Reviews

“Rick Stone has been called one of the finest straight-ahead jazz guitarists in New York City, and one listen to his CD Fractals will show you why. This is no-nonsense jazz with a classic dark tone and killer chops . . . weaves incredibly long lines of lovely melody that will be the envy of many players but the delight of listeners . . . up-to-date and full of influences from the jazz world and beyond, establishing Rick Stone as a composer to watch – and listen to . . . Rick Stone has achieved what so many artists search for: a completely personal sound that communicates to a wide audience. Virtuosity and artistry are never sacrificed for a surface popularity, but jazz fans will recognize the excellence of this group on first listening. This is definitely a trio to check out right away!”

Dave Walker

“…flowing and tasteful seems to be Stone’s modus-operandi as he plays with proficient cleverness and deftness, while not  allowing his technique to take over, which would be quite easy to do given his ability as a player. It is this attention to the  original intent of the tunes that I, and I am sure, others, appreciate. Whether it’s the breezy “Key Lime Pie”, the boppish “Speed  Bump”, the Monk-ish “Nacho Mama’s Blues”, the soft “Places Left Behind”, the hip Stompin’At The Savoy-esque of “The Phrygerator” or  the medium Basie style swing of “Scoby”, Stone manages to play great without exhausting his chops for the sheer sake of it. An  admirable quality to have as a musician!”

Lyle Robinson, Jazz Guitar Life

“Rick Stone’s first album in five years was worth the wait in every respect . . . Stone is one of the best in the business. His crystal clear melodic lead work can be found all over this disc so virtually every track is a guitar highlight . . . This is classic jazz in the truest sense of the word hitting on bebop, salsa grooves and a revamping of some old standards. . . the CD has zero filler . . . Fractals is both elegant and sophisticated and should please even the most discriminating jazz fan. Recommended…”

Jon Neudorf

“As the first release for Rick Stone in five years, Fractals feels like the culmination of half a decade teaching, learning and  performing. The NYC-based guitarist has indeed been stacking up the experiences, performing regularly at the Garage Jazz Restaurant  and other New York venues. He’s also been teaching jazz guitar at many universities and working with the Jazzmobile . . . .  Fractals is a smart jazz album from smart jazz musicians. These three cats know how to slip into the quiet comforts of these great  songs and their forbearance and control draws out the best in each sonic segment. Stone’s trio happily ensures a reverence for the  music that is all too rare in today’s “look at me” music business.”

Jordan Richardson

“Stone’s tone and articulation are so inviting that even the  most complex harmonic ideas never alienate the listener. The phrasing is sometimes reminiscent of Jim Hall (a compliment for any  guitarist), but Rick Stone has his own sound as well . . . While Stone’s intuitive solos are certainly the focal point of this recording, he is not limited to single-line playing. The  group’s versions of “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes” and the guitarist’s own “Places Left Behind” establish Stone as an excellent and  original chordal player. Subtle touches in his playing, like the ringing open strings and volume swells in “Smoke Gets in Your  Eyes,” show that Stone is not just a virtuoso, but a true craftsman of his instrument.”

Eric Prinzing, Jazzreview.com

“This is no trip through bop nostalgia. It is a cohesive creative statement on the tradition by a very accomplished guitarist and his very simpatico trio. Well done!”

Grego Gapplegate Edwards

” . . . while his compositions are cerebral, they certainly don’t lack for swinging. In fact some of them — notably “Speed Bump” and “The Phrygerator” — combine lightning speed with tricky inverted melodies as catchy as they are complex. And Stone puts his beautiful ringing tone to work reinventing several classics, including “Darn That Dream,” “Stella By Starlight,” and “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes.”

Ron Netsky

” . . . tones as smooth & silky as melted butter on “Key Lime Pie”! . . . It was the majestic & upbeat blues on “Nacho Mama’s Blues” that easily & quickly captured my vote as FAVORITE, though… 6:12 of totally original energy! I’ve been reviewing Rick’s work for many years now, & can tell you that this CD is one of his best… it gets a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED from me, especially for fans of jazz guitar.”

Dick Metcalf aka Rotcod ZZaj

It’s Stone’s fluid  bop lines that are highlighted here, though, and his full-bodied tone shines in its mellowness . . . Stone is a fine straight ahead player, and this trio disc lets his sound loose.

Kyle O’Brien, Jazz Society of Oregon’s Jazz Scene

A straight ahead jazz guitar cat that knows how to swing, Stone is another one of those rising cats that proves mainstream doesn’t  have to be a dirty word. He obviously loves Wes without being slavish to the memory, this is the stop to make for some fire without  distracting pyrotechnics. Hot stuff throughout.

