Upbeat fusion and sharp, scintillating smooth jazz guitar mark this brainchild of Terry "Toonz" Reynolds, a multi-talented guitarist/composer who penned all of the inviting tunes found on this album, Coast to Coast. Reynolds has a getting-started story not unfamiliar to a lot of polished guitarists, but it’s worth mentioning all the same. For example, he notes that an old, cracked hollow body with three strings missing gave him his first introduction to guitar (what better sound than that first half-stringless guitar? Gives one character and perception, I say). He even ventured into Hendrix-land for a bit. That had to add dimension to his learning experience!
The selections on Coast to Coast range from refreshingly light and flavorful offerings arguably comparable to guitar greats like Kenny Burrell, Wes Montgomery, and George Benson to a touch of electronica on tunes like the moderately funky "Salammin" and the colorful "San Diego Streetz." Reynolds commands a very talkative guitar with clear precision chording and riffs. His pace, depending on where he wishes to take you, is most deliberate and telling, as is shown on such silky pieces as "Mourning Morning" (one of my favorites of his slower jams).
Other favorites of mine include "Gee Bees," a really smooth, moving work that captures (as do almost all of the compositions) the Montgomery/Benson/Burrell feel so powerfully. This piece is further enhanced by some really tight trumpet/flugelhorn work from Mitch Manker. The peppy "Tic Tac" is another funky little tune that works well for me, as does the lively, shake-it-down dancer "Freddie’s Gospel."
It’s clear that Reynolds knows where he wants to be. He mentions that he’d like his music to stick in peoples’ minds "like an upside down jelly sandwich" and that he’d like at least one of his tunes to hit listeners where they live. Well, count me among those with that tasty "goo" in their minds and who happily welcome him into their musical "home."