely on that list.


the doc said...

I have this and can recommend it to others as one of his best

Stijn Houwer said...
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DJazz said...


jpo said...

Gatton was stone cold genius. This is a fantastic record. It's a must-have if you love and/or play instrumental guitar music, too.
Another one-- New York Stories Vol 1 (no other vols came out) features gatton blowing over a bunch of hard swinging jazz.
Impossible to find and have never seen it posted. Hint hint