Jazz-guitar aficionados probably rejoiced when hearing about bassist Marc Johnson's "The Sound of Summer Running," a project featuring the guitar tandem of Bill Frisell and Pat Metheny and the interactive drumming of Joey Baron. Listen with open ears and one will hear a remarkably simpatico pairing, somewhat reminiscent of Johnson's Bass Desires group (with Frisell and John Scofield), early Metheny albums and the 1994 Scofield-Metheny album, "I Can See Your House From Here."
Call it Americana for the jazz crowd: The Midwestern-bred string players and the Virginia-born Baron share a sonic space marked by languid rhythms, flickering electric-acoustic guitar harmonies, wide-open spaces, liquid improvisations and gorgeous melodies carried like hearts on sleeves. Sadly enough, smooth-jazz programmers may overlook this uncompromising, artful music because of the lack of a mechanical thumpa-thumpa beat. It is an accomplished effort nonetheless.