CD Reviews - Captured Alive

ABQ Journal Venue (DEC. 17 2004) By Kevin Hopper

Review: By Kevin Hopper  

"Captured Alive" (BFM041)  

Stan Hirsch and Eric McFadden ***1/2  

Hearing "Afro Blue" written and originally recorded by jazz percussionist Mongo Santamaria and later made famous by John Coltrane, played with what can only be described as dueling acoustic guitars, is quite startling at first for anyone who is used to hearing them played with a saxophone.  

Jazz guitar has always been, if not the least appreciated jazz instrument, certainly the most understood. But the reason for the shock here is because nearly anything that Stan Hirsch, a local blues musical icon/institution for years, and his longtime protege Eric McFadden do together is immediately startling, then intriguing and always technically awe-inspiring.  

Both players' style, especially with Horace Silver's "Song For My Father," seem to combat each other at times while at others, like on Charles Mingus' "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat," are so fluid it almost seems like a solo performance. After years of playing together, McFadden and Hirsch know each other like an author knows his own book and it shows on each of these, some of the more challenging songs in the jazz catalog.  

John Mclaughlin's "Open Country Joy" is a rollicking, foot-tapping affair while Stephane Grappelly and Django Reinhardt's "Minor Swing" has some of the most intense jazz guitar moments this reviewer has ever heard. This seems like it might be a just a one-off live recording, but it wouldn't be such a bad thing if these two players, so intimately familiar with each other, selected some more jazz titles and spent a week or two in a professional studio. It wouldn't be a bad thing at all. Until then, lovers of jazz-and jazz guitar especially-need to seek out this record.

SONIC REDUCER: (Alibi-Jan. 13-19 2005)

By Michael Henningsen 

Stan Hirsch and Eric McFadden  

Captured Alive:(Doin' Jazz) (BFM 041) 

So far, it's been a great month for local and once local music. And while there have long been fantastical groupings of phenomenal guitarist --McLaughlin, DiMeola and De Lucia, G3, Guitaer Summit, etc...the pairing of blues phenom Stan Hirsch and his one time student and bonafide virtuoso Eric McFadden holds a special significance for Burque folk. 

The duo often performed acoustic blues in local joints, but this serving of (mostly) jazz tunes is somehow even more intimate and familial. Hearing the two of them together in this context is an absolute delight and further proof that masters grow everywhere.

HYPERACTIVE: (Music Magazine-Nov.-Dec.-2004)

HYPERACTIVE- music magazine  

(Nov. -Dec. -2004  


Stan Hirsch & Eric McFadden  

Captured Alive 

CD's usually don't do justice to live performances, but Captured Alive with Stan Hirsch and Eric McFadden absolutely amazed my ears. Of course, this is a live show (if you couldn?t tell by the title) and it's incredibly powerful. 

There are no conflicts between the two guitars, and through the whole album there's no telling whether or not two musicians are playing at the same time.  

Stan Hirsch and Eric McFadden synchronize brilliantly to give a mesmerizing performance.  

Justice has been served. 

CD REVIEW - by April L. Ball

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