Doug Munro: Loop-Mania! 2024

US guitarist shows himself a fine player in a set mixing standards and originals over loop-driven backgrounds

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Numbers tell you the story of Doug Munro’s impressive career in music. Since 1986 he has released 20 albums as leader, appeared on over 100 recordings as sideman, producer and arranger, and has over 75 compositions and over 300 recorded arrangements to his name.

Thanks to advances in technology, the music captured on this album is just how it sounds when performed live. Guitar, drums and a couple of guests feature on a range of material covering five originals and five covers. Things get off to a pleasing start with Blackbird from the Lennon and McCartney songbook – it’s a pretty straightforward reading of the song and shows Munro as a fine guitarist.

Perhaps, counter-intuitively, the music sounds most engaging when use of technology is kept to a minimum. Despite advances in technology, machine-generated drums can sound a bit clunky, and in places it sounds like the machinery is driving the performances, making them sound a wee bit artificial and forced.

Obsolete, a Munro original, combines loops, rhythm and vocals in a track that sounds like the musician is arguing that he still has plenty to offer in this machine-driven world of music making. There is a nice range of moods and tempos to enjoy, but it has to be said that Munro’s vocals, especially on Spooky, will be an acquired taste for some.


Discography
Blackbird; Duke And Dukie; Spooky; Obsolete; Dribbles Café; I Don’t Know What You Wanna Play; Stompin’ At The Savoy; Trinidad Hustle; Bach & Blue; Wake Me Up When September Ends; Obsolete (bonus track) (49.23)
Munro (g, loops) No date or location given.
GotMusic Records GMR-1006