Chris Spector, Midwest Record,

“One of the finest straight-ahead guitarists on the current NYC jazz scene”

Robert Silverstein, 20th Century Guitar Magazine

“Guitarist Rick Stone’s warm, swinging tone and impeccable taste in standards (Monk, Evans, Rodgers & Hart) as well as the consistently high quality of his own compositions make this quartet date a pure pleasure from start to finish . . . Recommended to all jazz collections.”

Rick Anderson, CD Hotlist

“Stone’s playing combines the economy of Hall with some of the soul of Wes Montgomery, a little of Pat Metheny’s lyricism and a deeper, darker-hued tone that brings to mind Pat Martino but with an approach that is more sparing. The result of this blend is an all-encompassing sound that is still fully cognizant of the value of the spaces between the notes . . . is an artist who, with a clear and consistent musical vision that pays homage without losing site of individuality, really ought to record more. He clearly deserves broader recognition”

John Kelman, All About Jazz

“. . . fluid exposition of ideas, mature technique and deep understanding of the material he plays . . . With a purity of tone, understated elegance and economy of execution like Jim Hall at times, Stone wastes no notes, all of them apparently falling into place . . . Samba de Novembro, dazzling in its musical effulgence, contains numerous gems, all of which remaining consistent with Stone’s seemingly casual craftsman-like style. . .calls attention to a guitarist who should have been included in the ranks of the top jazz guitarists . . . He certainly deserves repeated listening.”

Don Williamson, JazzReview.com

“I find myself transported back to days (& nites) of listening to jazz guitar by guys like Wes Montgomery & Kenny Burrell… but make no mistake, Rick Stone has his own distinctive style, a sound you’ll recognize for years to come. . . this gets a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED from us, as well as the “PICK” of this issue for “best jazz guitar”.

Dick Metcalf, aka Rotcod Zzaj,        Improvijazzation Nation

“His lyrical lines and imaginative ideas on a mix of originals and hip standards reflect his maturity as an interpreter of great tunes and his mastery as an artistically adept player. His tone is bright and crisp, some would say traditional, and his ideas are fresh.”

David Adler, Just Jazz Guitar

“His may not yet be a household name but Rick Stone shows he’s worthy of the accolades that have come his way . . . . Subtle swing and a complete grasp of single note playing are strong cards in Rick Stone’s deck. Let’s hear more from him.”

Jazz Society of Oregon

“Rick Stone has a softer tone than Elf but can also swing hard . . . Throughout, Stone puts plenty of feeling into his playing, listens closely to the ideas of his sidemen (and vice versa) and performs a well-rounded program of tasteful and subtle music .”

Scott Yanow, LA Jazz Scene

“Stone’s playing is a bit reminiscent of Kenny Burrell; his tone is warm and clean and the blues never seem to far away from what he is doing.”

Ted Kane, Jazz Review

“Really innovative. . . not like anything you’ve heard before, yet with the whole jazz guitar tradition built in. Rick’s sound is just beautiful. Dark and smooth but punchy and very even. . . pushes the envelope beyond the Jim Hall/Bill Evans duets, and I don’t use that comparison lightly!

Rick’s time feel is fantastic. Always rhythmically varied, swinging and always in the pocket at any tempo and he’s always going for interesting harmonic ideas rather than licks. A true master of jazz guitar.”

Dan Adler, rec.music.makers.guitar.jazz

“On the way into work this morning, I was listening to a killin guitar player this local radio station was playing. At the end of the song, the DJ said that was Rick Stone. Outstanding playing, fantastic!”

Dan Thayer, Fan

“The sound you get on the CD is probably one of the best recorded archtop guitar sounds I’ve heard in a long time (yeah, I know it’s all in the fingers, but…), and that says a lot coming from a guy who owns about 6,000 Jazz CDs and owned a record company affiliated with Concord Jazz, Riverside, etc and I’ve been playing and recording for over 30 years! Congratulations, the CD is superb.”

Morey Richman, Fan

“Good morning, Rick –

Man, I love the record! I’ve been playing it almost every night on “Jazz After Hours” and I’ll try to squeeze it in on the “Morning Show” next week when I sit in for Gary; It’s got such a nice balance of tunes; that shouldn’t be a problem… Your labor of love is an excellent one, my man.

All the best, (and Happy Halloween!)”

Brian Delp, WBGO