Bop! Bang! Boom!

This CD is, according to the liner notes, the “third in a trilogy of wildly eclectic outings [that] reflects Geissman’s shift to more traditional jazz expressions.” Geissman is a proficient guitarist who’s surrounded himself with a lot of talent with varying results. After a career as a smooth-jazz player he’s stepped out somewhat on this and the other CDs that compose the trilogy—2006’s Say That and 2009’s Cool, Man, Cool, both of which feature some of the experienced studio players featured here, guys like Larry Carlton, Tom Scott and Albert Lee. With all this muscle on board I anticipated finding much more along the Bop! line to enjoy but was dismayed to wind up with more Bang! and Boom! (companion words of the equally vacuous “flash!”). The first track, “Boom,” is a hip-hoppy tune with a noodley tenor-sax solo and floppy drums. More of the same on track two, “The Singularity.” Finally, on “Q Tip” the group livens things up with a “Sidewinder”-style groove. Geissman is a fine musician and plays a classical guitar on three tunes with considerable effect (especially on the lilting “Samba en Menor”), while on the sprightly “Texas Shuffle” he’s joined by Lee and Carlton. For me this is a very mixed bag.